Kimi Raikkonen admitted that he would have required his compatriot, Valtteri Bottas, to make “bigger mistakes” for him to get past. The two Finns could only manage P4 and P5, with the Mercedes man ahead of the Ferrari man in Singapore on Sunday.
The poor qualifying saw Raikkonen sit behind Bottas for the entire 61-lap race, and he could have done with some help from his fellow Finn.
“I think he had a few lock ups just enough for me to get very close but not enough, Raikkonen said. I could see he was starting to struggle with his right front tyre a bit but that didn’t slow him down enough.
“Once I would get closer to him I would lose a lot of traction. There were a few mistakes, but we needed a little bigger mistakes to have a run on him. It was tricky because every time I would get close to him I would lose traction out of the corners and he’d get the jump.
“So I never really got a good run on him. We needed a little bit more laps and then I think he would struggle more.”
Bottas admitted that only managing to qualify in P4 left him compromised for Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix. The Finn held his position throughout the race, and finished just outside the podium places at the end of the 61-lap race.
“I think yesterday made today more difficult which is a shame so from my side, P4, I am not happy with that,” Bottas siad. “As a team, we got more points than Ferrari, and Lewis managed to get more gap to Sebastian so I guess that is good.
I think, for sure, Lewis did an exceptional lap but I think from my side. There was still time to found and I don’t have much more reasons yet. That is something we are going to discuss with the team next week to fully understand
“I am still going to be back here next year so I need to be better then.
Bottas also believes that Mercedes have closed the gap to Ferrari in terms of who has got the quicker package. “It seems very equal,” he added. I think we are surprised how good we were this weekend.