Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen admits the fact that he was “too far behind” the leaders in order to recover lost ground, having struggled during the early stages of the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix. Kimi started from third position at the Red Bull Ring circuit, but immediately slipped behind Red Bull rival Daniel Ricciardo and Haas’ Romain Grosjean on the opening lap, which made things a lot more difficult in his attempt to fight for a podium finish in Spielberg, just like last year.
Kimi Raikkonen managed to quickly overtake Romain Grosjean but drifted further behind Daniel Ricciardo, and later came under pressure from the recovering Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes used the undercut to enable Lewis Hamilton to jump Kimi, while the Ferrari driver was left out longer than his rivals, ostensibly to aid Sebastian Vettel’s chase of leader Valtteri Bottas, after the duo both stopped.
Valtteri Bottas breezed past Kimi, who was still on 40 laps used tyres to recapture the lead and Scuderia Ferrari soon serviced the Finnish driver for fresh tyres, though he emerged some 10 seconds behind the scrap for third involving Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton: “Obviously I was hoping for better. But I lost a few places in the start then struggled a little bit with the balance in the first part of the first stint. It was getting better but I never really could recover the good speed on the second set of tyres as I was too far behind…It’s not ideal, but that’s how it is. It was not a very easy weekend for me this weekend and I’m hoping that the next one [the British Grand Prix] will be better.” – Kimi Raikkonen said, as reported at the end of the race by Italian national sports newspaper based in Rome Corriere dello Sport.
Raikkonen felt he had the pace to match Hamilton and third-place Daniel Ricciardo at one stage, only for the duo to kick on and pull away in the closing stages: “They had very good speed. I had some issues with the lapped cars and I was catching up with Hamilton but then suddenly they sped up. We didn’t really slow down, they seemed to speed up. Obviously like I said we were too far behind in the first part. We were catching up nicely. We were planning to come in the next lap after Hamilton stopped, but I think they realised that they might have jumped us already.” – Kimi added.
Ahead of the 2017 British Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place, Kimi Raikkonen holds fifth place in the Formula One championship standings with 83 points.