Kimi Raikkonen says failing to get his ultra-soft Pirelli tyres to optimum working conditions during the pole position shootout denied him the chance to attack which meant he slipped to fifth on the grid for the 2017 Formula 1 season finale.

The Finnish driver, who had never been out-qualified by a team-mate at the Yas Marina circuit, had looked on par with fellow Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel progressing through qualifying but during his Q3 runs he couldn’t get the softest Pirelli compounds to produce stable grip and was hit by oversteer.

With the Mercedes pair sweeping to a front row lockout and Vettel also ahead, Raikkonen lost a further spot to Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and will start from fifth on the grid – much to the frustration of the Finnish driver.

“I thought the car was very good but it was a bit tricky to get the tyres to work and be consistent,” Raikkonen said. “In the first qualifying session the second lap was very good but after that there was a good feeling with the car but a bit tricky with the tyres, in some corners they were very good but then they would be snappy in others and I couldn’t make them work properly.

“It would give good grip and then suddenly it would snap a little bit. You know, you only need a little bit of oversteer… in the last lap I had some oversteer on the exit of Turn 11 and fucked up the next few corners. I felt there was a lot of speed but I couldn’t really use it.”

Raikkonen has an outside shot at taking fourth place in the F1 drivers’ championship off of Ricciardo as he trails the Australian by seven points heading into the final round of the season.


Loading Comments...