Kimi Raikkonen has admitted his disappointment after qualifying 9th for tomorrow’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Lotus driver only just made it through to Q3, and he failed to match the pace of championship rivals Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in the final session. However, Raikkonen does not believe he could have fared much better.
“We were not fast enough. This was our maximum,” he said in an interview.
“Maybe we could’ve been a few places better, but like I said yesterday, it didn’t feel exactly like we want.
Raikkonen said that the lack of pace could be down to the track not suiting the Lotus E21 car.
“It’s just one of the places where we don’t seem to have the speed. Hopefully tomorrow it will turn out different.”
The 2007 world champion also refused to make any predictions for the race tomorrow.
“I cannot tell you where we’re going to finish. That would be stupid. We can only do our best and hopefully that will be a better result than today.
“I hope that our tires can last in better shape than some of the others.”
Due to Lewis Hamilton’s grid penalty, Raikkonen will start the race in 8th tomorrow, but he was only 0.1 seconds off Felipe Massa who will start 4th. However, he will take confidence from last year’s race, where he started P11 before rising to 2nd by the end of the race.
ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.