Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen admitted that the Maranello team “did not have enough speed” compared to rivals Mercedes, as he trailed Lewis Hamilton, prior to late tyre drama at the 2017 British Grand Prix. Front-row starter Kimi Raikkönen slotted into second position and gradually drifted away from leader Hamilton, with the Briton preserving a 10-second advantage up front at the Silverstone track on Sunday.
Kimi nonetheless managed to hold a comfortable buffer over the other Mercedes driver, Valtteri Bottas, though was slowed by a front-left tyre failure with three laps remaining, necessitating an additional pit-stop to change the tyres. The Finnish driver emerged in fourth place, but moved up to third a lap later, when Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel was also hit by a similar-looking tyre problem:
“We had all weekend a few places [corners] that were quite difficult for us. I tried to hang on to Lewis, tried to keep the gap, but we just didn’t have enough speed. In the end the gap [over Bottas] was fine for us, but then two laps from the end, just before Turn 6, on the first straight, the left tyre… it didn’t explode but the rubber part came off suddenly. I don’t think I hit anything, everything felt normal before just that moment, luckily I came back quite fast, but we destroyed the front wing after that because tyre was flapping around. I was very unlucky, and then in a way lucky, [but] I didn’t want to see that [for] Seb it happened to him a lap later… I don’t know. We could have been second today, but we didn’t really have the speed against Lewis. We have some work to be done; it was a decent start, but once we fell behind [Hamilton] there was not really a chance to beat him.” – Kimi Raikkonen explained at the end of the 2017 British Grand Prix, as reported by the Italian media.
Kimi Raikkonen currently holds fifth in the Formula One standings, having amassed 98 points, as the Maranello team has not triumphed since May’s Monaco Grand Prix, when Sebastian Vettel led home a 1-2 finish.