Kimi Räikkönen said that there was nothing more that he could have done to maximise Scuderia Ferrari‘s Singapore Grand Prix result, with tyre troubles prompting the Finn to label his race as “a bit boring”.
On a weekend where Ferrari were tipped to take victory and close the gap to Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport in the Constructors’ Championship, Räikkönen could only manage fifth, nearly a minute shy of race winner Lewis Hamilton, with team-mate Sebastian Vettel consigned to a lonely third.
Räikkönen stopped once, on lap 23, for soft compound tyres and could not find a way past compatriot Valtteri Bottas for fourth, despite the Mercedes driver struggling for grip in the closing stages of the race.
The 38-year-old, recently announced as an Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team driver for the next two years, explained that there was nothing wrong with the SF71-H‘s performance and that the delicate tyre temperature issues and lack of overtaking opportunities at the Marina Bay Street Circuit accounted for the underwhelming result.
“Not much happened today in the race; the car was behaving well and we had a fair speed, but most of the time we were stuck behind somebody and taking care of the tyres,” said Räikkönen.
“On this track it’s impossible to overtake, unless the guy in front makes a massive mistake.
“I could see Bottas struggling with his front right tyre and locking it sometimes, I could get closer to him but not enough to pass. Through the middle part of the track it was even difficult to follow him because we were losing downforce.”
Ferrari came under scrutiny for their strategy on Vettel’s side once again, the German taking on ultra-soft tyres at his sole stop. Räikkönen’s strategy mirrored that of Hamilton, second placed man Max Verstappen and Bottas in utilising the durability and consistency of the soft compound.
Räikkönen continued to say that Ferrari’s hope for a second Safety Car was the reason behind his prolonged first stint, but admitted that the damage was done in qualifying and left the Scuderia fighting an uphill battle to use their speed.
“In the first stint we stayed out longer hoping for a Safety Car, but it did not happen,” the 2007 World Champion added.
“The qualifying here is the key and obviously, when you start behind, your race ends up being a bit boring, getting stuck behind other cars. There was no way we could use our speed.
“Obviously we wanted more, we did what we could, but this is what we have got today.”
The result means that Räikkönen holds third place in the Drivers’ Championship, but now holds a mere three point advantage over Bottas with six rounds remaining.