Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen recovered from a “disaster” opening lap to finish Sunday’s 2017 Mexican Grand Prix in third place, racking up his second straight Formula One podium finish for the Maranello team.
Kimi Raikkonen started fifth at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday and looked poised to enter the fight at the front after title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel dropped back after contact. The 2007 Formula One world champion could not capitalize on the situation from the start, instead picking the wrong line and losing places of Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, leaving him sixth in the opening stages.
The Finn passed Sergio Perez on-track before leapfrogging Esteban Ocon after pitting under the Virtual Safety Car, which combined with Nico Hulkenberg’s retirement saw him rise up to third: “The initial start wasn’t too bad.” – Kimi Raikkonen explained, as reported by the Italian media at the end of the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix – “All the guys behind me got a massive tow. I was left alone. The people behind me mananged to go past. It was a disaster. But then we had enough speed to improve. Obviously a lot happened. It was a disaster but we had some patience and enough speed to improve. Once those in front of me stopped for tyres I could push, so we recovered well.” – Kimi added.
“I don’t know really, I don’t know what to say because I spent most of the race on my own. In the beginning I was stuck behind the Force India and I couldn’t get past. Once he stopped I had decent speed, but I was far behind the others and it wasn’t the nicest feeling. I don’t know, I was on my own, and at that point there was nothing to do, the guys in front of me were so far and behind there was nobody. I have to say it was not too bad. But I kind of expected to be this way after yesterday; I think the biggest issue was the first lap.” – the Finnish driver said.
Asked for his reaction on Lewis Hamilton’s fourth title win, Kimi Raikkonen added: “It’s great for Lewis, it’s a lot of wins, a lot of championships. What can I say? We can be happy for him, but inside… I don’t know.”
Kimi Raikkonen finished the race third for Scuderia Ferrari ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel, who saw his hopes of a fifth F1 title end in Mexico despite fighting back from the opening lap contact.