Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen said that he would happily take his second place finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday in Baku particularly given the tough race the Finn had.
The Iceman who started the race from sixth place was caught up in a Turn 1 incident with Force India’s Esteban Ocon on the opening lap of the race, Raikkonen was forced to pit for a new front wing at the end of the lap.
Following the incident, the safety car was deployed which in fact helped Raikkonen to remain on the same lap as the leaders.
Raikkonen went on to have a fantastic race with just laps to go managed get past his team mate Sebastian Vettel in Turn 1 after the German locked up allowing Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and the Iceman to pass the four time world champion.
Raikkonen commented after the race saying:
It was not the easiest or most enjoyable race. After the accident with Esteban on the first lap, I had to come in to change the nose and switch to Soft tires. I don’t know if my car was damaged, but overall the feeling was ok. The tires were not consistent, a bit on-and-off; I was struggling to keep them warm enough and had some difficult moments. Some laps they felt good and some others it was more tricky. After that, things went back to normal. I tried to stay out of trouble, pushing when it felt right to do so and do my own race. I was expecting something to happen sooner or later. It’s never too late; you need to be ready, because you never know what can happen until the race is finished. We are pretty confident for the future, because we have the speed, and this is the main thing. We just need to minimize all the mistakes and the issues to be up there all the time. Today obviously feels better than yesterday, it worked out pretty ok. I will happily take this second place, considering the tricky race we had.
Sebastian Vettel was left disappointed as he finished the race which he completely dominated in fourth place behind Lewis Hamilton, Raikkonen and third placed Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez.
Speaking following the race, Vettel commented by saying:
We are not entirely happy, because we could have won. In fact, I am very upset about losing the position at the restart, because I didn’t want that to happen, but there are also so many positive aspects to take from this race. When the safety car pulled away, I saw a gap and I went for it, but obviously it didn’t work. So, now it’s easy for everyone to say that it was too big a risk, but I was driving at 330 kph on the straight, there was no reference on the left and I didn’t really have many options. Lewis was on the right, while Valtteri was ahead, but I couldn’t really go to the right. I also wanted to go for the inside, but once I locked up, it was tough luck. After that, with the flat spot, it was a shame that I had to give the position to Sergio. Apart from that, I think it was a very good race; we had a good pace and were in control. Anyway, this is how it goes sometimes. I had a chance to win and I tried. It just didn’t work. It was a quick decision, so there was a chance it wouldn’t be right. Now I think we need to look ahead because we had a strong car today. We’ll see what the other races will bring, but we need to stay hungry and keep working.
Ferrari now lead the Constructors champion by four point from Mercedes heading to the Spanish Grand Prix. Speaking following the race, Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene commented by saying:
As we had already seen yesterday, today our car proved to be very competitive and capable of doing well on any kind of circuit. We were controlling the race with Sebastian, but the double intervention of the Safety Car cancelled the gap we had built up. As for Kimi, after the accident on Lap 1, he charged back to second place. All weekend long, the team reacted strongly and calmly and now we’re looking ahead to the next race in Spain