Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen said that he could not use the full performance of his SF70H Formula 1 car in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday as a result of inconsistent tyre behaviour. Kimi will start the Formula One season finale only fifth, having qualified seven tenths of a second away from polesitter Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes.
The sister Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was over half a second off the pace in third, with Daniel Ricciardo getting ahead of Raikkonen for fourth in the final moments of qualifying: “I think the car was very good but it was tricky to make the tyres work consistently. It was a good feeling with the car but the tyres were some corners very good and then a bit too snappy and hard to make them work well.” – the Finnish driver explained, as reported earlier today by Italian national sports newspaper based in Rome Corriere dello Sport.
Asked where in particular the tyres had been a problem, Kimi Raikkonen replied: “It gave good grip but it just snapped a little bit and there was oversteer on the last lap and oversteer in [Turn] 11 on the exit that compromised the next few corners. I felt there was a lot of speed but I couldn’t really use it.”
Vettel said he had struggled with the complex leading onto the back straight, but believes Ferrari will be quicker in the race: “I was fighting a bit in qualifying with the sequence of [Turns] 5/6/7, but overall we are happy with the car around the lap. A bit of a shame to be that far back. Tomorrow we have good pace so should be closer. It should be a good race, overtaking is not straightforward but it’s not impossible. Let’s see.”