Sebastian Vettel fights back to fourth.
Yas Marina – Kimi Raikkonen held on to third place from the start all the way to the final chequered flag of the season, that came at the end of a very tough race. It brought the Finn the valuable points he needed to finish the 2015 Drivers’ Championship in fourth place. Sebastian Vettel attacked all the way after starting from the eighth row of the grid. The German went from fifteenth place to fourth, running a different strategy, than those who finished ahead of him on the podium. Nico Rosberg won the race for Mercedes.
Maurizio Arrivabene: “Kimi drove a very good race today, as I expected him to do, and Seb charged from fifteenth on the grid to fourth place across the finish line. This is a result which wraps up a bit the whole season. Already at the first test last winter, we had had some positive feedback: but then we also knew that we had a mountain to climb, and the guys in the team did it step by step, both at the circuits and at the factory.
It’s a whole team effort we were able to put on, with everybody working hard to improve. A big thanks to all of them, they’ve been fantastic and deserve the highest grades! Special thanks to our President, who never stopped pushing and supporting us from behind the curtains. Now we know that we face an even bigger challenge for next year, not only catching up on our rivals but also trying to stay ahead of them.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “It has been a nice and clean weekend, the car was handling well and we had no issues. In the race I was pretty happy with the speed and everything ran smoothly . We only had a small delay in the pit stops, which dropped us off a bit and we did not manage to really challenge the Mercedes. I think today we could have been closer, but third place here is an OK result, even if we always want to win and challenge for that. If we think where we were last year, there has been a really good effort from all the guys in the team.
We have been pretty satisfied with the car all year long and the results have got better. Next year there is a new challenge and a new car: I think we have to keep doing the same things we did this year, improving consistently and working as one team, following the progress we did this year. Nobody knows what will happen next year and it’s too early to start guessing. We can only do our best and then we’ll see what the others do. Only time will tell.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Obviously I would have loved to get the podium again, but I think today’s result was the best possible one for us as a team. I lost quite a lot of time at the beginning and then kept playing catch up until the end. The pace was good, especially in the first and final stint, the car was also good and I managed to do some overtaking. I was very happy, it was good fun. We knew from before that Kimi and I would have crossed path with each other, as we were on very different tire strategies.
It was clear that when Kimi would be close enough I would give him way to haunt the Mercedes: unfortunately that was not enough to achieve that, but I did not want to be in his way. I think we can be very happy for this season. Of course the last step to catch the Mercedes will also be the hardest one, but if you think about where we were only one year ago, this has been a miracle season. I can’t think of any other team which improved so much over a year. Big smiles are going around in our garage and for next year we want to increase the amount of smiles. I’ m very happy to have joined the team in this moment and to have had an opening year with Ferrari like I had. Hopefully we’ll have many more good ones coming”.