Raikkonen: Wrong to assume Ferrari will struggle

Kimi Raikkonen believes it is wrong to assume Ferrari will struggle in the upcoming grands prix after losing ground to Formula 1 title rival Mercedes.

Ferrari had been expected to achieve a strong result in Singapore as the tight and twisty street Marina Bay circuit suited its car.

But pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel, his Ferrari teammate Raikkonen and Max Verstappen collided on the run to Turn 1, with all three retiring from the race on that lap.

Lewis Hamilton won the race with Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas third, allowing Hamilton to extend his lead over Vettel to 28 points while Mercedes moved 102 clear of Ferrari.

The upcoming races in Malaysia and Japan are expected to suit Mercedes, but Raikkonen believes Ferrari can be in the mix.

"You [the media] assume that it's difficult, we don't," he said. "We go there, it's another race, another weekend, and we go there full of fight and we'll do our best."

Vettel was optimistic about his and Ferrari's chances, as the championship enters its final six races.

"It's a pity we couldn't show our pace [in Singapore]; but we have other races ahead of us and I am sure there will be more opportunities for us."

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene insisted Ferrari "will be back".

"That was very disappointing and it was definitely not the result we were expecting," said Arrivabene. "But it doesn't mean that the battle is all over, just that it has become more difficult.

"We proved that we have an excellent car and two great drivers. We guarantee that we will be fighting right to the final corner of the very last grand prix of the year."

Hamilton is expecting a close battle in the closing races, picking out Brazil and Mexico as potential races where Ferrari might have the edge.

"We have Malaysia [where] we should be, I think we should be OK. Then we have Japan, high downforce circuit; could be close, Red Bulls are very very strong at that circuit but I think we might be… it won't definitely be our strongest circuit.

"Austin, I think we'll be fine. I think Brazil would be a place where these guys (Red Bull) will be particularly strong. Ferrari will be particularly strong.

"Honestly, I think it's going to be very close in the next races. It's hard to predict, as I said, but I think that one particularly and maybe when you go to Mexico.

"You've put your maximum downforce on but because it's so high there's little drag and maybe the cars that have a little bit more downforce might just have the edge on us but it's all hearsay."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news