Kimi Raikkonen admits he wondered what the rest of the field were doing as he overtook 10 cars on the opening lap of the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Low grip conditions were made even worse by light rain at the start of the race, meaning the medium tire was tough to warm up. Alfa Romeo chose to start Raikkonen on soft tires — the only car outside the top 10 to do so — and the Finn had a new set of softs compared to used for those in the top 10, resulting in a stunning opening lap when he carved his way up to sixth place.
From P16 to P6 😎
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 25, 2020
‘I don’t think the start itself was very good — I lost a place — but then after that honestly I thought at one point, ‘What are the others doing?’” Raikkonen said. “I had a good first and then second lap, the speed was decent in the car most of the race, then we had a little bit of difficulties in the pit stop and in the end I lost 10th place to (Sebastian) Vettel with old tires.”
Despite his brilliance on the opening lap, Raikkonen fought hard but slipped back through the field and ended up 11th at the checkered flag, missing out on points.
“We got nothing out of it, so that’s a shame. We need more speed then everything will become a little bit easier.
“We’ll see how it is (in Imola) — it has to be better than here. In the race it was not too bad, but when you start where we start you need to take some chances more. It’s not ideal, but unfortunately we are lacking a little bit of speed.”
Raikkonen’s start caught the eye of many of his rivals, however, with Daniel Ricciardo in particular referencing the Finn’s performance from 16th on the grid, that was somewhat overshadowed by Carlos Sainz taking an early lead.
“I was like, ‘It is not a bad start,’ as in I saw Kimi just drive by on the outside of me,” Ricciardo said. “I was like, ‘He did not start 11th or 12th, where did he come from?!’ There is a bit to look at there. He got his tires going, and Carlos was another one with a pretty mega first few laps.”