Raikkonen apologetic as Ferrari struggles continue
Kimi Raikkonen has apologised after yet another uncompetitive result at the Monaco Grand Prix, after the former World Champion was forced to make an unscheduled pit-stop during the second safety car period after a collision with Max Chilton, a major blow as the Finn had run as high as third in the early part of the race.
Since switching from Lotus to Ferrari for the new season, Raikkonen has been unable to replicate his past form with the Scuderia, with the Finn still yet to step onto the podium in 2014.
So far the former McLaren and Lotus man has been unable to finish any higher than seventh, despite early season hopes that Raikkonen could enjoy a competitive resurgence with the outfit alongside team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Despite visibly struggling with the handling of his car during the early stages of the season, Raikkonen seemed to come alive during the early stages of the Monaco Grand Prix, enjoying a tremendous start to leapfrog both his team-mate and the Red Bull duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel by lap four to catapult himself into a strong third position.
However, once the safety car was deployed for a second time after Adrian Sutil’s incident at turn ten, Raikkonen’s strong pace during the early stages was unravelled when Max Chilton made contact with the Finn as he tried to un-lap himself. This forced the 2007 World Champion to make an emergency and unscheduled second pit-stop for repairs to the right rear of his car, which saw him plummet down the order to rejoin the action way down in 13th position.
Later in the race Raikkonen became locked in a battle with the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, eventually colliding with the latter at Loews hairpin, further ruining his race.
“This was a very unlucky day for me, a real shame after getting a good start and managing to move up to third place,” explained Raikkonen, who failed to recover into the points following his tangle with Magnussen. “The car was handling well and had a good pace. Unfortunately, in a safety car period, my car was hit by Chilton’s Marussia and I had to make an unscheduled stop as my right rear tyre was damaged and that meant the end of any chance of getting a good result.
“I am sorry I still haven’t managed to get a good result because we are working very hard.
“We know there is a lot to do as our rivals are still a long way ahead, but I am sure that if we continue down this path the results will come, maybe with a bit more luck.”
Initially many thought the Ferrari duo could take the fight to the Red Bulls for the final podium position, however with Raikkonen tangling with various drivers and Alonso enduring an ominously quiet 78-lap race in fourth, the Scuderia will be looking for further improvements in Canada next time out.
For Raikkonen in particular a competitive result in the coming races is a necessity, with the 34-year-old apologising to his team for his lack of competitiveness so far this season in comparison to his team-mate.
While Alonso sits third in the Drivers’ Championship, the Finn is way down in 12th position which alone clearly shows the surprising gap between the two team-mates.
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