Mar 25, 2013, 8:30 AM EDT
Kimi Raikkonen admitted he was puzzled by his car’s performance in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The winner of the first race of the year had a less successful weekend in Malaysia. He qualified seventh but was moved back three places on the grid for blocking Nico Rosberg.
A scruffy race saw him go off twice at turn 12 and finish seventh behind team mate Romain Grosjean.
Raikkonen had been quickest on Friday practice but said the car never felt the same after that: “Although the car felt very good on Friday, yesterday and today [Sunday] have been pretty difficult.”
“Since Saturday morning it has not been behaving as we expected for some reason, especially in the wet where we really struggled for grip.”
His progress in the race was not helped by incurring damage early on: “It was a tough race and I lost part of my front wing at the start which didn’t help.”
“But at least we scored a few points which is better than coming away with nothing. If we can get the car back to how it was in Australia then I’m sure we’ll be at the front again.”
Technical director James Allison said the team’s performance in qualifying, which was often a weakness last year, had compromised them in the race.
“This weekend feels like a case of what might have been,” said Allison. “We had a car on Friday which looked extremely promising, but unfortunately that didn’t translate into the sort of result we’d expect.
“Qualifying tenth and eleventh – particularly in the wet – was not an ideal start, with the consequence that within seven laps we were around thirty seconds from the front.”
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