GP d’Europa, commenti post gara–19/06/2016
Raikkonen sure he would’ve beaten Perez to podium without penalty
Kimi Raikkonen said his Baku pit entry penalty cost him a European Grand Prix Formula 1 podium as he would have resisted Sergio Perez without it.
The Ferrari driver was running third ahead of Perez and though he felt he could have defended the position to the flag, he did not have the pace to pull out a gap of five seconds to nullify the penalty.
Perez passed him on track to secure the place on the road at the start of the final lap.
"The penalty changed an awful lot the end result," said Raikkonen.
"I ran over the line, got penalised for that and I know the rule is the rule but there is zero gain on anything. I just missed the line and that’s it.
"I tried to pull the gap and was not able to do it with some traffic.
"I’m sure I could have kept the Force India behind but the end result would have been the same so there was no point to make a big fight."
Despite the result, Raikkonen was pleased with the performance of the car on Baku’s street circuit.
"It’s not the easiest track to overtake certain cars as they are quite fast on the straight," he said.
"We got quite easily past them. Let’s put it this way, I was expecting to have a harder time.
"The car was working well, the other cars in front seemed to struggle more with the tyres so we caught up with them.
"There was good speed but the penalty changed an awful lot the end result."
Perez said he knew a podium was safe when he caught Raikkonen but still wanted to make the pass and cross the line in the position.
"Kimi was very strong with his pace given the lap-age that he had [on his soft tyres]," said Perez.
"I knew that he had a penalty, so I got pretty close to him.
"I knew that the podium was secure but when I saw the opportunity, that it was safe enough to do it and no risk at all, I went for it, because it obviously feel a lot nicer to finish the race P3.
"It is well-deserved for the team because they have done an amazing job.
"It’s only the eighth race and we’ve done two podiums already – it’s been an incredible year so far."
Kimi Raikkonen: Ferrari F1 team still has a lot of work to do
Kimi Raikkonen believes Baku showed Ferrari has "a lot of work" ahead if it is to challenge Formula 1 pacesetter Mercedes on a regular basis.
Though Ferrari and Red Bull have been more of a threat recently, Mercedes has still won seven of 2016’s eight grands prix so far.
Sebastian Vettel finished second for Ferrari in both Montreal and Baku but having challenging Lewis Hamilton for victory in Canada he was losing around a second per lap to Nico Rosberg when both were pushing in Azerbaijan.
Raikkonen believes there is plenty more Ferrari, which has spent all but four of its engine development tokens, must do.
"We have quite a bit of work to be done to be able to challenge Mercedes every race, in every condition and when it doesn’t matter where we go," said Raikkonen, who finished fourth in Baku.
"It varies depending on the place, layout and conditions.
"To be really comfortable and challenge them, we have things to improve.
"If you take purely the result between the last couple of races, I’d say we were more close in Canada than in Baku.
"But then it swaps between different circuits, different conditions.
"It was not the easiest weekend for us.
"We were struggling with a lot of things but in the end, we turned it around."
Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene said he was pleased with the result in Baku but knows the team must deliver a stronger package for its drivers if it wants to challenge Mercedes consistently.
"Looking at the pace of Mercedes versus our pace, in Baku we have done a very good job," he said.
"But we need to provide our drivers – who on Sunday did a very strong race – with a better car."