GP Russia, commenti post gara–01/05/2016
Russian Grand Prix – “The best we could achieve today”
Kimi pleased with handling throughout the race
Overall it hasn’t been a very easy weekend, but today we tried to make the best out of it. I had a good start and managed to get second position but then, like last year, after the Safety Car I could not hold up the Williams behind me on the straight. After that I was trying to fight them back, but I lost one place to Hamilton. So we decided to run longer to gain positions and we did quite a pretty good job. The car was handling very well through the whole race, even if we were forced to do some fuel saving and this affected our laptimes. The third place we managed today is what we were able to achieve, but is not ideal, because we want to be at the front with both cars. It’s a pity not to be fighting for the win, but we take this result and keep on working to put ourselves in a better position.
Thank you. Over to Kimi. Kimi Raikkonen your third place man today. Very popular man out there, Kimi, and you have the honour today… this is the 700th podium for the Ferrari team. How are you feeling about third place in particular today?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Of course it’s not exactly what we want. We want to win races and put the two cars as far up as we can. We tried to today. I had a pretty OK start, managed to get Valtteri on the first lap but again after the restart, same like last time here, we just don’t have the speed. He managed to get me and then when I tried to get past him obviously Lewis got past me, but we just had to try to run a bit longer and pass them and we managed to do the Williams but not fast enough for Mercedes. Then we had a good speed but with the fuel saving we had to take some measures, so obviously you cannot push as fast as the car can go.
Lewis says he’s not sure you knew he was coming through. Did you know?
KR: yeah, I could see him. When I tried to pass Bottas then I was obviously close to him in there and got some understeer and ran wide, so he got a good run on me. I tried to block a little bit but it was too late, so I had to let him go.
Q: Kimi, you obviously had a good battle with Valtteri at the beginning and then you were slightly ambushed by Lewis after the restart. Beyond that it seemed to be a pretty regulation race for you. Was it a lonely experience to some degree?
KR: I think a little bit yes – but the start is so important here because it’s such a long straight to the first corner, so I got a very good – well not very good but as good as the other two in front of me – start and then you get the big tow effect and I managed to get past Valtteri. I was surprised how little Nico pushed, or went fast in the first lap and obviously it was a Safety Car and after the Safety Car the same happened as last year, that Williams with the long straight just towed past me and nothing that I could do on that. Then I was able… speed-wise the lap time was good. I was able to follow and then I tried once to overtake in the first corner and was a bit unsure. I lost some speed a few corners later and made some small mistakes, so Lewis got next to me. I tried to squeeze him a little bit but then he was there and I had to let him go and the only chance was to follow them and run a little bit longer and push when we had free traffic. We managed to get Williams. Think the car behaved pretty nicely but there was quite a bit of fuel saving to do, limiting us on the lap time. But it was a fine race. Definitely want to be more higher up with two cars – not ideal on that side. I had quite a big struggle the whole weekend so I’ll take third place but in the race the car was good, like I wanted, but qualifying we struggled, and in the practice. OK, fine but not what we want.
Q: (Kirill Zaytsev – 66.RU) Kimi, will we see you here next year?
KR: I don’t know.
Q: (Kirill Zaytsev – 66.RU) What about your contract, I mean?
KR: I have a contract until the end of this year so who knows what will happen next year but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t enjoy what I do. Obviously I have a passion for racing but many things are not in our hands. We can only try to do our best and then see what the future will bring. We go race by race. I’m sure at some point this year, latest next year we will know.
Q: (Angelique Belokopytov – AutoDigest) So before the season began, there was some expectation that Ferrari’s performances which were announced and now after a few races we see that it’s not really achieved so my question is for you Kimi, I’m asking for your point of view, what Ferrari is missing to be a real threat to Mercedes?
KR: I think it’s not very easy to pinpoint what we need but I’m sure we know quite a few small things that we want to improve and we know that there’s some improvements coming but Mercedes were very fast for the last few years and they are fast this year. I don’t think that so far this year we have ever really put together a really clean weekend either so that doesn’t help. You cannot give anything away and expect to beat a team like them. We definitely have it to be done but I am quite confident that once we get everything as we want that we can be very strong as a team. We’ve been failing to finish with two cars in the position that we probably deserve so yes, it’s been disappointing but now we have a good way of doing things. We are behind where we want to be but I’m sure as a team we will get there.