Kimi Räikkönen admitted a one-stop strategy was always planned for the Spanish Grand Prix, but the Finn continues to seek for his first points of the season after ending twelfth on Sunday.
The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver started on the medium tyre and went long in the race, at one point running inside the top ten. However, when the strategies all played out, Räikkönen was left frustrated in twelfth, even though he was please with how the C41-Ferrari felt to drive.
“We did the best we could with a car that actually felt quite nice,” said Räikkönen. “I had a decent first lap, making up a few places, and then went for a long first stint.
“We were always planning for a one-stop and I think the strategy was the best we could choose today.”
Räikkönen says the low attrition rate – only one driver retired during the sixty-six-lap race – left it difficult to break into the top ten, but he knows work will continue in developing the C41 to give them a chance of points in the upcoming races.
“Unfortunately, we went really close to the points once again but didn’t get anything out of the race,” said the Finn. “Only one retirement didn’t help us, but we need to keep working to find the little bit that is still missing.”
“Our race pace wasn’t bad, but it ended up being a frustrating day” – Antonio Giovinazzi
Team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi ended down in fifteenth after finding himself compromised by a slow pit stop under the early safety car, with his mechanic identifying a puncture on one of his tyres just as he was about to put it on the car.
The delay left the Italian right at the back of the pack for the restart, with Giovinazzi unable to catch up to the pack before the green flag fell.
Giovinazzi felt the race pace of the C41 ‘wasn’t bad’, but he had far too much work to do in order to fight for a first top ten finish of the season, something he hopes will happen in the Monaco Grand Prix later this month.
“It was not an easy race, which was effectively compromised by the issue we had during the pit-stop,” said Giovinazzi. “To lose all this time and a new set of tyres was a blow, especially as I had to follow a delta behind the Safety Car and couldn’t catch up with the pack.
“After that, I tried to make up as much ground as possible, but with not much happening in front of me, fifteenth was as far as I could go.
“Our race pace wasn’t bad, but it ended up being a frustrating day: hopefully Monaco will be better – I am looking forward to it already.”