Raikkonen denies he had poor pit strategy

Finn rues poor fortune with virtual safety car

Australian Grand Prix – Kimi Raikkonen was left to rue the timing of the virtual safety car, which demoted the Ferrari driver from second to third.

Having qualified on the front row of the grid, Raikkonen was the closest challenger to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, running in second place during the opening tyre stints.

The Finn was the first of the front-runners to pit, in an attempt to undercut Hamilton, but emerged behind the Briton.

Ferrari opted to run Ferrari his team-mate Sebastian Vettel on a longer first stint, a strategy which ultimately prevailed when he was able to pit during the virtual safety car phase.

Vettel and Hamilton then duelled for the lead, whilst Raikkonen spent the remainder of the race defending from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Speaking after the race, Raikkonen had no regrets over the decision to be the first Ferrari to pit, but instead regretted the poor fortune of the pit stop.

“No. I didn’t know exactly what was going on. It was very clear what we were doing and sometimes you’re just a bit unlucky.

“At least it came good for the team today with two cars on the podium. For sure I want better results but we’ve had decent speed all weekend.”

When asked about the performance of the car, Raikkonen added that the overall picture would become clearer at the permanent circuits.

“I think it wasn’t too bad, I was pretty happy with it. For sure, there are things to improve and with better conditions yesterday I think we could’ve been faster but also it’s a very special [unique] circuit in many ways.

“We go to a more normal circuit for the next race so we’ll see what we can do there but overall I’m happy with how the feeling is.

“If this feeling stays the same then we’ll be in the fight this season.”

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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