Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen says he has no concerns about the Maranello team losing a performance jump to Mercedes after the Italian manufacturer were thoroughly off the pace at the 2017 Formula One season finale in Abu Dhabi last weekend. The Finnish driver finished the 55-lap race in fourth place but 45 seconds off winner Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes – and an eye-catching 26 seconds behind Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel – at the Yas Marina circuit having been forced into fuel saving for the second half of the race which hampered his outright performance.
Kimi Raikkonen has shrugged off the Ferrari problems by claiming it was track-specific, combined with his fuel saving issues, and has faith the Italian manufacturer can eliminate the problem in the future by targeting performance consistency: “As we have seen before, in some races one team is stronger than the other, and then it’s the other way around” – the 2007 Formula One world champions said, as reported by the Italian media on Monday – “This was the last race of the year, of course we wanted to do as well as we could but they were very strong here. Next year with new cars, new things, so I don’t think we should worry too much. We always try to improve in all areas to be the fastest and we’re not going to be happy until we finish one-two all the time. Obviously that’s not going to be easy, for sure they were strong here but I wouldn’t worry for next year. We’ll do our job, we have to improve here and there, minimise the issues and apart from that we should be okay.” – the Finnish driver added at the end of the 2017 Formula One season.
Kimi Raikkonen’s fourth place in Abu Dhabi coupled with Daniel Ricciardo’s three DNF in the final four races saw him leapfrog the Red Bull driver in the F1 World Drivers’ championship to pinch fourth place in the final standings. However, Kimi ends the 2017 F1 season as the only driver in the top six without a victory to his name, a run which stretches back to the 2013 Australian Grand Prix.