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Kimi Raikkonen sure he could have been ‘much faster’ in Australia

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Kimi Raikkonen has brushed off his quiet run to fourth in the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago, saying he could have been “much faster” in the Formula 1 season-opener.

Raikkonen arrived in Australia expected to challenge for victory following an impressive display for Ferrari in pre-season testing, setting the fastest time of the winter in Barcelona.

While Ferrari delivered on its testing pace as Sebastian Vettel scored its first win in 18 months, Raikkonen ailed to a lonely fourth place, finishing over 20 seconds behind his teammate in the same car.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, Raikkonen said he struggled to get to grips with the SF70H car over the weekend, and knows there is room for improvement.

“I think we learned a lot, we understand quite a bit and kind of everything came a bit late. And obviously then you don’t get a very good result,” Raikkonen said.

“Comparing to the last few years it was far from a distance. Yes, we had some difficulties, and we know afterwards that we could have been much faster.

“But still, as a team, we did a pretty solid job. We got some points, but [now a] new place, new circuit, so we’ll see.”

After hearing Vettel tip Mercedes to be the team to beat in China, Raikkonen said that he was unsure how Ferrari would compare, but has great confidence in the team’s car.

“I don’t know who it will be,” Raikkonen said when asked who the favorite for the race win would be. “We haven’t driven a single lap with the new cars here, so who knows.

“I think we have had a pretty good package and feeling in the car whichever place we’ve been, but it’s pointless to start guessing who’s going to be in front and who’s not.

“We will see over the weekend, and on Sunday, we’ll hopefully be a little bit smarter.”

Dakar Rally video highlights from the concluding Stage 14

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET and Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

The 40th Dakar Rally is now history.

Nearly 550 competitors began the early 5,600-mile long race 15 days ago and concluded Saturday.

As we’ve done throughout the Rally, here are some key video highlights from NBCSN’s coverage of the Rally:

TRUCKS

CARS

QUADS

 

MOTORCYCLES