- Malaysian GP - Race
Raikkonen lost downforce with puncture damageLaurence Edmondson in Sepang March 29, 2015 « Button: We're catching midfield teams | Malaysian Grand Prix extends race contract until 2018 »
Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari lost downforce as a result of the puncture he suffered at the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen qualified 11th after being caught out in wet conditions on Saturday and then got hit from behind on the first lap by Felipe Nasr. He had to complete an entire lap with a puncture and as a consequence dropped to the back of the pack.
From there he was able to fight back to fourth, although he was unable to take part in the battle at the front between team-mate Sebastian Vettel and the two Mercedes.
"When those tyres break they usually mangle up the cut out on the floor, and that's an extremely sensitive aerodynamic area," Ferrari technical director James Allison said. "It was not enough damage to make him anything other than the fourth quickest car out there, but it was enough damage to mean that tyre degradation was not quite at the same level as Sebastian's because his downforce was lower. It was a good effort for him punching his way through the field like he did."
Raikkonen said bad luck this weekend had held him back after he showed very strong pace - arguably better than Vettel's - in Friday practice.
"Obviously we had quite a lot bad luck in quite a few places this weekend but there's not much I can do when I get touched from behind and it is what it is. Luckily there was a safety car and we had okay speed, we had some damage with the tyre flapping around on the floor but like I said we did the maximum that we could. Obviously for the team it's a pretty good result, they got the win. It could have been better but obviously the team with what we had today we did the maximum."
He added: "I got a very bad start, just wheelspin off the line and then in the first corners I just didn't really get very good positions and lost some places. Then I gained a few places in one of the corners and obviously was passing people but then I got a puncture at the last corner and had to do the whole lap. Luckily we had a safety car so that helped, but then I don't know what the guys in front of me were doing because they weren't going at full speed to catch up with the second last car so we were like one straight behind and I was asking if I could pass them.
"I don't know if there was some confusion with the Sauber in front of me because then he started going at full speed but we couldn't catch the back of the people. So that didn't help either but obviously I think we did the maximum we could after that."
Laurence Edmondson is deputy editor of ESPNF1