Kimi Raikkonen is no stranger to rallying, but those skills didn’t come into play at all despite the late Russian Grand Prix rain.
After two races out of action following a positive Covid test, Raikkonen was back in Sochi and made a quick impact, registering only his second score of the season with a P8.
This result was greatly facilitated by the early decision to fit intermediate tires as the rain started to fall, but until returning to the pits, drivers had to be extremely careful if they wanted to stay on the track with worn dry tires. .
Raikkonen was able to do just that, and with the green-walled intersets installed, he then charged into midfield to take 8th place – his best result of the year and Alfa Romeo’s so far.
After the race, Raikkonen was asked if his mind had gone back to his rally days on the slippery surface, but it had not.
“No not really, I think our car is generally not the best in wet conditions,” he replied.
“But luckily we stopped at the right time and then we had decent speed in the last two laps and I managed to overtake some cars. “
Raikkonen added that he would have liked to have finished even higher in order, with his Alfa romeo “Behaving well”, but the team was ultimately “a little too slow to really progress” in the early stages.
“Then luckily we made the right decision, I felt it was already too wet and we were one of the first to come and change the tires, and it paid off in the end,” he said. he continued.
– Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) September 26, 2021
Alfa Romeo team boss Frédéric Vasseur said he entered the race with “quiet optimism” and was therefore delighted to see Raikkonen come out of the Russian Grand Prix with four points.
“The race was very exciting and we come home with a good collection of points,” said Vasseur.
“Despite a difficult Saturday, we entered the race with quiet optimism because we knew we would be in a position to fight. Kimi got off to a good start to move up to 10th place, while Antonio [Giovinazzi] was hit and had to recover from the rear.
“He had a few good fights and made some nice passes – especially since he didn’t have a radio.
“Kimi was able to stay with [Esteban] Ocon for most of the race, just outside the points, and when the rain came, we made the right choice to stop for intersections.
“He managed to regain some ground and cross the line in P8, four good points for the team. It’s a good result, a reward for the work done so far and a boost of confidence ahead of the next race in Turkey in two weeks.