GP Singapore, commenti post gara–22/09/2013
Singapore GP: Kimi Raikkonen says back pain no problem in race
Kimi Raikkonen said he barely felt his back problem as he charged from 13th on the grid to third in the Singapore Grand Prix.
But the Finn admitted it was an issue he would have to try to resolve before the next race in Korea, and particularly before he joins Ferrari for the 2014 Formula 1 season.
The back pain that struck on Saturday in Singapore was a lingering legacy from a 2001 testing crash.
Raikkonen admitted that at one stage he was unlikely to race this weekend.
"I didn’t feel it too much in the race," he said. "Yesterday not ideal and I almost didn’t drive.
"We have to be happy enough with finishing third and we can sort the problems for the next race.
"It is not the first time I have had some issues with my back and I know I have some work to do over the winter so we will see what we can do.
"Now afterwards it’s not 100 per cent. We have two weeks to rest and get it right. We did the best we could, and could not achieve much more today."
Raikkonen sealed his unlikely podium finish with a bold pass around the outside of Jenson Button’s McLaren seven laps from the end.
The Finn played down the impressive manoeuvre.
"Maybe it looks more tricky," said Raikkonen. "You have more grip when you brake on-line and it’s easier to know where you have to brake than on the inside.
"It’s not an easy one but I managed to get past and that is the main thing."
Kimi Räikkönen Pleased with Singapore Comeback
After a weekend made all the more difficult by injury, our Iceman produced a storming drive to recover from his lowly P13 grid slot all the way to the podium at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. All in a day’s work for the fearless Finn it would seem…
What a race! Sum it up for us…
It’s been a difficult weekend, so to finish on the podium is a good result. The car felt good and it could have been even better if I’d been able to do more work in practice, but even with a better qualifying performance I think third was the maximum we could achieve today.
And with a back injury as well…?
The problem with my back hasn’t been ideal, but it felt much better than yesterday and I didn’t really notice it in the race; it’s only now that it doesn’t feel 100%.
That was quite some comeback after qualifying…
I had pretty good speed and could overtake a few people. Obviously you have more grip when you brake on the racing line and you know more or less where you have to brake; much more than you do on the inside. It wasn’t an easy one but we managed to get past and that’s the main thing.
It was quite tense for a while there at the end… were you nervous?
Not really. I was following Jenson [Button] and I could see that his tyres were going off so I just applied some pressure. I knew I had to get past him because obviously some other people had changed to new tyres and they were catching us quickly. I managed to pass him and pull away and luckily nobody managed to catch me in the end so it wasn’t too bad.
The strategy played out perfectly for you in the end; did you have that in mind all along?
We had a plan and we knew that if the safety car came out we would have to try to run until the end. Luckily some other teams couldn’t manage it and had to pit.
Have you ever had a more painful race?
For a long time I’ve had some issues with my back so it’s nothing new really. There have maybe been some more painful races where something goes wrong. When you don’t finish the race it’s more painful in a way, so it doesn’t always have to be physical. I have some time to recover before Korea and we were pretty strong there last year, so let’s see what we can do next time out.