21 April 2013
Raikkonen: We didn't have the speed to challenge Vettel
Kimi Raikkonen: Second is obviously better than third place but we haven't won and that's what we try to do...
Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen has said he just didn't have the speed during the Bahrain Grand Prix to challenge eventual winner Sebastian Vettel.
Raikkonen had looked strong in practice – and was quickest on Friday – however, a poor qualifying performance left him eighth on the grid and with it all to do on Sunday.
Despite another sluggish start though, and a poor opening two laps, the Finn made his two-stop strategy pay off, and with most of the other front runners opting for three, he came through to claim the runners-up spot, 9.1 seconds adrift of P1 at the chequered flag.
It was a good performance, especially as the Enstone-based outfit later confirmed he had suffered an allergic reaction before the start.
“You're never really happy if you don't win, but I suppose second place is as close as you can get,” said Raikkonen following the fourth round in the 2013 F1 World Championship. “I drove to the maximum and the car had the pace that we missed in qualifying yesterday so it was a pretty good result.
“We didn't have the speed to challenge Sebastian today but we did have the pace to get both cars on the podium so I'm happy for the team.”
Pressed on if it was qualifying that cost him the opportunity to win, Kimi admitted it definitely didn't help, although he reiterated that the E21 was no match on race day for Vettel's RB9.
“Yesterday wasn't ideal and I think it [only starting eighth] didn't help,” he explained. “But I think overall we didn't have the speed to beat Red Bull here this weekend - and even if yesterday we could have been a few places better, I still think we couldn't have challenged on speed, whatever we would have done. I would say second was the best that we could achieve.”
As for why he went for two-stops, Raikkonen added that that had been the plan after practice on day one: “We planned to try to do a two-stop on Friday because it felt okay and today it worked well so we gained a lot of places,” he continued. “I didn't have a very strong first or second lap, so I lost two places. However, after that the car started to come to me and I could start pushing more and more, and in the end it was okay.”
So is he happy with second? “Second is obviously better than third place but we haven't won and that's what we try to do. Today we got good points, we didn't lose too many to Sebastian but obviously it doesn't help to finish second if he's winning all the time. So we [will need to] try to find something [before the Spanish Grand Prix in three weeks time],” he concluded.
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