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Raikkonen: It's far from ideal

NEWS STORY
09/10/2017

Whatever the opposite of a purple patch might be, Ferrari is currently experiencing it.

One way or another, in the last three races the Maranello outfit has scored just 22 points, compared to Mercedes' 105, Red Bull's 91 and Force India's 34. Even McLaren has scored 12!

While the start-line elimination in Singapore might be seen as a blip, the fact that only one car made it to the grid in Malaysia and the other only just about got off the grid a week later before succumbing to a spark plug issue, can only be seen a 'business as usual' for a team that over the years has consistently managed to shoot itself in the foot.

Not too long ago the usual suspects were pointing and laughing at Fernando Alonso, the two-time champion having seemingly jumped from the frying pan straight into the wok. And while there is no denying the issues at McLaren-Honda, the Spaniard, who was runner-up three times with the Maranello outfit knows from bitter experience the Italian team's propensity to fall apart under pressure.

With four races remaining, not only is Sebastian Vettel 59 points down on Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull is fast closing on the Italian team in terms of the runner-up spot.

Speaking in the wake of yesterday's disaster, Kimi Raikkonen, who was demoted 5-grid places following as gearbox change, swapped his usual laconicity for understatement.

Asked about the technical issues which have hampered his teammate in recent outings, the Finn replied: "It wasn't ideal for me either.

"It's far from ideal for any of us in the team when these things happen," he continued. "Many things have come out of nothing, and not any idea before. We have to improve and fix them."

In a subsequent press conference he opened up a little more.

"It's far from ideal for any of us when we have technical issues," said Raikkonen, who recovered from 10th on the grid at Suzuka to finish fifth.

"It's weird because on Saturdays, OK Seb had an issue before qualifying, but it has been twice now the cars are running fine in qualifying and the next time we go out on Sunday we found some issues," he told reporters. "Obviously, it's nothing we expect, it comes out of nothing.

"We have to see why it is happening and fix it," he added. "It's one of those things that suddenly hits and there's not an awful lot that you can do.

"It's not nice," he continued, "I think we have pretty good speed normally but if you don't finish the race, it's no use. We have to fix them and find out why we have had these issues lately."

Referring to his own race, which saw him start tenth and finish fifth, 22s down on fourth-placed Valtteri Bottas, he said: "We did a decent start with the soft tyres and then I struggled to decide which way to go. I chose to go outside, I lost one place. I don't know where I came out compared to where we started.

"I tried to make my way through the cars in the first lap. I ran wide trying to pass the Renault (Hulkenberg), and lost some places, which I had to gain it back.

"I had decent speed for overtaking but it obviously wasn't easy. We were just too far. The feeling in the car was a little bit tricky all the way through the race, not the nicest balance. Some laps were ok, some others a bit more difficult. The final result is far from being the best possible."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Suzuka, here.

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1. Posted by mickl, 10/10/2017 12:47

"I'm sure Kimi whispers in Seb's ear everytime he passes by "I'm still the last Ferrari champion""

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