• Australian GP

Raikkonen laments missed podium

ESPN Staff
March 15, 2015 « Ferrari and Raikkonen escape unsafe release penalty | Horner calls on FIA to rein in Mercedes »
Kimi Raikkonen was in the wars at Turn 1 © Getty Images

Kimi Raikkonen thinks he could have finished on the podium with a little bit more luck after a promising Australian Grand Prix ended in retirement.

Raikkonen lined up fifth on the grid and got alongside new Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel on the run down to Turn 1. But in the tight first corner he was clipped from behind by Carlos Sainz and then received contact from Sauber's Felipe Nasr, which meant he was fighting with a damaged car for the rest of the race.

"I got hit by Sainz on the rear wheel, the floor got damaged at the rear," Raikkonen explained after the race. "I then got hit by the Sauber quite heavily so it damaged the front wing."

The early incident could have derailed Raikkonen's race but Ferrari switched him to a two-stop strategy, which seemed to be working as he scythed through the field in his middle stint. He set several fastest laps before his second pit stop but then his hard work was undone when Ferrari failed to correctly fit his left rear tyre on lap 40.

"I'm not very happy right now but I still believe in the race we are not too far away from Mercedes [on pace]. Obviously it depends on the race and what they do, we just had too many things not go our way today. I am sure we can be up there and fight at the front, so obviously we need to improve in qualifying as they are ahead of us by some margin. Things didn't work out this weekend.

"We had the speed for a podium, even with the issues we went through after the start, we could still challenge the Williams at the end of the race, but it didn't happen. I think we had a good car in qualifying, so we should have been higher up. Even with the damage with the floor from the rear when we got hit, the car was still fast. I strongly believe that we have a good race car, a fast car, I think the gap in the race is much smaller than in qualifying. Too many issues and an unfortunate thing we didn't finish."

After the race the FIA confirmed Raikkonen and Ferrari had escaped a penalty for the unsafe release.

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