Raikkonen: 2017 F1 season "far from what I wanted"
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen admits his 2017 Formula 1 season was “far” from the campaign he wanted to have.
The former world champion is yet to win a grand prix since returning to the Scuderia in 2014 - and while he's stood on the podium seven times this year, he trails not only teammate Sebastian Vettel and the two Mercedes drivers but also Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in the standings.
He has also been outqualified by Vettel by a margin of 14-5 so far, having run the German considerably closer last year.
"It is far from what I wanted, but it is where we ended up," Raikkonen said of his season ahead of the final race in Abu Dhabi.
"That is how it goes. There is one race to go, we try to make the best out of it and then obviously start next year, try to do a lot better."
The Finn, who has been retained by Ferrari for 2018, continued: "Obviously I am here to try to win races and win championships, so it is far from ideal.
"But this is how it turned out to be. I can live with it, but it is not why I am here.
"We started pretty poorly at the beginning of the year, not really where we should have been. It has been better since then but then we had too many DNFs and never really recovered from there."
Having looked close to taking a race win on several occasions this year, Raikkonen feels only "small things" have denied him victory – but admits he needed to be up among the frontrunners more frequently.
Asked what he needed to win a race, he said: "I think it is question of many things. If it were easy, everybody could win. But it is a lot of things. Small things.
"It has been very close with quite a few cars over the races, and it is small things that count over the race weekends.
"We need to be faster, more often, and put ourselves in a position and then hopefully some things will go a bit in our direction. We try this weekend and next year again."
Raikkonen's teammate Vettel put together Ferrari's most credible drivers' title challenge since 2012 this year, although his championship campaign fell apart in the closing stages.
Despite that, the German said Ferrari's season showed that the Italian team has addressed a recent weakness.
"It was toe to toe for most of the season but not the important part of the season," he said.
"It's been a massive achievement, a massive step, compared to where we were in 2016. We did the biggest step out of all.
"One strength that hasn't been there is toe-to-toe development. Historically, we lost out as the season progressed.
"This year it's been harder as there is so much potential still, so there are big steps you can make if you're doing that well. We managed to stay in the fight.
"We had two or three race which turned out to be costly for different reasons and we lost touch. We know what to do [for 2018]. I'm sure we will dig deep enough."
Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble
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