Motorsport Week  |    13 November 2017

Kimi Raikkonen wasn't worried by Lewis Hamilton's charge


Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen says he was not unduly concerned by Lewis Hamilton’s late charge, as the Finn claimed his third straight podium finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Räikkönen maintained a solid third place for much of the race, behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas, but clear of Red Bull rival Max Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton’s recovery from the pit lane, running the alternative tyre strategy, brought him onto the rear of Räikkönen’s car, having surged up behind the Ferrari driver.

Hamilton, though, was unable to overhaul Räikkönen during the closing laps, and the Finn revealed that strong traction exiting Juncao meant he was able to defend into the Senna S.

“He [Hamilton] got close to me, also I got close to Sebastian and Valtteri, but I wasn’t too worried, I had a pretty good run out of the last corner, so it was OK,” he said.

“I know that they’re very fast when they put full power and full energy and DRS, they catch up a lot by the end of the straight.

“But I was quite comfortable with a, let’s say, gap in the last three corners and I was surprised that he didn’t go closer to me.

“That’s why I wasn’t too worried – but then I locked a few times into Turn 1 because I think I was looking too much in the mirrors and not really braking so heavy and then just locked a bit.”

Räikkönen ultimately finished just 4.6 seconds behind winning team-mate Vettel, but described his race as “a bit boring” due to being unable to overtake.

“To be honest, my car was pretty good,” said Raikkonen. “Maybe the first part was a bit tricky. More, close to that first pits top it got a bit better. The second, with the Soft tyres, with the pitstop was very good.

“I took it very easy in the beginning and was still catching up with the guys in the front but I felt always I took care of my tyres but once I pushed, it’s nothing… you can get close but you cannot really do anything.

“The circuit, the cars this year, in this kind of place, it seems to be very difficult to pass anybody and it gets a bit boring, unfortunately.”


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