Kimi Raikkonen thinks the biggest advantage Mercedes have is being able to run higher engine modes when they want and generate more power than the rest of the teams.
The new engine formula comes with a restriction on the number of power unit elements a driver can use each year (5 this year) without incurring a penalty. This means that the engines are limited on mileage in regards to how much they can run on full power.
Mercedes have been famous for finding much more time than other engine manufacturers during qualifying and some stages in the race and this is usually attributed to the engine having more power. Although Ferrari are rumored to be closest in terms of horse power, Raikkonen believes they are still far behind when it comes to full power.
“You have different modes you can run and we know that Mercedes can turn up their stuff in qualifying and probably in the races, at some point. There are always small different things you can do during the race and we always try to run as much as we can but there are many things and many conditions.”
“We’ve seen it before, here and there in race conditions and in qualifying there’s a lot – in the last qualifying they go a lot faster. We’ve all got GPS, we can see what happens, but we’re doing our maximum and this is what we can do. We have to improve things and that’s nothing new.”
Raikkonen had a fairly passive race to P4 as he was passed by Max Verstappen after a VSC period and later by Rosberg towards the end of the race, which earned the German a 10-second penalty. Raikkonen said the damage his car suffered from the clash mean he was unable to close the gap to Rosberg to undr 10 seconds which would have seen him finish on the podium.
“I kind of expected he [Rosberg] would try something because he had a bit of a funny line going into Turn One. In Turn Two I was turning in and suddenly saw a flash in the mirrors, had to run right otherwise maybe we both finish the race there.” He said after the race.
“There was a bit [of damage] on the endplate but a lot more on the floor, it was missing parts in front of the rear tyre and for sure that didn’t help. All those things are there for a purpose, but that’s what happened and, unfortunately we couldn’t get 3rd place.”
Kimi didn’t believe he could have held off Verstappen even if the Dutchman wasn’t so close when the VSC ended.
“You have to be very positive on the lap time behind the VSC, I was very close to Pérez and you have to be a bit guessing when the VSC is going to go off. You know it’s about ten seconds after the warning, but either he timed it perfectly or got a bit lucky. He had the spin to pass me and I don’t know if we could have done it better. I don’t think it changed an awful lot our race, but it was not ideal.”
The Finn also wasn’t very keen on drinking the shoey had he finished on the podium.
“They did what?” He exclaimed. “Ah, everybody can do whatever they want but no…”
Image via Twitter – Scuderia Ferrari