Kimi Raikkonen is expecting a “tricky” Mexican Grand Prix after a disastrous Saturday that means he will start from near the back of the grid on Sunday.
Raikkonen was forced to park his Ferrari in final practice with smoke pouring from the engine bay this morning.
After his mechanics won a race against time to get him out for qualifying, braking issues let to a spin in Q2 and he will start 18th – including a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
“In the morning we had an issue and had to stop the car, and had to change back to an older engine that we’d run already this year,” explained Raikkonen. “We had to [fit a] new gearbox because we had a fire.
“Obviously there was not a lot of time to fix the car, but my mechanics they managed to do it – one of the few positive things from today. Unfortunately with the limited time we had, we still had a small issue with the brakes.
“We dealt with the issues as best as we could. We knew we were going to get some penalties and knew there was no point in going to Q3."
Lack of running a big concern
In terms of the potential pace of his car, Raikkonen admits he will be venturing into unknown territory on Sunday.
“I didn’t have any running today,” he said. “Yesterday was OK in first practice, but Seb did a good qualifying so we should be more or less there. Tomorrow is a new day, but obviously it’s not an ideal place to start.
“At least we can choose whatever tyres [for the start], but whatever we do we’re going to start near the back of the grid.
“We’ll try and make the best out of it, for sure the first corners are quite tricky here after a very long straight.”
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