Raikkonen says car not behaving as expected

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Kimi Raikkonen admitted he was puzzled by his car’s performance in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The winner of the first race of the year had a less successful weekend in Malaysia. He qualified seventh but was moved back three places on the grid for blocking Nico Rosberg.

A scruffy race saw him go off twice at turn 12 and finish seventh behind team mate Romain Grosjean.

Raikkonen had been quickest on Friday practice but said the car never felt the same after that: “Although the car felt very good on Friday, yesterday and today [Sunday] have been pretty difficult.”

“Since Saturday morning it has not been behaving as we expected for some reason, especially in the wet where we really struggled for grip.”

His progress in the race was not helped by incurring damage early on: “It was a tough race and I lost part of my front wing at the start which didn’t help.”

“But at least we scored a few points which is better than coming away with nothing. If we can get the car back to how it was in Australia then I’m sure we’ll be at the front again.”

Technical director James Allison said the team’s performance in qualifying, which was often a weakness last year, had compromised them in the race.

“This weekend feels like a case of what might have been,” said Allison. “We had a car on Friday which looked extremely promising, but unfortunately that didn’t translate into the sort of result we’d expect.

“Qualifying tenth and eleventh – particularly in the wet – was not an ideal start, with the consequence that within seven laps we were around thirty seconds from the front.”

See highlights from the race below:

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.