Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

Mixed emotions for Raikkonen on podium return

2015 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015Kimi Raikkonen says that despite securing his first podium appearance in 26 grands prix, he is disappointed not to have been able to take victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Raikkonen took second place from Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes on the penultimate lap to secure his best finish for Ferrari since his return to the team in 2014 and his first podium since the 2013 Korean Grand Prix.

“Yes it feels good, but obviously I am a bit disappointed not to win,” Raikkonen told reporters after the race. “I think we did more or less the maximum of what we could today.”

Raikkonen was the only one of the four Mercedes and Ferrari drivers to opt for Medium tyres during his middle stint and chased down a 20 second gap to the Mercedes on Soft tyres in the final stint to snatch second place from Rosberg.

“I think we did more or less the right calls,” Raikkonen explained.

“We lost a bit of time at the beginning with Nico [Rosberg] getting past. Obviously afterwards it’s easier to say, but that’s how we planned it and I think it worked out pretty well.”

Raikkonen’s result moves him up to fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, just behind his Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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Posted on Categories 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix, 2015 F1 season, Kimi Raikkonen

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  • 29 comments on “Mixed emotions for Raikkonen on podium return”

    1. “Yes it feels good, but obviously I am a bit disappointed not to win,” Raikkonen told reporters after the race. “I think we did more or less the maximum of what we could today.”

      Bold statement; Had he pitted earlier for the hards from his first stint he could’ve won it. Thoughts?

      1. I thought it was a big mistake at the time from Ferrari. He was so slow in those last two laps before he pitted that Alonso even overtook him, plus with Hamilton’s last lap issues, it could have been an amazing finish.

      2. James Allison said on the BBC that their software calculated that this was the best strategy.

        Personally I doubt that that lap he did were Alonso overtook him really was the right idea. I’d assume Raikkonen would have gained at least a second or perhaps 1.5s by stopping a lap earlier. That wouldn’t have gotten him the win though.

      3. @xtwl I agree. But that would have been a gutsy call. The teams didn’t know if that was going to work until Maldonado pitted and put those on. However once he did, I thought immediately that Ferrari should think fast and do the same with at least one of their cars. But here is where the juggling the interests of two competitive drivers gets dicey. Vettel was ahead at that point, and had the priority of pitting first. If Ferrari are going to beat Merc, they are going to have to think on their feet and be willing to make some gutsy (risky) tactical calls on tires and stint length that might make their drivers unhappy both in the moment and in the end if the calls don’t pan out, particularly if strategies are split. But they WILL have to do this to WIN, like they did in Malaysia. Otherwise they can remain conservative and be happy with finishing best of the rest. While that would be a big step for them after last year, it would be boring. I want to see them fight and risk.

      4. No chance to win the race, even if he would have pitted 4 laps earlier!!! We’ve seen before cars faster like 1s than the car in front remaining stucked behind for many laps, and this race looked like 1 of those races. Vettel not being able to pass Bottas is a pretty good example why I highly doubt RAI would have managed to pass HAM altough 1s faster per lap. Again, I think RAI was lucky to get 2nd because of ROS braking failure – yes, I doubt he would have managed to pass ROS too!

        1. @corrado-dub I am too in doubt whether Kimi would’ve gone past ROS had he not made the mistake.

          1. Wasn’t it a brake by wire fault and not a mistake?

            @xtwl

        2. Seb is not a good yardstick today as he was not at his best. I think Nasr’s Sauber overtook Massa’s Williams so there is every possibility Kimi could have overtaken Nico.

          1. massa was on damaged car, but i still think overtaking was possible even when rosberg didnt have issue that lap

      5. Hamilton had everything under control. Fuel, brakes and tyres. He could have pushed if Räikkönen would’ve caught up

    2. Yeah, that remark from Raikkonen about being disappointed was hilarious.

      Still, forced on an alternative (possibly worse) strategy because Vettel was holding him up and he still took second place from Rosberg.

      1. Motivation can be a big issue when you are both naturally talented and chilled personality-wise as Kimi is. It’s a great sign to me that he is disappointed to finish second. It means that he has the fire back and wants more badly than ever to win.

        1. Remember last time when Kimi complained that he didn’t want to fight for third place and wanted to fight for the win? He was almost lynched by an angry mob ripping the ice cream from his hands.

    3. The Iceman is back where he belongs.
      With no hickcups this weekend Kimi shows he is still to be reckoned with.

    4. What’s worrying for Mercedes (and great for F1-fans) is that while Ferrari have two drivers challenging for race wins, they have only one. Hamilton will in all probability lift the cup at the end of the year, but Ferrari could still pip Mercedes in the constructors unless Rosberg rediscovers his mojo.

      1. It’s like a 2008 scenario. Ferrari won the WCC that year because they had two great drivers (Raikkonen and Massa), whereas McLaren Mercedes only had one great driver (Hamilton) because Kovalainen was useless.

        1. Ferrari simply had the better car that year. They let down Raikkonen for a few races with a wrong development direction, but other than that they were pretty much on top.

      2. but Ferrari could still pip Mercedes in the constructors unless Rosberg rediscovers his mojo

        I doubt that. ROS looks too strong to be out of top 4 in order to make possible for Ferrari to win the WCC, plus Ferrari’s car is no match to Mercedes as it was in 2008 to McLaren’s car.

      3. I also question the situation getting that dire for Mercedes unless Ferrari can get race wins at a regular clip, as first and fourth is still a superior points haul to second and third.

      4. I don’t know about Rosberg not challenging for race wins. Right now he may not have the race craft to challenge Hamilton but today we saw that he overtook both Ferraris on-track, Vettel twice.

        I don’t think Rosberg is a Kovalainen to Lewis’ Hamilton 2008.

        1. Complete agree RL. ROS was a tad unlucky today despite some good driving. His brake trouble came at the worst possible time. He did finish on the podium ….

          Henrik: Merc do not have the 2nd driver challenging “yet”….we are only 4 races into this season.

          1. As was Vettel, don’t forget that! But look at qualifying! Last year, Rosberg outqualified Hamilton 12 to 7. This year, Hamilton is comfortably ahead in qualifying. There are only two options – either Rosberg has lost his mojo or Mercedes have given Hamilton a 100 BHp qualifying advantage. And the signs are that during the races, Rosberg is falling back into the clutches of the two Ferrari drivers and losing out. Once and IF Ferrari catch Mercedes, the current situation will reverse and with Rosberg out of form, the cushion built may not be enough for the CWC.

            1. I agree…one additional point to consider is that last year ROS was criticized for having less race pace and better Qualy pace. This year ROS perhaps is trying to get the race set up right. He may be over-compensating….

              In Bahrain ROS’ pace when he caught VET after the Pit stops was scary good. It is not a driver fault yesterday – it was electromechanical failure that affected both Mercs. So criticism of ROS for Qualy is fair…for the Race, he did pretty well.

              I am sure we will have a few Merc 1-2 finishes in the European leg of this season.

    5. I know its not his personality, but it would have helped his cause if Kimi was a bit more enthusiastic about what he just accomplished in Bahrain. We all know Vettel has always been exuberant in his celebrations. He really gets fired up. Sometimes its genuine and sometimes he does it to energize his base. There is no escaping politics in any organization. Naive people think they’ll be OK so long as they perform their jobs. That’s not always enough. Vettel is doing two things at once. One, he is firing up the Ferrari base and two, he is slowly turning himself into an indispensable piece of Ferrari resurgence. IMO, he is doing it brilliantly. He’s the new guy at Ferrari, but by the time the championship gets to Monza, it will be as if Kimi is the new comer. Never mind he is Ferrari’s most recent champion.

      When Vettel wins or finishes on the podium, he thanks and speaks to the team in Italian. Once out of the car he runs around hugging everyone like the team just won the championship. It may seem a bit much, but Vettel knows exactly what he’s doing and Kimi would be wise to follow suite. Unless of course he thinks he can mop the floor with Vettel consistently. Vettel is not Massa and this ain’t 2007.

      1. Kimi is who he is and no one would want disingenuous gestures like that from him.

        It’s a square peg/round hole scenario expecting him to be as personable as Vettel. He’s no more capable of it than the cars engine is.

        The flip side is he is 100% up front. No politics, no hissy fits, no ego.

        But he is still a likeable character.

        1. I wish there was more character to be liked.

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