Kimi Raikkonen‘s podium finish at the 2017 Russian Grand Prix will prove to his critics that the 2007 Formula One world champion is still capable of fighting for victories and helping his current team. The Finn was more impressed by the Scuderia Ferrari in Sochi than he has been at previous race weekends this year, but unfortunately for the Maranello team, Valtteri Bottas had the best start and as a result managed to pull ahead off the line and take the lead, which he eventually kept until the end of the Grand Prix. This pushed Raikkonen down to third, behind his Ferrari teammate, Sebastian Vettel, who could also do nothing to prevent Mercedes from winning the race.
Though he appreciates the new piece of silverware he now has to display, Raikkonen is disappointed that he didn’t get off to a better start, moving up a place instead of moving down: “Overall, it has been a more positive weekend compared to the first three races. I was happier with the car and when I needed to push I could get the lap time out. The race was decided at the start and I had a pretty bad one. I thought I was losing a lot, but I managed to get the position back and stay there. My car was good all the way through the race, but after that, not a lot happened. We tried our best but there was not much to do, I was just holding my position. So, obviously, I’m happy for the podium, but I’m disappointed to lose a place at the start instead of gaining one.” – Kimi Raikkonen explained, as reported by Tuttosport.
Scuderia Ferrari are now looking ahead to the next race, the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona where they must keep an eye on the opposition as the entire grid are expecting important upgrades. The Maranello side at least has a very strong foundation to build upon, perhaps even the strongest in the start of the 2017 Formula One season: “Now we need to keep working, because small details can make a big difference in the end.”
Kimi Raikkonen also found time to congratulate fellow Finn Bottas on his maiden win in Formula 1: “I am very happy for Valtteri who won his first race, I’m sure he will have a bright future.”