Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen says Formula 1’s fuel limits meant the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix had “nothing to do with racing” because he had to save so much fuel on Sunday. The Maranello team’s driver finished fourth, fending off Max Verstappen for the whole race and gaining a position when Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull retired ahead of him. However, Kimi said he didn’t enjoy the race, as the Yas Marina track requires significant fuel saving.
The Abu Dhabi race was not exactly a thriller. The positions remained the same after the start, even if there were a few duels and Kimi made sure Ricciardo knew he was right behind him. Nothing much changed over the following laps, as Yas Marina is not a great venue for overtaking. The run of pit stops began on lap 15, it being the best way to make up ground in Abu Dhabi. Verstappen kicked it off, with Ferrari “covering” the move, bringing in Kimi, who was in front of Max, on the following lap. A switch to the Supersofts and a change of wing angle, all in just over 2 seconds: the strategy worked and the Iceman maintained station.
“To be honest, the whole race was pretty much fuel-saving, trying to hold the guy behind and save enough fuel to be legal at the end.” – Kimi Raikkonen told TV crews after the race – “Nothing to do with racing, really. Unfortunately that’s the rules. Some circuits it’s like this, and it’s not really fun. We had a decent car, but when it’s like this there’s nothing to do with the car. Rules are rules, it just doesn’t feel like racing really, we are just trying to use the amount of fuel we are allowed, and cruise every lap.” – the Finnish driver added.
Kimi Raikkonen’s teammate Sebastian Vettel also confirmed that he had to save fuel at the beginning of the second stint, which meant he lost touch with the Mercedes drivers ahead, eventually finishing 19 seconds behind race winner Valtteri Bottas. Kimi Raikkonen’s fourth place finish sees him jump ahead of Daniel Ricciardo to take fourth spot in the final 2017 Formula One classification, while Scuderia Ferrari has racked up its biggest points score in one season, with 522 to its name.