It looked like being a tough race, what with penalties and problems at the start, but it ended with both Scuderia Ferrari men on the podium. Kimi finishing second ahead of Seb was not something that would have been predicted going into the race. The result was down to the drivers of course, but also to a great job from the team, a well planned strategy and an SF71H which seemed particularly good at managing its tyres.
Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen made a dramatic start to the Austrian Grand Prix, sticking his Ferrari’s nose between the two Mercedes as he muscled his way to second place. The Maranello team’s driver started Sunday’s 71-lap Austrian Grand Prix from third on the grid but was running second at Turn 1 as he made a flying, and bold start.
However, a small mistake meant he ran wide and lost position, falling back to fourth behind the two Mercedes and Max Verstappen: “I had to back off a little bit because they were going to squeeze together, my decision was already gone there. I was scared I was going to be hit. But after that we ran wide and lost places.” – he explained at the end of the race.
But while Verstappen would go on to win the grand prix, both Mercedes drivers retired and Raikkonen was back in second place. Although the gap to Verstappen was almost 6.5s at one point, Kimi ate into his lead in the closing laps. Told to go for it by Ferrari, the Finn was just 1.5s behind the Red Bull driver when the chequered flag was waved: “The car came very good but we ran out of laps. I think we too it [too] easily too long. It’s a shame but we had a great car today in the end.” – he added.
Sebastian Vettel added to Ferrari’s joy as the German finished P3 on Sunday to take the lead in the Drivers’ Championship while Ferrari are also leading the Constructors. Summing up the result, Kimi Raikkonen acknowledged: “It was a good result from the team.”