Kimi Räikkönen continued his points scoring run in the Chinese Grand Prix, with the Alfa Romeo Racing driver finishing ninth having started down in thirteenth, although a late race pace drop meant he was unable to pressurise Sergio Pérez and Daniel Ricciardo ahead of him.
The Finn had seen his long run of Q3 appearances end on Saturday but it did not stop him from making gains on Sunday, with Räikkönen happy enough to be able to bring the C38-Ferrari home to score two more points, although he dropped to seventh in the championship standings behind Pierre Gasly.
Räikkönen was able to make some good passes throughout Formula 1’s one-thousandth Grand Prix, and he felt the car was good to drive right from lights out to chequered flag.
“The car felt good today,” said Räikkönen. “We started from further back on the grid and at least scored some points.”
Räikkönen bemoaned a drop in temperature and a subsequent loss of grip in his front tyres in the closing laps that prevented him from pushing Pérez for eighth place, but the Finn feels the pace shown throughout Sunday in Shanghai gives him hope for a competitive weekend in Azerbaijan at the end of the month.
“In the end I lost the grip on the front tyres,” revealed Räikkönen. “It’s a shame because I was looking after them during the race, but they just got too cold and I slowed down.
“We will continue working on making improvements and see what we can do in Baku.”