Kimi Raikkonen says he doesn't believe in bad luck despite seeing a potential podium finish literally go up in smoke at the Australian Grand Prix two weekends ago.
The Finn, after a flying start, was running comfortably in the top three when he was forced to pit with flames emanating from his airbox with only 21 laps on the board. Team-mate Sebastian Vettel was leading at the time and, while dropping to third by the chequered flag due to poor tyre strategy, at least saw the end of the race. The German retired only once in 2015, the first season where he partnered Raikkonen, while the Finn was sidelined no fewer than five times in 19 races.
Despite that, however, Raikkonen refused to dwell on the thought that he might be the magnet for Ferrari's mechanical woes, despite clearly being disgruntled at losing another strong points finish.
"Not really," he said on the eve of the Bahrain Grand Prix, "Obviously, I'd rather have no issues but, sometimes, these things happen - but you cannot just say it was bad luck. We have to do things better, try to avoid any issues.
"In one way, it's unlucky to have a problem in a race but, when something breaks, it's not just luck. There's an issue behind it and we just have to make sure we finish those issues. We didn't have any problems in testing so, when there are things that you don't know, you cannot do anything about it. I'm sure we'll be fine now, but that issue cost us in the race in Melbourne."
The Finn confirmed that the engine itself had not been too badly damaged in the incident, although Ferrari had had to make repairs ahead of this weekend.
"There was nothing with the engine in the first place because, if there's anything with the engine, some damage, it will go and there's nothing a driver can do – destroy it or save it," the 2007 world champion noted, "It was just a turbo problem, it broke and there's nothing you could do. I lost the power and just drove slowly back to the pits. It was a turbo issue and they changed it now."
Raikkonen also refused to believe that luck had had any part to play in his decent record at Bahrain International Circuit, despite racking up seven podiums in ten visits.
"There's nothing to do with luck, as I've said before," he claimed, "In some years, I didn't have a great starting position but always managed to do a good race. It's a circuit where you can overtake if you have the speed in the race, but what happened in the past doesn't change anything. Obviously, we can have a strong weekend with the car working well and go from there if the car has the speed.
"We go into this weekend like we go into any race weekend, to try and make the best out of it and see where we are, but there should be a big challenge from other teams. Mercedes will be fast as always but the others also. The target is to do as well as we can. This is a new weekend. It's the normal story: we try to prepare ourselves as well as we can, go through practice and do the best we can, then we see the end result. Hopefully we can be up there fighting at the front."