Raikkonen says 'right call' sealed points finish in Sochi

Kimi Raikkonen was among those that made a dash for the pits when the rain came down in... The post Raikkonen says 'right call' sealed points finish in Sochi appeared first on F1i.com.

Raikkonen says 'right call' sealed points finish in Sochi

Kimi Raikkonen was among those that made a dash for the pits when the rain came down in the closing stages of the Russian Grand Prix, and the call helped the Alfa Romeo driver seal his P8 finish.

From P13 on the grid, Raikkonen progressed into the top-ten during his first stint on the medium tyres.

But the Finn's switch to the hard compound predictably pushed him down the order from where he tried to battle his way back into the points, running in the wake of Esteban Ocon's Alpine.

Raikkonen felt he was faster than the French but Alfa's top speed deficit versus the Alpine kept him behind.

©AlfaRomeo

"We made a good start and gained some positions, and then followed the Alpine most of the race," said the F1 veteran who had sat out the last two races due after testing positive for Covid.

"I felt the car was behaving well but we were a bit too slow to really make progress. I felt I had more speed but when the straight opened up I had no chance of overtake him."

Eventually, Raikkonnen's break came with the rain that rolled into Sochi late in the day and a timely call from the Alfa Romeo pitwall.

"Luckily we made the right call," he said. "I felt that it was too wet already and we were one of the early ones to come in to change tyres and it paid off in the end."

  • Read also: F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2021 Russian GP

Indeed, the late opportunistic stop put the Iceman back in the top-ten from where he managed to snatch another couple of positions to conclude his day P8 in the running order.

Asked if he drew upon his rallying experience to deal with the tricky conditions in the race's final laps, Raikkonen said: "Not really. Our car is for sure not the best in the wet conditions, but luckily we pitted at the right moment and then we had decent speed in the last couple laps.

"I managed to pass some cars, so not too bad."

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Norris likely to feel 'very guilty' but he'll learn – Leclerc

Charles Leclerc suggests Lando Norris will have last Sochi on Sunday feeling  "very guilty" after making the wrong... The post Norris likely to feel 'very guilty' but he'll learn – Leclerc appeared first on F1i.com.

Norris likely to feel 'very guilty' but he'll learn – Leclerc

Charles Leclerc suggests Lando Norris will have last Sochi on Sunday feeling  "very guilty" after making the wrong strategy call while leading the Russian Grand Prix but insists the McLaren driver will learn from the costly mistake.

Norris had held an authoritative lead since lap 13 and looked set to fend off Lewis Hamilton until a rain shower wreaked havoc on the Briton's race with just a handful of laps to go.

As teams and drivers pondered whether to switch to intermediate tyres amid the worsening conditions, Norris made the call to stay out while Hamilton made the opposite move and pitted.

The McLaren driver's decision proved costly as the downpour intensified and forced those who had remained on slick tyres - including the McLaren driver - to head for the pits.

Norris rejoined proceedings well down the order to salvage a meager seventh-place finish, having missed a golden opportunity to score his maiden Grand Prix win.

  • Read also: F1i's Driver Ratings for the 2021 Russian GP

"I can imagine what he’s feeling because also he’s part of the decision process in those type of situations and he might feel very, very guilty," commented a compassionate Leclerc.

"But he’s an amazing driver. I think he has shown it very often this season. He has had a very strong season and I’m sure he will he will learn from it.

"It’s just a matter of time before his first win. I don’t think he should feel so down after the race he has done."

Norris' good friend George Russell - who knows what it feels like to lose a maiden win to bad luck or circumstances, having come close to glory in Bahrain last year during his one-off with Mercedes – echoed Leclerc's sentiment, and agreed with the Monegasque that a win is on the horizon for Norris.

"It's every driver's worst nightmare, to be leading a race, and you start seeing rain on your visor," Russell said.

"You're damned if you do box, you're damned if you don't box. You're in a lose-lose position.

"I've been there. It definitely hurts, but he'll recover. I guess you try and take positives from it, and he'll have a victory sooner or later."

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The post Norris likely to feel 'very guilty' but he'll learn – Leclerc appeared first on F1i.com.

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