Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed one of his most encouraging weekends of 2014 in Brazil, eventually finishing seventh after a two-stop strategy helped him to move up from 10th on the grid.
In the latter part of the race the Finn held off Fernando Alonso, who was on fresher tyres, for several laps.
“Obviously we didn’t know how the tyres would last, because we didn’t really have the long runs,” said Raikkonen. “I think for sure we could have had one place better, we had some problem in the pit stop, but it was OK. If we would plan it before the race we would probably have stretched the first one and the second one a little bit, but it worked out OK like this.
Asked when the two-stop call was made he said: “During the second stint really, because the tyres seemed to last pretty well. Obviously then you can usually can run a bit longer, even the last one, because the circuit gets better. We had some issues on the pit stop but overall we did a good job with it, and it was the right decision. If we knew what we know now we could have planned it a bit better, but we didn’t have experience enough, but we did the best that we could.”
Raikkonen said that a shorter final stint might have kept him ahead of Alonso: “Probably yes, but it’s the same points for the team. In the end with this kind of circuit it makes no really big difference for myself and for the team, because it’s the same points.”
Kimi said that the team is making progress after a he’s struggled for a year to get the front end of the car to his liking.
“I think over the whole weekend the car has been more kind of normal, and I could drive it more normally. It’s been definitely better and the tyres lasted pretty well. It’s been going in the right way. So still work to be done, quite a bit, as a package, but we know that.
“Obviously every circuit is different, it depends on tyres and how the car works on a specific circuit, but it’s been a good feeling the whole weekend. So I expect we definitely made improvements, we understand things a bit better. I might be wrong but I expect we should be more comfortable in the next race.”