Räikkönen happy under the radar
After a hat-trick of second place finishes, Kimi moves to within four points of Sebastian Vettel at the head of the Drivers’ Championship; he’s not getting carried away just yet though…
“Unfortunately it’s second place again so it’s not time to celebrate too much. The car felt good and we did pretty much all we could today, but we didn’t have the pace to challenge Fernando [Alonso]. I drove to the maximum and it’s good for the championship that Sebastian finished behind us. It’s nice to be on the podium for me and the team; let’s see what we can do in Monaco.”
“We chose a three stop strategy and it worked pretty well for us. Fernando did make four stops, but we didn’t think we could beat him whatever the strategy today as he has looked pretty quick all weekend.
“I don’t mind if people don’t notice us. We do our work, we’re happy in what we do and we obviously try to achieve the best for Enstone. I’m just here to race the best I can. You always want to win and it’s disappointing to finish second, but sometimes we have to take what we can get.”
“No point fighting Alonso”
Raikkonen led Alonso in their penultimate stints at Barcelona, when both had one pit stop left to make, but Alonso used his fresher tyres to overtake Raikkonen and pull well clear before the final stops.
When asked if he thought that victory had been possible Raikkonen replied:
“Maybe halfway through, when we were leading, but we were on old tyres and [he had] newer tyres. It is too easy to overtake, so no point to really fight again because you cannot hold him behind. I knew if I could somehow stay a bit closer, maybe I had some chance, even if I am already behind them with old tyres. But in the end, they were just too fast.”
Raikkonen pointed to his poor opening lap, when he dropped a place to Alonso at Turn 3, as a moment that shaped his race.
“We didn’t have a good start, but I don’t think the end result was decided there. It wasn’t the win, and we are only happy with the win, but [in terms of the championship, with Sebastian] Vettel we are close and Fernando has caught me, but we are still in the hunt and hopefully we can try and win a bit more.”
Raikkonen is now just four points behind Vettel in the championship, and is looking forward to future battles as he aims to win his second world title.
“Sometimes you have bad days and make the most out of them and give yourself a chance to fight for wins,” he said.
“If you can do that often you will have a good chance in the end to fight for the championship. Only five races done… we will see what happens and see where we are at the end.”