Kimi Raikkonen has blamed his first lap incident with Mark Webber for ruining any chance of scoring a podium in Brazil.
The Finn started brightly in his Ferrari and fully used his KERS to challenge the leaders on the first lap. However a slight touch from the rear of Mark Webber’s Red Bull damaged Raikkonen’s front wing and ruined the possibility of a strong afternoon’s racing.
Giancarlo Fisichella was caught up in the first corner drama as Heikki Kovalainen spun infront of him. He claimed to have suffered graining on his way to eleventh position.
Giancarlo Fisichella – 11th: “Obviously, starting from the back row, my race was already compromised. Then there was also the incident with Kovalainen, who spun in front of me, forcing me onto the grass, which prevented me from trying to make up a few places in the fight on the opening lap. We had opted for a one-stop strategy and it was a good one, but in the final part of the race, the soft tyres began to develop a bit of graining and I was not able to match the pace of those ahead of me and I even lost a place. On top of that, the KERS worked in fits and starts. Looking at my experience with Ferrari so far, I don’t want to hide that I feel a bit upset, as there has not been a single weekend in which everything went to plan. Now we go to Abu Dhabi which will be a new venue for everyone: I will do my very best to help the team retake this third place which slipped away from us today.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 6th: “What happened on the first lap ruined my race. First I was hit at the first corner, then when trying to pass Webber, I was hit and lost the front wing. At the pit stop, I ended up with some drops of petrol in my eye, from the fuel line stuck on Kovalainen’s car and then I was engulfed in flames and blinded: I was going to stop, but luckily the flames soon went out. Even now, my eyes are still burning, but I’m alright. After the restart, I could only try and use the strategy to move up the order and at least I brought home a few points. I am disappointed because today I’m sure we could have made it to the podium. There is one race to go: let’s see what we can do in Abu Dhabi to get back that third place.”
Stefano Domenicali: “First and foremost, on behalf of the entire team, I want to congratulate Jenson Button and Brawn GP for winning both world championships today. I am particularly pleased for an old friend like Ross. As for us, obviously we are very disappointed, because today we had the chance to extend our advantage in the Constructors’ classification, but we have ended up one point down. What happened on the opening lap penalized Kimi heavily, as he had to restart from the back of the pack. It’s a shame, because today, our driver could match the pace of the best and could certainly have been fighting for a place on the podium: once again he delivered a great drive. After yesterday’s qualifying, Giancarlo started from the back row and faced a difficult race: he tried his best, but he could not get into the points. Now, we look forward to the final Grand Prix of the season at the new Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. There, we will have to do all we can to bring home a third place finish in the championship, which we are very keen to do and I am sure that all of us, drivers and team, will do all in our power to try and reach this target.”
Chris Dyer: “A very disappointing race for us. Yesterday already, Kimi had done a fantastic job, obtaining a good grid position and today, he did it again, climbing up from the back of the pack, all the way up to sixth place after the accident with Webber, which meant he had to pit to change the front wing. At this moment, his race was compromised, which is a real shame. With Kimi, we chose to use the soft tyre first and given how things went, it was the right decision, but then we had to use the hards, as the first part of the race would be very long. Giancarlo was stuck in traffic in the first stint and then, when he had a clear track, his lap times were reasonable. At the start of his second stint, when he was on the soft tyres, his pace was better, but then towards the end, he suffered with graining. Now we will do all we can in Abu Dhabi, to recover the third place that slipped from our grasp today.”