Ancora in corsa–21/09/2017
Kimi Raikkonen hits out at Ferrari F1 2017 title chance sceptics
Kimi Raikkonen believes it is wrong to assume Ferrari will struggle against Formula 1 championship rival Mercedes in the upcoming grands prix.
Ferrari had been expected to achieve a strong result in Singapore last weekend as the tight and twisty street Marina Bay circuit suited its car.
But polesitter Sebastian Vettel, his Ferrari team-mate Raikkonen and Max Verstappen collided on the run to Turn 1, taking all three out of the race.
Lewis Hamilton won the race with Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas third, allowing Hamilton to extend his lead over Vettel to 28 points while Mercedes moved 102 clear of Ferrari.
The upcoming races in Malaysia and Japan are expected to suit Mercedes, but Raikkonen believes Ferrari can be in the mix.
"You [the media] assume that it’s difficult. We don’t," he said.
"We go there, it’s another race, another weekend, and we go there full of fight and we’ll do our best."
Vettel was still optimistic about his and Ferrari’s chances, as the championship enters its final six races.
"It’s a pity we couldn’t show our pace [in Singapore]; but we have other races ahead of us and I am sure there will be more opportunities for us," he said.
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene insisted Ferrari "will be back".
"That was very disappointing and it was definitely not the result we were expecting," said Arrivabene.
"But it doesn’t mean that the battle is all over, just that it has become more difficult.
"We proved that we have an excellent car and two great drivers.
"We guarantee that we will be fighting right to the final corner of the very last grand prix of the year."
Hamilton denies Mercedes favourite everywhere now
Hamilton is expecting a close battle in the deciding races, and is adamant there are still tracks where Mercedes will not be favourite.
Though he said his team "should be OK" in the next event at Sepang and that "we’ll be fine" at Austin in October, he reckons at least three other tracks are more open.
"Then we have Japan, high downforce circuit; could be close, Red Bulls are very very strong at that circuit," said Hamilton.
"It won’t definitely be our strongest circuit.
"I think Brazil would be a place where these guys [Red Bull] will be particularly strong and Ferrari will be particularly strong.
"Honestly, I think it’s going to be very close in the next races.
"It’s hard to predict, [Brazil] particularly and maybe when you go to Mexico.
"You’ve put your maximum downforce on but because it’s so high there’s little drag and maybe the cars that have a little bit more downforce might just have the edge on us.
"But it’s all hearsay."