Kimi Raikkonen was left frustrated by defending in F1 British GP on radio after late tangle with Sergio Perez, who went for a strategic stop.
Alfa Romeo’s Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Perez endured a day of disappointment and frustration in F1 British GP. In the Finn’s case, he started the race 13th and moved to ninth very quickly. Generally, he was around the Top 10 for the majority of the race.
Lap 48 saw him holding 10th before a collision between Raikkonen and Perez saw both drop down the field, which the stewards deemed it a racing incident. At the end of the race, his engineer advised how unfortunate the collision was as it was for 10th.
Raikkonen was, however, more direct advising that as such they need to make the car go faster. If anything the Finn was a frustrated veteran advising that they need to wake up and achieve. The exchange between the engineer and driver went:
Engineer – “It’s a shame with Perez. That was P10.”
Raikkonen – “What?”
Engineer – “I said, it’s a shame, with the accident with Perez. We could have maybe scored.”
Raikkonen – “Maybe, or maybe we need to make the car faster. Simple! It’s impossible to fight against them. Save this, save that and try to fight with the other cars. Come on..we got to wake up and do something.”
Post-race, Raikkonen was still a bit frustrated with the result after doing the hard work of pushing himself into the Top 10, especially after he was knocked out in Q1 itself. “It wasn’t too bad a race until the contact with Perez,” he said. “We knew it would be a difficult afternoon but we had a good start and were able to run in the top ten for a while.
“I had a nice battle with Sergio, we went side by side in quite a few corners but suddenly the space was gone: I am not sure what happened but I spun and that was it. In the end I think I’m watching more my mirrors than forward all the time. The race is purely trying to defend. We need to be faster. I tried. I’d rather fight for positions than finish 11th or 12th.”
Judging by the comments from Raikkonen, he feels the car can be faster, they need some semblance of ambition and both he and Antonio Giovinazzi should be fighting for the lower end of the points – although with 2022 on mind, it becomes a difficult decision.
For Perez, meanwhile, he endured a frustrating weekend overall. Having qualified well, he spun off in Sprint Qualifying, encountered issues and started the race from the pit lane. A strong run saw him lying 12th by Lap 10. He was on the tail of those fighting for seventh, and while he had a lively battle with Raikkonen, he ended up only 16th.
Post the collision, he managed to tread along but he pitted on Lap 48 and set fastest lap which prevented Mercedes scooping that point. It was a strategic move, which Red Bull opted for, especially to take away a point from Lewis Hamilton for fastest lap.
“I’m very disappointed with my weekend and my performance,” said Perez. “I wasn’t able to make as much progress as expected and found myself in a very difficult position with the tyres. As soon as we were in the DRS train it was impossible to overtake people. I think P7 was possible, with a couple more laps I think I could have got Lance and Fernando.
“But in the end for strategic reasons we decided to stop to take the fastest lap. It’s a weekend for us to forget and we lost a lot of ground in the Championship, we need to regroup, work hard and come back as strong as possible in Hungary,” summed up Perez.
A spirited fight and in particular early on was spoiled when running in the dirty air. Perez’s attitude appears to be that he wants to put it behind and move on to Hungary. He is looking at it from a team viewpoint. This is a reason perhaps why Red Bull signed him.
The story was written by Neil Farrell
Here’s what Red Bull duo and Mercedes duo said after F1 British GP