Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kimi Räikkönen: Feels like I've never been away

Kimi Räikkönen admits he is happy to have come away with some points in the Australian GP after a "far from ideal" weekend for Lotus

After "a mistake and a communication issue" with his team saw him qualify P17 on Saturday, the Finn encountered further problems at the start in Melbourne and slipped further down the grid.

However, he fought his way through the pack and managed to finish in seventh position, which is not bad when you consider he has been out of Formula One for two years.

Although he believes Lotus had the potential to finish higher, Raikkonen feels there are plenty of positives to take away from the race.

"It feels like I've never been away. Yesterday we made some mistakes which cost us quite badly so it could easily have been better in the race," he said.

"I made a good start but then there was an accident in front of me at the first turn, so we lost a few places there as I had to almost stop and move onto the grass to avoid it.

"That made the race harder again as we had the speed, but a lot of traffic to get through. When you look at all these things we could have finished in a much better position.

"We had the safety car which I think actually hurt us a bit as well. Overall the weekend was far from ideal, but the car feels good and to come back to 7th means we at least come away with some points."

It was a frustrating day for Räikkönen's team-mate Romain Grosjean after he crashed out after only a few laps.

He started a career-best P3 on the grid, but made contact with Williams' Pastor Maldonado and was forced to retire.

"I think we could have achieved a great result today," he said.

"It's frustrating as I really wanted to make the chequered flag and even the podium, but on the positive side the car is performing very well.

"I was keeping pace with the guys in front of me and everything was looking good. My start wasn't great so we'll need to have a look at the data. Then of course there was the collision with Pastor.

"From what I saw he braked far too late and hit my right front wheel which broke the steering and that was it; my race was over. The team deserved better because they have been working very hard, but by tomorrow morning it will all be a memory. We'll move on to Malaysia now which is one of my favourite circuits and focus on getting a result there."

Source: Planet-F1

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