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Raikkonen backing for Pirelli

ESPN Staff
April 17, 2013 « Kovalainen rejoins Caterham as reserve | Lotus happy to wait on title sponsor »
Kimi Raikkonen: "I don't really understand why people are complaining" © Getty Images
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Kimi Raikkonen has leant his backing to the 2013 Pirelli tyres after recent criticism of the tyre manufacturer.

Pirelli's soft tyres degraded very quickly in China and led to comments that this year's tyres are too extreme. It appears Pirelli is similarly concerned after it switched its compound choice for the Bahrain Grand Prix to the medium and hard tyres, but Raikkonen doesn't notice a big difference with 2012 and doesn't think there is reason for complaint.

"I think you can push on these tyres, but it's never perfect," Raikkonen said. "You cannot always push 100%. I think they are very good in qualifying and have good grip, so it's up to you and you have to look after them a bit more in the race. It's not really any different from last year - at least for us anyway - so I don't really understand why people are complaining."

Looking ahead to the race in Bahrain this weekend, Raikkonen said last year's strong second place at Sakhir would count for nothing.

"Apart from Malaysia we've had good races this year, but that said there have only been three races so it's too early to say anything. Just because we had a good result there last year, it doesn't mean Bahrain will be good for us again this year. We have to try and do the best we can in every race and try to score some points to keep us in the fight. If everything goes our way, it will be a good result again. However, it is useless to promise anything beforehand. This is motor racing and whatever can happen, will happen."