Kimi Raikkonen admits he was disappointed not to be able to pass Carlos Sainz for what turned out to be a podium position in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Alfa Romeo was one of the standout performers of Sunday’s chaotic race at Interlagos, with Raikkonen being classified fourth and teammate Antonio Giovinazzi fifth following Lewis Hamilton’s time penalty. However, Raikkonen spent much of the final part of the race stuck behind Sainz who was trying to make it to the end on a one-stop strategy and was frustrated not to find a way past on fresher tires.
“Yes, many things happened but I’m disappointed,” Raikkonen said. “We had the speed, but with the last set (of tires) I had a bit too much understeer when I was trying to follow the McLaren, so I couldn’t get past. Especially following closely I couldn’t get a run on him.
“On the restart I was twice close, but at least we got good points with both cars, so it’s a much more positive end of the weekend. But it could have been better and we always hope for better.”
The 22 points for Alfa Romeo was only bettered by Red Bull’s 25-point haul in Brazil, but Raikkonen believes the team should have found similar performance from its car earlier in the season after a return of just three points in total since the summer break prior to Sunday.
“For sure it’s good, by far the best result we’ve had this year — we’ll take it, but it’s a bit too late,” he mused. “Still, it’s a lot more positive for the team and it’s a nice feeling, especially after we’ve been struggling a lot recently. We’ll keep giving our best in the next one, and hopefully we’ll get more points.”
Alfa Romeo is now 10 points adrift of Racing Point in the battle for seventh in the constructors’ championship having been 30 back ahead of Sunday’s race.