Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed another good run to the podium in Korea, the Finn turning ninth on the grid into second place at the flag.
Crucially he got ahead of Lotus teammate Romain Grosjean just after the first safety car restart, and after that, the Frenchman was not able to find a way back past.
“It’s not ideal to start so behind and not having maybe the best weekend,” said Raikkonen. “Bit similar to the last race really, but the car was a bit better in the race. Still not ideal, a little bit too much understeer, and I lost one place or two places at the start and then got them back in corner three.
“And then I was able to pass people and then sat behind them again after the pitstop. I had more speed but I couldn’t get past, and then we decided to stop a bit earlier, and when the safety car came for whatever it was, five laps or something, obviously it helped a little bit for us to close the gap in the front.
“Romain made a mistake and I managed to pass him and just didn’t have enough speed at the end and not enough tires were left compared to them, because they stopped later. It was good fun but I would rather start in the front and finish in the front. It would have made our life a bit easier.”
Raikkonen said that even without the safety car periods, he would probably have gone to the end on that set of tires.
“We would probably have tried it, or looked at some point at how the tyres [were lasting]. Without the safety car we gained a lot of time and lap places if we’d stopped earlier in the last pit stops, so who knows? In the end we didn’t stop again now. You can always say that if but it makes no difference. You have to react and do what you think is the right thing, and sometimes certain things help you. My front tyre was pretty done in the end, but we finished the race in a pretty good position. We would probably try to run until then anyhow.
“It maybe helped a bit in the end because my front tyre was in quite a bad way, it kind of ran out of the rubber in the end. So I couldn’t go much longer any more – but obviously that’s the part of racing. Sometimes it helps you a bit.”
Regarding Vettel’s pace he said: “Let’s put it this way: even it we would have started behind him, we still don’t have the speed of him. Not far off from him in the race with a little bit from all the tyres but I mean it’s so difficult to overtake if you’re not massively faster. So, I think that was pretty OK, what we did today.”Formula 1, Kimi Raikkonen, Korean GP, Romain Grosjean