Raikkonen continues strong start with runner-up

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On Sunday at Bahrain, Kimi Raikkonen collected his third podium in four starts this season, moving from seventh at the start to his second consecutive runner-up finish in as many races.

It’s also the sixth Bahrain Grand Prix podium of the Iceman’s career, but being ever hungry for a victory and nothing else, he indicated that he wanted more than just consistency.

“Second is obviously better than third place, but we haven’t won [at Bahrain] and that’s what we try to do,” Raikkonen said. “Today, we got good points, we didn’t lose too many to [race winner] Sebastian [Vettel], but obviously it doesn’t help to finish second if he’s winning all the time. So we try to find something, but all of [the podium finishes] have been improved, in a way.”

Still, Raikkonen, who worked from a two-stop strategy in the race that he felt “worked well,” believed that P2 was the best result he could have wrung out even if he had qualified farther up the grid.

“I think it didn’t help, but I think overall, we would not have had the speed for beating Red Bull in here this weekend,” he admitted. “Yesterday we could have been a few places better, but still, we couldn’t have challenged on speed… to the front.

“But I would say then, second was the best that we could achieve and also third for the team, so, a good result.”

Raikkonen now sits 10 markers in second place behind Vettel (77-67) in the driver’s championship as it goes into an extended break before the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona next month.

He recognizes that’s a better position than where he was last year at this time, but is downplaying expectations of a bid for the world title — at least for now.

“It’s going to be hard to catch Sebastian [Vettel] if he keeps taking good results so we need to start taking more points from him, but you never know what can happen,” Raikkonen said. “We’ll keep pushing to improve the car and see where we end up.”

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”