Raikkonen happy with the big picture, despite missing out on victory


Kimi Raikkonen finished third in Australia
Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen had mixed feelings following Scuderia Ferrari‘s double podium finish in the Australian Grand Prix .

Raikkonen started second – the first of the two Ferrari’s on the grid – and after the first corner the race quickly became a three-way battle led by Lewis Hamilton, with Raikkonen in second and Vettel in third.

The Finn was the first to pit, followed quickly by Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel stayed out, trying to shorten the length of his second stint. That was until Romain Grosjean left the pits with his front-left wheel loose, causing a Virtual Safety Car.

The team chose to pit Vettel at this point, benefitting from the VSC rules not applying in the pitlane, leapfrogging him in to the lead.

A full Safety Car was called following Vettel’s pit stop, bunching the cars together and giving Raikkonen a feisty Daniel Ricciardo to deal with. Though he was able to hold him off and take third place, the Finn felt that he perhaps hadn’t been as lucky as others.

A win with two cars on the podium is a very good start of the season for the team. Maybe I have been a bit unlucky today, but at least the luck came to our team.

“Third place it’s not exactly the result we wanted, but it’s only the first race and the big picture is not too bad. So I happily take the third place.”

Though the Ferrari was markedly slower than the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport car in yesterday’s qualifying, Raikkonen was not too disheartened, saying that whilst the team needs to improve, they should be able to fight.

“Overall I was pretty happy with my car today, the speed was there all day. It’s nice to have a good feeling.

“For sure there are things to improve, but if the feeling stays like this we’ll have all the tools to fight. And this is the most important thing. This is a quite special track in many ways, so let’s see what happens in the next race.

“Bahrain it’s not very straightforward either; from year to year we have seen that the hot conditions don’t give a 100 percent true picture. We need to be patient and do our best wherever we go.