Formula 1

Kimi Räikkönen on Baku Challenges: “Overtaking proved surprisingly difficult”

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Credit: Xavi Bonilla / DPPI

Kimi Räikkönen admitted his Azerbaijan Grand Prix was not that exciting for much of the race, until the final couple of laps after the late restart saw his afternoon come alive.

The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver secured his first point’s finish of the season at the Baku City Circuit after finishing tenth, but the veteran Finn admitted it was surprising to find it so difficult to pass another driver throughout the fifty-one-lap race.

Räikkönen was able to catch those ahead of him ‘relatively easily’ but found making a move for position tricky despite the long start and finish straight in Baku and the use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS).

“Not a lot happened in my race until the last two laps, so it’s good to bring home a point,” said Räikkönen.  “Overtaking proved surprisingly difficult, we were able to catch up with the cars ahead of us relatively easily but we couldn’t make the move.

“The restart after the red flag was quite hectic, we could have been better but it could have also gone badly wrong so we’ll take the point. I don’t think we could have done more, in the end.”

“I think we got all we could out of this race” – Antonio Giovinazzi

Team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi finished eleventh, only missing out on points himself after making contact with McLaren F1 Team’s Daniel Ricciardo going into turn two on the restart that saw his C41-Ferrari go into anti-stall mode.

After crashing during Qualifying on Saturday, the Italian had it all to do on Sunday to get involved in the battle for points, and a great start saw him propel himself up into the top fifteen to give himself a chance.

However, a small issue with his brakes and the decision to make an early stop in a bid to undercut some of his rivals left him unable to score points for a second consecutive race weekend.

“I had a great start, and this allowed me to be back in the battle for the points from the start,” said Giovinazzi.  “It wasn’t an easy race as I had a small issue with the brakes, which is not ideal on a track like this, but my pace was quite good anyway.

“We made an early stop to undercut some of our rivals and after that, it was a bit quiet until the red flag. At the restart, I gained some positions on turn one but I made contact with Ricciardo at the second corner and my car went into anti-stall.

“I think we got all we could out of this race, especially starting from last, and we ended up so close to the points. Many things happened today, it was quite a crazy race in the end, but we need to be happy as we got to score another point with Kimi, the second race in a row for our team.”

Antonio Giovinazzi finished just outside the points in eleventh – Credit: Antonin Vincent / DPPI
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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