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Raikkonen confused by Belgian GP penalty, pleased with recovery

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Ferrari Formula 1 racer Kimi Raikkonen was left confused by his 10-second stop/go penalty during Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix after being adjudged to have failed to slow for yellow flags, but was glad to recover to fourth place at the checkered flag.

Raikkonen was running fourth when the FIA stewards penalized him for not slowing down for yellow flags shown for Max Verstappen’s stricken Red Bull.

The Finn reacted angrily on team radio when informed of the decision, dropping back to seventh after taking the penalty.

Raikkonen fought back up to fifth before a Safety Car period allowed him to close up on the lead pack again, eventually passing Valtteri Bottas to nick fourth place at the checkered flag.

“Overall, we have been quite competitive this weekend,” Raikkonen said. “In the race the car was good on the soft compound, while with the ultra-softs, after some laps, I was struggling with the rear the first laps were OK, but then I was sliding around.

“When I saw the yellow flags I was on the straight, on the right side and I’m sure I did not go any faster than on any other lap. The penalty was not ideal, but luckily there was a Safety Car and we could recover something.

“I overtook Bottas and then I tried to get close to Ricciardo, but we did not have enough speed to overtake him as he was surprisingly good in race conditions, with good speed in the right places.

“I guess the result of today could have been worse, but for sure I was looking for more. We have to take the good things, we learned from this race and we’ll try to do better next weekend.”

Pirelli reveals new super-hard, hyper-soft F1 tires in Abu Dhabi

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Pirelli has confirmed it will add two new tires to its range for the 2018 Formula 1 season, launching the ‘super-hard’ and ‘hyper-soft’ compounds in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Pirelli currently makes three of its five dry compounds available to teams for each race weekend, and despite varying selections across the course of the season has struggled to offer much in terms of strategy options, with one-stop races being the norm.

The hope is that the addition of two new tire compounds and a re-alignment of their durability will offer teams more choices in races.

Pirelli confirmed plans to introduce a new softest tire below the current ultra-soft earlier this month, inviting fans to pick a name.

The pink-colored compound will be known as the ‘hyper-soft’ from next year, with the arrival of a new ‘super-hard’ (colored ‘ice blue’) also being confirmed at a launch event in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“Compared to this year, when the tires grew by 25% to fit a brand-new generation of cars, the changes for next year are less far-reaching,” Pirelli head of car racing Mario Isola said.

“However, we’re pleased to present some important innovations with softer and faster compounds across the range: including the new hypersoft.

“We realized that, under the unique circumstances of this year, some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative: the tires we have created for 2018 addresses this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races.

“However, the fundamental design concept of the tires hasn’t changed next year, preserving the attributes that all drivers have appreciated this year and allowing them to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint.

“The new range consists of faster tires that should lead to even harder and more spectacular racing in 2018.”

Besides the seven dry compounds made available, there will be the two rain tires – wet and intermediate – taking it to a total of nine for the 2018 season.