Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen gave his chances of staying at the team in 2017 a boost on Sunday as after starting the race in fourth place the Iceman secured a third place finish just behind Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.
The result in Austria was Raikkonen’s fourth podium finish of the season and he heads to the next race the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit next week equal on points with team mate Sebastian Vettel with the pair on 96 points a piece. Speaking following the race Raikkonen commented by saying:
It was not an easy day but I did my best. Third position is an ok result but I’m a bit disappointed with where we ended up: considering the first part of the race, we expected more here as a team. At the beginning we had good speed to catch up a bit with the Mercedes, but then after my pit stop it was not easy to recover. I lost precious time trying to pass Ricciardo, I got close to him many times, but then I was losing traction trying to get out of turn two. Once I got past him I had a very good speed and I was very happy with the handling. In the last part of the race I think I could have passed Max, but with the yellow flags on track it was not possible. Handling-and-speed-wise today we got the maximum out of the car, but it was not enough because we want to be up there with both cars. Hopefully in Silverstone we’ll have a smoother weekend and a better result.
Ferrari are now 103 points behind leaders Mercedes in the race for the Constructors championship and speaking following the Austrian Grand Prix Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene commented by saying:
The result could have been better as Sebastian, today, would have finished very high on the podium without the tire failure. That happened when he was leading the race and all of a sudden, with no prior warning, so the causes will have to be investigated together with Pirelli. As for Kimi, he scored another nice podium finish: we had split strategies between our drivers and both our data and his feedback showed that he could have come ahead of Verstappen in the last stages of the races, had it not been for the yellow flags which came out following Perez’s crash.
Sebastian Vettel had a nightmare weekend as he was handed a gearbox penalty prior to qualifying meaning that the German started the race from ninth place and in the race he retired from the race on lap 26 after his right rear tyre exploded causing the German to spin on the main straight.
Speaking following the race he commented by saying:
When the rear right tire failed, I didn’t feel anything, or rather, I felt it when it was too late and it exploded out of the blue. There were no signes before that, everything was normal. I spoke with the people on the pit-wall and everything looked the same, the pace was the same as the lap before, the tires felt fine, the lap times were fine. It’s completely a question mark on why the tyre had the failure. Obviously the idea was to go on as long as possible with that set of tires and to shape our race on that idea, but I don’t think it was an aggressive strategy, as lots of people went longer than us on the same tires. Now there are still a lot of races left, but surely not finishing the race doesn’t help