Kimi Raikkonen: “I knew that with the soft tyres I would be really strong”

Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen says he was lucky not to lose places at the start of the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix, after making a far from brilliant getaway.

Nevertheless, the Finn was able to maintain position, and although he found the first stint difficult on the super-soft tyres, as soon as he made the switch to softs Raikkonen says it felt like he had an almost perfect car underneath him.

“My start was pretty average, I had some wheel spin and I was happy I did not lose any places.

“The first fifteen laps were a bit tricky with tyres, but after the pit stop I was happy with my car. I expected that improvement, because I knew that with the soft tyres I would be really strong.”

Although it looked pretty close between the top three drivers throughout the race, the Finn says he could not have done anymore to move ahead of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Valtteri Bottas, as there was no real opportunity to make a pass.

“It was easy to keep up with the guys in front and at the same time look after my tyres. At some point I tried to push and I got closer; I felt I had a lot of speed but today in these conditions there was no way to pass.”

Not having an opportunity to overtake was annoying for Raikkonen, but towards the end of the race, he had a gaining Lewis Hamilton to contend with, although the Finn knew the Brit did not really have a chance of catching him or getting by.

“It was a bit frustrating, but when Hamilton was behind me I could see him closing up, but I had a good car and I was pretty confident that if I was not making any stupid mistake I could keep him behind. I held him quite easily; he never really had a good chance to get me.”

The 2007 world champion said felt the car was strong all weekend in Brazil, and the result was a good one for the team, who can be proud of their performances this year, which should put them in good stead for 2018.

“Obviously we could have finished one place up, but it’s a great result for the team. The car has been pretty strong all weekend.

“We have been strong almost everywhere this year, obviously in a few races we had some difficulties, but as a team we can be proud. We are building ourselves for next year.”