Raikkonen says car not behaving as expected

2 Comments

Kimi Raikkonen admitted he was puzzled by his car’s performance in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The winner of the first race of the year had a less successful weekend in Malaysia. He qualified seventh but was moved back three places on the grid for blocking Nico Rosberg.

A scruffy race saw him go off twice at turn 12 and finish seventh behind team mate Romain Grosjean.

Raikkonen had been quickest on Friday practice but said the car never felt the same after that: “Although the car felt very good on Friday, yesterday and today [Sunday] have been pretty difficult.”

“Since Saturday morning it has not been behaving as we expected for some reason, especially in the wet where we really struggled for grip.”

His progress in the race was not helped by incurring damage early on: “It was a tough race and I lost part of my front wing at the start which didn’t help.”

“But at least we scored a few points which is better than coming away with nothing. If we can get the car back to how it was in Australia then I’m sure we’ll be at the front again.”

Technical director James Allison said the team’s performance in qualifying, which was often a weakness last year, had compromised them in the race.

“This weekend feels like a case of what might have been,” said Allison. “We had a car on Friday which looked extremely promising, but unfortunately that didn’t translate into the sort of result we’d expect.

“Qualifying tenth and eleventh – particularly in the wet – was not an ideal start, with the consequence that within seven laps we were around thirty seconds from the front.”

See highlights from the race below:

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

SMP Racing
Leave a comment

SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.