Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen pleased with Singapore race but says fourth "not the result we are looking for"
Twelve months after triumphing at the Marina Bay Circuit, Ferrari could not produce another Formula 1 victory in the Singapore Grand Prix last week...
Twelve months after triumphing at the Marina Bay Circuit, Ferrari could not produce another Formula 1 victory in the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend as a combination of poor pace, strategy calls and reliability problems hurt the team.
Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth after another strategy decision, which we will cover in the UBS Race Strategy Report, cost him in his fight for third with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, and Sebastian Vettel recovered to fifth after starting last on the grid thanks to a qualifying suspension failure.
After the race, Raikkonen was pleased with the handling of his Ferrari and his opportunistic move to get ahead of Hamilton on-track, but the 2007 world champion questioned the decision to mirror the Mercedes driver’s three-stop strategy and explained that the Scuderia had work to do to improve its pace.
He said: “It was a good and solid race, the car was behaving well and we had a pretty good speed. Obviously it was very difficult to overtake, but at one point Hamilton made a mistake and I managed to pass him, then after the pit stop he got the position back.
“We lost the place there, I don’t know how and why they managed to jump us, and I don’t know what would have happened if we would have stayed out. Now we have to go through everything, see what happened and what we could have done better.
“Today we gained one place from the starting position, but of course this is not the result we are looking for, we are trying to be in position to win, but we need to make the car a bit faster.”
Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene praised Raikkonen’s performance in the Singapore event to get into a position to fight for what could have been his fifth F1 podium of the season, and defended the decision to cover Hamilton’s final stop.
He said: "Kimi was very good today. He's showed he's not a world champion for nothing, in my opinion he was great."
“I think it was the right decision to take. If we [had] huge degradation [on the softs] and Mercedes were taking us, we would have been crazy. So we had to think about the opposite. We took a decision based on our data, and now the exercise to do is verify if our data was right.”
Vettel recovers to fifth
Arrivabene also hailed Vettel’s drive after a rear suspension failure in Q1 condemned him to last on the grid. The four times world champion used a two-stop strategy, with a long first stint on the soft tyre, and decisive passing to move up to fifth place by the finish.
He said: “It’s a shame that he was so penalised by his starting position, but he drove a fantastic race, supported by perfect strategy. There are six more races to the end of the season, and all of them will be important.”
While Vettel acknowledged that his qualifying woes had left him with an advantage of plenty of fresh tyres for the race, he lamented that a late-race safety car – often a feature of the long races in Singapore – did not appear to give him a chance to climb even higher.
"I had an advantage with my tyres, with fresh sets that I didn't use yesterday,” he said. “But there wasn't a safety car, which was a bit of a surprise."What did you think of Ferrari’s performance in the Singapore race? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
Daniil Kvyat "loving" F1 once again after spectacular Singapore skirmishes
No pattern to changing title fortunes - Hamilton