• Korean Grand Prix

Podium not just down to luck of safety car - Kimi

ESPN Staff
October 6, 2013 « Alonso and I deserve better - Hamilton | Vettel urges rivals to chase »
Kimi Raikkonen drove from ninth on the grid to a podium © Sutton Images
Related Links

Kimi Raikkonen said he deserved his podium at the Korean Grand Prix on merit and it was not down to getting lucky with the timing of the safety car.

After a lacklustre qualifying performance, Raikkonen started from ninth on the grid and worked his way back through the pack, finally passing team-mate Romain Grosjean to take second. He was undoubtedly helped by the first safety car, making up four positions and putting him in place to attack Grosjean at the restart.

But Raikkonen said he was in a strong position to race for a podium even without the safety car.

"We didn't do too badly because we finished second," he said. "People might say it's luck but we put ourselves in a position in the first place. Without the speed we would never have got there.

"The car was just understeering too much all weekend and even today, so I had to look after the front tyre. That was really the limitation of how much I could push and obviously we were always stuck behind the traffic after the pit stops.

"We decided to stop much earlier and I think it was a good move. The safety car helped a little bit but we had the speed and without the safety car we could maybe have run until the end [on those tyres] and still had a podium. It was good but not ideal."

Raikkonen made the move on Grosjean stick on the first lap following the safety car restart, getting a better drive out of the penultimate corner and beating him into Turn 1. The move proved to be crucial and undid the hard work of Grosjean earlier in the race, but Raikkonen said it was not too tricky to pull off.

"He moved two times to the left but I got a good run. He made a mistake in the second to last corner and I got a good run and heard there would be yellow flags at the end of the straight. So I knew he wasn't going to pass me back with the DRS because it's not open with the yellow flags so I thought I would try to overtake and it was not too difficult."