Another weekend and another lacklustre showing from Kimi Räikkönen – the Ferrari driver has blamed damage to his car for another disappointing showing, this time at Sunday’s German Grand Prix.
The Finn ran on an opposing strategy after qualifying outside the top-ten – he planned on a long opening stint by starting on the Soft Pirelli tyres – but found his ambitions thwarted when he was involved in a number of brushes with other drivers in the early stages of the race.
His first contact came courtesy of an assault by Lewis Hamilton at the hairpin, after which he found himself pincered in a double-overtaking manouvre by teammate Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.
The latter saw him lose a section of his front wing, which ruined his car’s handling and consigned him to an eleventh placed finish – it was the fourth time this year that he has failed to finish in the points.
“We thought it was the right choice with the strategy but I got hit twice, ended up in the middle of two cars and damaged my front wing. The endplate came off. That didn’t help,” the 2007 World Champion said after the race.
“[It] killed the front left – the tyres were always OK except the front left. I couldn’t run as long as we wanted on the Super Softs and just lost performance because of the damage to the car.”
By contrast, teammate Alonso continued his unbroken run of points finishes – a run that stretches as far back as last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – and suggested that the team had some small steps in improving its troublesome F14T racer.
The Spaniard spent much of his racing battling with the two Red Bull Racing Renaults, first with Sebastian Vettel and then followed by a thrilling stoush with Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages.
“We made a small step forward and even if that didn’t translate into lap time, it encourages us to keep trying to improve,” the two-time World Champion said after finishing fifth in the race.
“It was a good race, even if it was very complex, as we decided to change from a two to a three-stop strategy.
“It was not easy fighting while also keeping an eye on consumption and in the end, with the help of newer tyres, getting ahead of Ricciardo meant we finished in the highest position that we were capable of.”
Images via Sutton Images
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