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Raikkonen: Overtaking difficulty with new F1 cars ‘gets a bit boring’

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Kimi Raikkonen says the difficulty of overtaking with Formula 1’s 2017-spec cars “gets a bit boring” after failing to make a single pass through Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen started and finished third at Interlagos for Ferrari, recording his third-straight F1 podium finish for the first time since he raced for Lotus in 2013, but struggled to keep up with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas ahead throughout the race.

After the race, Raikkonen expressed his frustration with the difficulty of following cars ahead on-track with the high-downforce 2017-spec cars, preventing him from getting close to Bottas and trying to complete a one-two finish for Ferrari as teammate Sebastian Vettel took his fifth win of the year.

“To be honest my car was pretty good. Not in the first part, that was a bit tricky, but closer to the first pit stop it got a bit better and then the second tires on the softs after the stop it was very good,” Raikkonen said.

“I took it easy in the beginning and I was still catching up the guys at the front but I felt I took care of my tyres and once I pushed I could get close but you can’t really do anything.

“Unfortunately the cars this year in this kind of place they can be very difficult to pass and it gets a bit boring unfortunately.

“I thought that I had a lot of speed but there was nothing that I could have done. I stayed around the same distance from Valtteri.

“It was a good end, but I wanted more.”

P3 in Brazil assured Raikkonen of a top-five finish in the F1 drivers’ championship, as well as giving him his biggest points total since the 2012 season when he returned to the sport with Lotus.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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