Raikkonen: Win not possible from higher grid spot

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Kimi Raikkonen doubts he could have won the Korean Grand Prix even if he’d started from a higher grid position.

Raikkonen finished second having qualified ninth in Korea but doubted he would have enjoyed a better result from further up on the grid.

“Even it we would have started behind [Vettel], we still don’t have the speed of him,” he said after the race.

“Not far off from him in the race with a little bit from all the tires but I mean it’s so difficult to overtake if you’re not massively faster. So, I think that was pretty OK what we did today.”

Raikkonen said the appearance of the Safety Car aided his cause. It was on track for nine laps during his final 30-lap stint.

“It maybe helped a bit in the end because my front tire was in quite a bad way, it kind of ran out of the rubber in the end,” he said. “So I couldn’t go much longer any more – but obviously that’s the part of racing. Sometimes it helps you a bit.”

“You have to react and do what you think is the right thing and sometimes certain things help you,” he added. “My front tire was pretty done in the end but we finished the race in a pretty good position.”

Fernando Alonso completes first test with United Autosports

Photo: United Autosports
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Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.

“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.

Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”

Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.

“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.

Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.