Phillip Horton  |    |   1  |  16 April 2018

Chinese GP 'painful' amid setbacks - Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen labelled his Chinese Grand Prix as “painful” after he took a podium, having started from the front row, before recovering from sixth place.

Raikkonen lined up alongside team-mate Sebastian Vettel but was boxed in on the run to Turn 1 and dropped behind Valtteri Bottas, before ceding position to Max Verstappen into Turn 6.

Raikkonen was kept out by Ferrari and briefly led, though on worn tyres was unable to keep pace with Bottas and Vettel, dropping to sixth when he eventually stopped for fresh rubber.

The Safety Car period brought Raikkonen back into contention, and though he was jumped by Daniel Ricciardo, the Finn profited when Max Verstappen collided with Vettel.

Raikkonen passed the spinning duo and also overhauled Lewis Hamilton, who was delayed in avoiding the pair, to take third place.

“It was quite a painful race and not a very enjoyable one,” said Raikkonen.

“At the start I had a good jump, but then I had to back off and this cost me a few places.

“After the pit stop the car was pretty fast and the feeling was good; at that point we were behind, but I could see the other cars at the end of the straight.

“The Safety Car helped us, at that time we had fresh tires. I would say it took us back in the race.”

Raikkonen explained that he had more pace than Bottas, but was unable to get close enough in the dirty air to make a move.

“In the end I had a decent speed with the Mediums against the guys that were on the same tyres, but getting close to them and try to follow was really tricky,” he said.

“For sure we were faster than Valtteri, but when you get close it becomes more difficult, you lose so much grip in the process and lose so much downforce, especially in this kind of circuit.

“I just couldn't get enough of a run on him.

“I’ll take what I got, because at one point it didn’t look good at all.”

Raikkonen holds fifth position in the Drivers’ Championship, 24 points behind Vettel.

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