Kimi Raikkonen believes that optimising tyre wear will be crucial in next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.
Raikkonen failed to score a point in last year’s Chinese Grand Prix – his sole pointless finish since his Formula 1 return – after he tumbled down the order when his tyres wore out.
“There was some good racing and it looked like a strong result could have been possible, but we ran out of rubber during the final stint and didn’t score any points,” Raikkonen says when reflecting on last year’s event.
“Hopefully we’ll be a little bit more lucky with the tyre performance this time and well prepared from a strategy point of view. We had the race pace in 2012, that’s true, but we tried to carry on with our tyres for too long.”
“They dropped off, and that was it. On the other hand without trying to push with those tactics, we would never have been fighting for top positions. If you look at last year we didn’t have a bad car for China, and if we get the car working as well as we did on Friday at Sepang, we should do well in Shanghai too.”
Raikkonen sits in second place in the championship, nine points behind Sebastian Vettel. The Finn admits that while his win in Australia was ‘easy’, the weekend in Malaysia failed to reap rewards.
“Australia felt like quite an easy race for me as everything went so well in the car and the result was the one which everyone wants to get”.
“Malaysia was a tough race. The start was not good and then I lost part of my front wing on the first lap. The car didn’t handle too well after that and with the wet conditions it was pretty tricky. The pace wasn’t too bad, but it could have been much better when you look at our times on Friday.”