Scuderia Ferrari succeeded in winning the first race of the new Formula 1 season with Sebastian Vettel, but Kimi Raikkonen finished the Australian Grand Prix only in fourth position, as the Finn was not able to match the pace of his German team-mate, who in the end took a splendid race victory on Sunday.
Kimi Raikkonen was noticeable slower during the opening stint of the race at the Albert Park circuit, and later admitted that after he made the switch from the Ultrasoft to the Soft tyre in his one and only pit stop, the car felt a lot better, but it was unfortunately too late to recover the time lost in the early stage of the race: “Yesterday we suffered a bit with understeer on the car and it was a similar story on the first set of tyres. Once we put the soft tyres on, the car turned to be very good and I was very happy – but obviously at that point we were pretty much in nowhere land. I really think we understood yesterday already why we were lacking but it was too late. I think we know what we have to do and it should be OK.” – Kimi said, as reported by Tuttosport.
Despite the fact that Kimi Raikkonen was of course disappointed with the fourth place finish, the Finnish driver acknowledged that it was an improvement on the last couple of years where he failed to finish in Australia, and now hopes to be fighting closer with Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel during the Chinese Grand Prix, which will take place in two weeks time: “Yes it is a bit disappointing where I finished but we know what we have to do – and at least we finished. For a few years we hadn’t finished the race and obviously that wasn’t the ideal start for me. This is not 100% what we wanted but I’ll take it. Even if it’s disappointing, I’m pretty happy that we’ve understood a lot of things.” – Kimi added – “I am pretty confident that we’ll be back where we should be in the next race. You know we have a strong package and we have some foundation now and understanding, so that’s the main thing and we go from here.” – the Scuderia Ferrari driver concluded.