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Raikkonen: “Awful” first lap masked improved race

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Raikkonen: “Awful” first lap masked improved race
By:
Apr 16, 2017, 7:19 PM

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen says his “awful” run through the first few corners of the Bahrain Grand Prix has served to overshadow what otherwise was a race with a lot of positives.

Start of the race
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
A fan watches Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, from the grandstand

Raikkonen, who qualified more than three tenths down on teammate Sebastian Vettel on Saturday, slipped from fifth on the grid to seventh early on.

As Vettel went on to win the grand prix, Raikkonen eventually recovered to fourth – and the Finn says he was happy with the behaviour of his SF70H in the race, even despite the "disappointing" outcome.

Raikkonen finished over 22 seconds behind Vettel.

"I think the car was working pretty nicely and, to be honest, I expected that. Not much complaints on that side," he said.

"[I had a] sh*t start and then an awful first few corners because of that. Obviously, after that, played catch-up...

"A lot of good things, in a way, happened but obviously the end result is still disappointing, in my book at least.

"Overall feeling [is] a lot better and I feel that I can go fast but obviously the start didn't help."

Raikkonen, who was stuck behind the Williams of Felipe Massa early on but got the move done on the eighth lap, feels he was then unfortunate to end up behind the Brazilian again thanks to the timing of the safety car.

"I got reasonably quickly past Massa - then I was a bit unlucky with the safety car and lost a place again back and then tried to get past him again, and obviously at that point I was a bit behind," he said.

"He [Massa] seemed to be very fast in certain places and already first time around was quite tricky to pass him, it felt a bit more difficult the second time.

"I managed to pass him in the end but it just takes a long time, they're usually very fast in a straight line, Williams."

Summing up the race, Raikkonen added: "The first lap obviously was not the ideal position, and the safety car... it's unfortunate how it went, we had some good speed."

Additional reporting by Ben Anderson

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