Kimi Räikkönen left the Malaysian GP with a good haul of points, but he could not be delighted with his fourth place as there was more on offer after showing incredible tyre management during Friday practices.
However the Finn showed race-winning pace on the weekends of both the Australian and the Malaysian GP, he was massively hampered by dismal circumstances. In Australia he was hit by Carlos Sainz and Felipe Nasr at the start before retiring due to problems at his second pit stop.
In Malaysia, then, Nasr found Räikkönen again and touched the left rear of the Finn which resulted in a puncture. The Finn then had to complete a full lap with his deflated tyre. It not only meant he was sent into the last place, but also the floor of his Ferrari suffered some damage. Despite that the Finn stormed through the whole field and with flying pace he ended in the fourth place.
"Obviously we had quite a lot bad luck in quite a few places this weekend but there's not much I can do when I get touched from behind and it is what it is,” stated Kimi. ”Luckily there was a safety car and we had okay speed, we had some damage with the tyre flapping around on the floor but like I said we did the maximum that we could. Obviously for the team it's a pretty good result, they got the win. It could have been better but obviously the team with what we had today we did the maximum."
Kimi had a bad start and could not find a right place through the first corners.
"I got a very bad start, just wheelspin off the line and then in the first corners I just didn't really get very good positions and lost some places. Then I gained a few places in one of the corners and obviously was passing people but then I got a puncture at the last corner and had to do the whole lap."
Räikkönen was hampered by Felipe Nasr again during the safety car period as the Brazilian was reluctant to close in on the field.
„Luckily we had a safety car so that helped, but then I don't know what the guys in front of me were doing because they weren't going at full speed to catch up with the second last car so we were like one straight behind and I was asking if I could pass them.”
"I don't know if there was some confusion with the Sauber in front of me because then he started going at full speed but we couldn't catch the back of the people. So that didn't help either but obviously I think we did the maximum we could after that."
Ferrari’a technical officer, James Allison admitted Kimi lost a good chunk of downforce which meant he had worse tyre wear than his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
"When those tyres break they usually mangle up the cut out on the floor, and that's an extremely sensitive aerodynamic area," James Allison said. "It was not enough damage to make him anything other than the fourth quickest car out there, but it was enough damage to mean that tyre degradation was not quite at the same level as Sebastian's because his downforce was lower. It was a good effort for him punching his way through the field like he did."