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Raikkonen blames understeer for poor Australian GP showing

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Raikkonen blames understeer for poor Australian GP showing
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Mar 26, 2017, 11:02 AM

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen says understeer in the opening stint was the reason behind his disappointing performance in the F1 2017 opener in Melbourne.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, battles with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H

Raikkonen was largely a bystander in the Ferrari – Mercedes battle in the Australian Grand Prix, qualifying and finishing a distant fourth.

At the chequered flag, the Finn was 22 seconds adrift of his grand prix-winning teammate Sebastian Vettel – and he says that, for his race, the damage was done in the opening laps.

“I think already yesterday we suffered a bit with understeer on the car - and it was a similar story in the first set of tyres,” Raikkonen said after the Australian Grand Prix.

“Once we put the soft tyres, the car turned to be very good and I was very happy - but obviously at that point we were pretty much in nowhere land.

“I really think we understood yesterday already why we were lacking but it was too late.

“I think we know what we have to do and it should be okay.”

Raikkonen appeared to be under pressure from Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen late on in the race, the Dutchman gaining ground on fresher tyres – but the Ferrari driver insisted this was down to him saving fuel.

Overall, the Finn admitted the result was sub-optimal given Ferrari's strength - but said he could take optimism from what he learned during the weekend.

“It's a bit disappointing where I finished but we know what we have to do - and at least we finished. For a few years we hadn't finished the race and obviously that wasn't the ideal start. This is not 100 percent what we wanted but I'll take it.

“Even if it's disappointing, I'm pretty happy that we've understood a lot of things.

“I'm pretty confident that we'll be back where we should be in the next race. You know we have a strong package and we have some foundation now and understanding, so that's the main thing and we go from here.”

Additional reporting by Ben Anderson

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