• Italian Grand Prix

Raikkonen pleased with damage limitation

ESPN Staff
September 9, 2012 « Schumacher takes positives from Monza | Button takes positives despite retirement »
Kimi Raikkonen moved up to third in the drivers' championship with fifth at Monza © Sutton Images

Kimi Raikkonen said fifth place was the best result Lotus could achieve at Monza after lacking straight line speed.

A relatively disappointing qualifying session saw Raikkonen starting from seventh place on the grid, but his long-run pace in Friday practice had been impressive. However, in the race Raikkonen struggled to make headway and finished in fifth after Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel retired, admitting that it was as good as Lotus could have achieved.

"It's good to go into third position in the Drivers' Championship but we lost some points to Fernando [Alonso] which is not ideal," Raikkonen said. "It was a difficult weekend as we were too slow in a straight line, making it very difficult to hold off anyone and even with the DRS it was difficult to overtake the cars in front. We did the one stop strategy and the tyres were fine. We came into the race looking for sixth or seventh so fifth is the maximum we could have done here this weekend."

Team principal Eric Boullier said scoring strong points on a weekend when Lotus was not so competitive would prove crucial to Raikkonen's championship hopes.

"From this weekend I don't think we could have expected better," Boullier said. "The key to a good championship position at the end of the season is always scoring points, even when it is a difficult weekend. Kimi delivered exactly as we wanted from him today and moving to third in the standings is a just reward. We are still in contact with those ahead of us in both Championships with seven races to go."