Kimi Raikkonen's chances of making the most of the annual race of attrition in Montreal were dented at the very start, after the Finn ran into the back of Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa's car and had to run the remaining 70 laps with a damaged front wing.

Having been out-qualified by Nick Heidfeld's BMW Sauber, both Ferrari pilots were keen to make up ground in the opening corners, but tripped over each other, with Raikkonen giving his team-mate the slightest of nudges between turns one and two. Although light, the contact was enough to tweak the F2007's front wing, affecting its handling for the rest of the oft-interrupted race.

Running behind Massa on the road, Raikkonen was also obliged to queue up behind the Brazilian when the team decided to make its first pit-stop under the safety car, and then found debris from one of the many accidents lodged in the already damaged wing as the race entered its closing stages, preventing him from making a charge for the podium after Massa was disqualified.

The Finn eventually came home fifth, 13 seconds adrift of first-time winner Lewis Hamilton as the field was given just over ten laps to sort itself out at the end, and tried to put on a phlegmatic face as he talked through the events of the day.

"It was a very difficult race for me, right from the beginning," he confirmed, "I did not have much grip at the start, being on the dirty side of the track, and, immediately after, I hit Felipe's car with my front wing.

"There were so many safety car periods that it caused chaos and, on top of that, after Kubica's accident, a piece of debris got stuck in my front wing and I had so much understeer and some difficulties with the brakes. All these problems put together made this a really complicated race but, at the end of the day, I picked up some points. It could have been better - but it could also have been worse."

While technical director Luca Baldisseri claimed that race pace was 'alright', team boss Jean Todt was altogether more disappointed, having seen circumstances prevent Ferrari from capitalising on a rare off-day for world champion Fernando Alonso, who came home seventh.

"In a race that was confusing and chaotic thanks to the numerous safety cars periods, we come away with just four points for Kimi," he reflected, "We have to study everything about this weekend to understand how to move on. It is not the first time we have been in a situation like this and we have always shown that we can extricate ourselves from these difficulties."

The Frenchman was able to put matters into perspective, however, as the paddock waited for news on Kubica.

"We expected a tough race but, given the outcome, that is just a euphemism," he admitted, "The only really positive news of the day is that Kubica, who had a really serious looking accident, is reasonably alright, given the impact he sustained."

 

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