Japanese Grand Prix

Suzuka
9 October

Race
Pos. Time Gap Laps FL Lap
RAIKKONEN 5th 1:27:11.703 + 28.370 53 1:35.990 33
1st stop Lap 12 New Hard
2nd stop Lap 26 Old Hard
VETTEL 4th 1:27:03.602 + 20.269 53 1:35.118 36
1st stop Lap 12 New Hard
2nd stop Lap 34 New Soft
Weather: air 23°C, asphalt 25 °C. Clear skies
Maurizio Arrivabene
Considering our starting position, being pushed back by a double penalty, we did the best we could today. It’s just a shame that the traffic from backmarkers did not allow Seb to take the best out of our strategy.
Kimi Raikkonen
After a good qualifying yesterday, the issue with the gearbox and the consequent starting position change was not ideal in this kind of track. Obviously there’s a lot of disappointment, as we had a good car and if we could have stayed in front we would have fought with more free air and with a lot of speed. I had a good start but then I got stuck behind other people: it was really tricky to follow other cars and it affected quite a bit the behavior. It was also difficult to stay close to them and attack them. Once we got past them and I was on my own, the car was quick and handling well. For sure today we were fast enough for a better result. Unfortunately that’s how it goes…
Sebastian Vettel
We had a very good start and made good progress in the first two laps, passing Ricciardo and Perez, then we were faster than Verstappen. I think today we had the second fastest car. So it was a question of time, but obviously Max came in as soon as he could to maintain track position, which worked well for him. We tried to go on the softer tire in the end, which initially we thought would work well, but then we had too much degradation and we were falling off this group. It is always easy to criticize, and I am sure there are many ‘experts’ that knew better, but on the pitwall as well as in the car, I was keen to go for this strategy so to extend the second stint. It’s a fact I lost big chunks of time with the blue flags. I always got the lapped cars right in sector one, when they can’t move, so I was losing a lot of time, and there’s probably where I lost track position to Lewis, who always seemed to clear the lapped cars in the straight. But then the pace wouldn’t have probably been enough to challenge for the podium.