Kimi Raikkonen says “a little bit of patience” while extending his long first stint could have perhaps yielded a better result for himself and Alfa Romeo at Imola.
Raikkonen undertook a massive 48-lap stint from the start of the Emilia Romagna GP on Pirelli’s medium tyre, a strategy that carried the Finn all the way into the top-five, at which point the Alfa driver boxed for a fresh set of softs.
However in hindsight, Raikkonen, who finished P9, was left to ponder what may have been had his team extended his stint by just a handful of laps and pitted when the safety car was deployed following Max Verstappen’s spin into the gravel at the Variante Villeneuve.
“We kind of ran out a little bit of patience,” the Iceman said. “We should have still stayed because we had not much to lose and only to gain if there was a safety car, and obviously two laps later there was one!
“I don’t know how much it would have made a difference in the end.
“But nevertheless, I think, both cars in the points, lucky or not, there were some cars that retired but we were in the right place to gain from them. So, we’ll take it.”
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Alfa Romeo had opted for a reverse strategy for Raikkonen’s teammate, Antonio Giovinazzi. The Italian launched his race on the soft compound and switched to the medium tyre after ten laps.
In the end, both strategies converged, with Giovinazzi finishing just four seconds adrift from Raikkonen to bag the final championship point of the race.
Asked whether Alfa’s C39 was closely approaching a level of performance that would allow its drivers to score points on merit, the 41-year-old believed that progress is required from the Swiss outfit.
“I don’t know, it depends on so many different things,” he said. “It’s not too bad in the race but I’m sure we’re still lacking speed and we have to push so hard, we just have to ruin the tyres to keep up.
“There’s a lot of small things that are still not ideal but we’ll keep working. We need to qualify a bit higher to be more easy in the race.”
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