Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen has refuted the idea that the Maranello team has lost ground on Mercedes in recent races and believes performance is still variable depending on the circuit. The 2007 Formula 1 world champion saw his Singapore Grand Prix ended before the first corner after being tangled up in a collision with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Coupled with Mercedes securing victory with Lewis Hamilton and third place for Valtteri Bottas at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, Ferrari is now 102 points behind the German manufacturer at the top of the F1 world constructors’ championship while the Finnish driver is a distant fifth in the drivers’ standings.
After being quizzed about Mercedes rampant return from the summer break, with Lewis Hamilton claiming three consecutive wins, Kimi Raikkonen feels his team has not lost ground in terms of performance but pace is dictated by circuit characteristics: “In Singapore Sebastian was first and I was fourth in qualifying so if you compare it with Mercedes we were better. Then we basically didn’t race. I don’t know why you look at things in such a negative way. It’s up and down, some circuits are better for you, some for the other guys but it’s a normal story and there are so many reasons for those. The whole season is one season and you count the points at the end. It’s pointless to look at one race here, one race there. It’s over the whole year that counts.” – the Finnish driver explained, as reported by the Italian media earlier today.
Kimi Raikkonen is certain that trend will remain for the rest of the 2017 Formula One season starting this weekend at Sepang as Scuderia Ferrari hopes to strike back having gone without a race win since Hungary in July: “We hope for the best, tomorrow we get some ideas but to be honest in some weekends things start a bit better and in a more straightforward way and everything becomes easier and in others you have to struggle a bit to find the right way. But then come Saturday or Sunday it’s usually okay. It is impossible to really answer, I have the feeling we should be okay here but I might be right or I might be wrong.” – Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen concluded during the press conference on Thursday.