Kimi Raikkonen has played down the Lotus team's inability to run with its double DRS 'device' at the Belgian Grand Prix, suggesting that he did not deserve to win the race anyway.
The Finn managed to survive the first corner incident precipitated by team-mate Romain Grosjean
locking wheels with Lewis Hamilton, but could not keep pace with polesitter Jenson Button
and also had to give best to a charging Sebastien Vettel during the pit-stop cycles. Lotus had made no secret of its intention to give its version of 'double DRS' a debut at Spa, but rain throughout Friday's practice sessions made evaluating the correct set-up impossible, delaying its introduction until at least this weekend's Italian Grand Prix
"We couldn't use it because Friday was such bad weather, but it's better third than not to finish," Raikkonen confirmed after moving himself above Hamilton and back into fourth overall in the season's standings, "Okay, we didn't win, but we didn't have the speed today, so we didn't deserve to win either. In the last three races, we had the speed [at circuits] where you cannot overtake and, here, we just didn't have the speed. I will take third place - I'm pretty happy to finish on the podium given how difficult the car was handling and how tricky it was throughout the whole race."
Despite lacking the boost that the new development would have provided, Raikkonen was still able to pull off passing moves, notably in order to avoid trouble at the start, and then to overcome Michael Schumacher on the run to Eau Rouge.
"I had an okay start," he agreed, "I gained one place on Sauber and I think I had a very similar start to Jenson. I saw in the mirrors that there's some accidents going to happen, so I was pretty lucky to get out of it. I think they just missed me on the rear. The Williams
[of Pastor Maldonado] tried to get me – but he had a jump start. I could see it already, before the lights went, that somebody was moving a lot so, for me, it was no problem...."
The Finn also explained that his move on old rival Schumacher had not been an easy one given the handling traits and lack of straight-line speed in comparison to the German's Mercedes.
"My car wasn't very nice to drive the whole race," he lamented, "Yesterday, with new tyres in qualifying, it was okay, but we were quite far away from the guys in front of us, so I wasn't expecting a very easy ride and it turned out to be very difficult.
"For the first few laps with new tyres, we were always good, but then sliding. There was no front end, no rear end, just struggling with the grip, so we had to run a bit more downforce to get grip. We were really slow in a straight line so, with Michael, I passed him once, he got me back, and I knew my only chance was try to get the DRS and then to be ahead of him because, even if I had the DRS, I could not pass him on the straight with the limiter. I had to just take a chance to overtake him with the KERS into Eau Rouge, and it kind of paid off, but he almost got me back, which shows us that we didn't really have the speed today."
Heading to the fastest circuit on the schedule this weekend, Raikkonen is hoping for some better southern European weather in aid to give the Lotus the best chance of matching its rivals and maintaining his push for the title.
"I don't know if we were lacking any power [in Belgium] - that's what people always say, but we don't know what we have," he explained, "We just didn't have the speed today and, hopefully, a bit more warm weather and the layout of the circuit [at Monza] might make a difference.
"I don't expect just to be suddenly in the front, or be up there easily, but we've been up there more or less at every circuit and giving ourselves a good chance. This was one of the most difficult races, for sure, so hopefully it will go back to what it's been in previous races for Monza. We'll just have to wait and see."