Kimi Raikkonen says he would have attacked Sebastian Vettel if the safety car had not been deployed at the end of the Chinese Grand Prix.
The two Ferrari drivers were running in third and fourth place, with Raikkonen closing in on his team-mate in the final laps having been more than seven seconds adrift at one stage. Despite his charge coming so late in the race, Raikkonen said he would have attempted to pass Vettel had the safety car not been deployed to recover Max Verstappen’s stricken Toro Rosso.
“I got a pretty good jump off the line and could pass the two Williams in the first two corners, then it was really a race with Sebastian in the end,” Raikkonen said. “We ran slightly different laps on different sets of tyres, and in the end overall I had a pretty good car, the first time this year there was no damage on any part of the car.
“The safety car in the end, I was catching and I probably could have had a try at least, but it is what it is.”
While admitting Ferrari can’t be satisfied to finish third and fourth, he says the race at Shanghai highlights how much progress has been made over the past 12 months.
“Not ideal for the team to be beaten by Mercedes, but I think we have to be realistic where we are now compared to where we started last year, so we know what we are doing and if we keep working in the same way, then I am sure we will get there.
“Some races might be a bit closer, but after yesterday’s mistake it was more or less maximum. Good for the team but we are not happy to be third and fourth, and we want to really push for the wins, but we have to be happy as a team. We will keep pushing in the same direction as we have done so far push to the limits.”
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