Baku : Kimi Raikkonen says there is no problem between him and Ferrari after its strategy calls appeared to compromise his race at the expense of teammate Sebastian Vettel in China.
After Mercedes pulled off the undercut on pole-sitter Vettel with Valtteri Bottas, who also got past Raikkonen at the first corner in the Chinese Grand Prix, Ferrari appeared to keep the Finnish driver out on track in an attempt to block Bottas and allow Vettel a chance to retake the lead.
Raikkonen effectively dropped from third place to sixth place after his pit stop, behind Lewis Hamilton and both Red Bull drivers, at the Shanghai International Circuit only to see the race turned on its head by a safety car period which enabled the Ferrari driver to jump up to third place behind winner Daniel Ricciardo and Bottas.
With Ferrari’s blushes avoided with Raikkonen in third, the Finnish driver has shrugged off suggestions he was unfairly treated by the Italian manufacturer’s race strategy.
“Obviously I want to get the best result, that’s all I’m interested in, and after the race it’s always easy to say we should have done this or that,” Raikkonen said. “Even when you win races you still have things you can do better, it’s the never ending story in Formula 1, it’s what’s interesting. My only interest, as I said before, is to get the best possible result.
“During the race they [Ferrari] have all the data and make the decisions accordingly. Obviously we were not in the best position after the pit stops but the end result was okay. Third was fine but of course I want better results.”
Raikkonen accepted Ferrari strategy ultimately came down to qualifying order, with Vettel outqualifying his teammate to take pole position in China, and has hit back at critics questioning Ferrari’s tactics.
“It depends where we qualify and who’s ahead and who’s behind. It’s very clear, straightforward and simple,” he said. “As long as I remember it’s been that way in any team I’ve been.
“Unfortunately a lot of people try to make it very complicated and make stories out of not such big things. As a team we always try to get the best results.
“Obviously after the race it’s always easy to say we should have done this or that. Unfortunately we don’t have the tools to start by the end of the race and then go back to the middle of the race and change things.”