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2013 Chi GP - Weekend recap - Raikkonen

After being a bit off the pace in Malaysia, the Lotus team looked like they were set to challenge once more at the front of the pack in China.

During practice Kimi showed good pace on the Friday and the Saturday morning and once qualifying came around on Saturday afternoon Kimi Raikkonen managed to put his car on the front row of the grid for the first time since returning to the sport.

'This is my best qualifying for the team which is good, but of course you always want to be on pole. Itís been quite a tricky weekend so far and weíve had a few small issues with setup, but itís always difficult to get things exactly how you want them and the car seems to be working well now. The tyres will of course be the question mark tomorrow; some people are starting on the primes but we chose the strategy we think will work best. Hopefully we can keep managing the degradation well like we have so far this season and have a good race tomorrow.Ē Kimi told formula1.com on Saturday evening.

A poor getaway from Raikkonen saw him lose two places at the start of the Grand Prix with both Ferrari's of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa getting the jump on the Lotus before the first corner.

But as the race played itself out with the varying tyre strategies Kimi Raikkonen worked his way back up the field. This despite a collision with the McLaren of Sergio Perez on lap 16.

With Kimi finding himself behind the McLaren after a pit-stop Kimi attempted to work his way back up the field on the new medium tyres, but an unpredictable Perez forced him wide and Kimi's nose broke on the back end of the McLaren, It was enough damage to create a flappy hole on the front of his car but not enough to force him onto an unscheduled pit-stop to change it.

So Raikkonen continued to go about his business and he firstly gained the place back on Felipe Massa, before getting the jump on Hamilton on lap 38 after the Brit pitted for tyres.

This handed Kimi track position and put him in a net second place once all the other drivers changed tyres as the race panned out.

The Finn just maintained the gap to third placed Lewis Hamilton as both drivers continued to race under the same strategy, but it just seemed that the Lotus always had a little bit more in reserve just in case the Mercedes did gain any race performance.

On the final lap of the race with Sebastian Vettel chasing down both Hamilton and Raikkonen on the softer Pirelli tyres, Kimi pulled out a bit more of a gap just to hold off the Red Bull in case he did manage to get past Hamilton.

But it wasn't needed and Kimi stood on the podium for the second time this season.

ďSecond wasnít quite what we wanted, but in the circumstances it was the best that we could manage today. Iím not 100% happy because we didnít win, but it is what it is and second place is a good result after a bad start and the incident with Sergio [Perez]. It was quite difficult out there; obviously the car is not designed like that otherwise we would use it all the time, but I was surprised how good it was still. Of course there were some handling issues which was not ideal, but we just had to try to live with it and we still had pretty okay speed.Ē










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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 15 2013

Time: 12:00PM

 

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