Kimi Raikkonen: “After the difficulties in qualifying, third place is not too bad“


Credit: Foto Studio Colombo per Ferrari Media

Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was content to finish on the final step of the podium at the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix, but says it was not the result they had been hoping for.

The Finn was pleased that his car performed much better in the race than it had done in qualifying, which was the reason for the 2007 world champion starting the grand prix from fifth on the grid, whilst team-mate Sebastian Vettel took pole.

However, after a good start off the line Raikkonen found himself blocked in with nowhere to go, causing him to drop a number of positions on the first lap despite his superior speed. The lack of opportunities to overtake at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez also made it difficult for the Finn to initially recoup any places.

The Finn did eventually made his way through to third place after the first round of pit stops however, settling into that position once he realised he was too far behind Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Valtteri Bottas ahead of him, to consider pushing hard and destroying his tyres

“After yesterday’s difficulties in qualifying, third place is not too bad, but obviously it is not what we were looking for.

“The start was not too bad, but then I moved to the left and lost the tow. I found myself blocked and lost many places in the first two corners. Then I had to wait for the cars in front to stop, to be able to push and gain positions.

“My car was a bit better than yesterday and we had decent speed. Once I was third, I could try to catch up, but I was too far from Valtteri and there was nothing I could really do. I focused on finishing the race and on keeping my position.”

Raikkonen believes that despite a few technical issues in the last couple of races, Ferrari have had a strong season in 2017, though the Finn feels that DNF’s have hurt them this year, and that is something they will need to get on top of, if they are to become world champions in 2018.

“This year we have made a good step forward from last season, but obviously we still have a few small things to improve. I think that in this season we’ve had a good and solid car. Lately we’ve had some issues, but the speed has been there.

“Obviously too many DNFs cost us a lot in the Championship. For next year, we have to minimize those issues, improve things and learn from this season.”