Kimi Räikkönen was on course for a top ten finish in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, but a trip through the gravel trap at turn six after losing control of his C41-Ferrari cost him dearly.
The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver had been a contender for the top ten at the Circuit of the Americas all afternoon long and survived contact with Alpine F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso before losing the rear end of the car with just a couple of laps remaining to fall to thirteenth.
Räikkönen felt the contact with Alonso, which came heading into turn one as the two battled for position and caused some floor damage, meant his tyres did not last as long as he would have hoped, and in the end the spin lost him the opportunity of a point.
“The car felt really good, especially in the first part of the race, and we were able to fight in the top ten,” said Räikkönen.
“Unfortunately, at the start of the second stint I had a clash with Alonso and I got some floor damage: it didn’t really affect the balance of the car, but we seemed to run out of tyres a lot quicker afterwards.
“By the end of the race, I didn’t really have much rears left just as I tried to push hard to stay ahead of Sebastian [Vettel]. It is a shame not to bring home any point today: we always seem to be there or thereabout but it wasn’t to be this time.”
“We went once again very close to the points” – Antonio Giovinazzi
Team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi had been on course to finish just behind Räikkönen, but the Italian fell behind Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team’s Sebastian Vettel just a lap before the Finn spun.
The Italian felt he did everything he could to keep Vettel behind him, but it was not enough, but it was the second stint of the race that he felt cost him more as he could not get the tyres to work as well as he would have liked.
“It was a good race, with some nice fights along the way, in particular with Fernando [Alonso],” said Giovinazzi. “I tried to hold him back as much as I could but in the end he was just faster: still, it is nice to be fighting with someone like him, a world champion.
“We went once again very close to the points, and probably the second stint is where we missed out as we couldn’t get those tyres to work well. We did a good work as a team, swapping places when Kimi when he could push more in that part of the race, and that very nearly paid off.”