© Provided by IBT US
As Sebastian Vettel crossed the finish line to take his third victory of the season and thus the lead in the Formula 1 Drivers’ world championship, his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen struggled to sixth place at Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.
The Finn looked the stronger driver among the two during the free practice sessions Friday with Vettel going as far as labeling him one of the favorites for the win. But he struggled during the race after a poor qualifying session.
Raikkonen displayed some strong performances this season, but struggled to culminate it into race wins or consistent podium finishes. He finished on the podium on three occasions in six races and was expected to be challenging once again in Canada on Sunday.
The Ferrari team, as usual, were not in the reckoning Friday as Red Bull Racing led the way. But they showed more competitiveness Saturday as Vettel went on to take his fourth pole position of the season.
However, Raikkonen could not match his teammate or most of his rivals as he could manage just fifth place which was behind the two Mercedes cars of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.© Provided by IBT US
The 2007 world champion was unable to make up any ground at the start and instead ended up losing a position to the other Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo. And then during the race, he was unable to make up any ground on the cars in front.
Ferrari tried a different strategy and kept both their cars out for longer, it worked for Vettel as he maintained his lead at the front, but the overcut failed to work for Raikkonen, who was unable to jump Hamilton — who had stopped over 10 laps before — during the only round of pit stops.
And the Finn blamed the poor race on his final qualifying run which saw him struggle with oversteer. That meant he started behind most of his main rivals, and he was also surprised by the lack of overtaking opportunities on a circuit that boasted three DRS zones.
“Yesterday's mistake in qualifying did not put ourselves in a good position for the race,” Raikkonen said after finishing sixth in Canada, as quoted by ESPN. “Overtaking was very difficult here; I tried to get ahead of Hamilton after my pit stop, but it did not work out.”
“Then it was even difficult to get close enough to him to open the DRS. It was a surprise, because on this track you would expect to see overtaking and fights, instead it was a similar story to two weeks ago in Monaco. … The race was boring and not much happened. We decided to stay out a little bit longer on our first set of tyres and I don't think that cost us any position: it was our only option to try something different,” the Finn added.
The F1 juggernaut will next head to the Paul Ricard Circuit in France for the next race on June 24. The circuit has not hosted a Formula 1 race since 1990, making it a new experience for all the drivers on the grid.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/motorsports/kimi-raikkonen-blames-poor-qualifying-for-race-struggles/ar-AAyuGlg