Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene blamed the car’s performance in the Barcelona circuit’s final complex for Kimi Raikkonen’s failure to beat Max Verstappen in Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Raikkonen spent the final third of the 66-lap race in the slipstream of Verstappen’s Red Bull, but was unable to get close enough coming out of the final corner to make an attempt to pass the 18-year-old down the main straight. He was forced to settle for second behind the youngest race winner in F1 history.
The lead duo had two-stopped compared to the three pit visits of teammates Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who finished third and fourth. Arrivabene said strategy was not the reason for Ferrari’s defeat.
“If we had reversed the strategy most probably Sebastian would have been in the same position as Kimi,” he explained. “The problem was not the strategy, the problem was – as happened in qualifying – we were not good enough in the last part of the track, in the slow corner.
“It was in the last part of the track the Red Bull was going big time, and Kimi was unable to catch him again until the end of the straight. So it wasn’t a question of strategy. The question is, like in qualifying, why were we very, very slow in the last part of the track?”
Raikkonen’s result brought him up to second in the drivers’ standings, 39 points behind Nico Rosberg.
“Kimi had a fantastic race in my opinion,” added Arrivabene. “It’s a pity we weren’t good enough in certain parts of the track to give him the possibility of winning the race.”
Arrivabene also reserved praise for Verstappen, while recognising his team’s poor display in qualifying played its part in helping the teenager claim his page in the record books.
“Congratulations to Max because he had a very, very good race,” said Arrivabene. “But due to our poor qualifying we found ourselves in a quite difficult situation and we lost an occasion to win the race.
“So I’m not looking at Red Bull – and congratulations again to Max, I’m happy for him – I’m looking at the reality. If Mercedes had not crashed out then we were in trouble.”