Raikkonen continues strong start with runner-up

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On Sunday at Bahrain, Kimi Raikkonen collected his third podium in four starts this season, moving from seventh at the start to his second consecutive runner-up finish in as many races.

It’s also the sixth Bahrain Grand Prix podium of the Iceman’s career, but being ever hungry for a victory and nothing else, he indicated that he wanted more than just consistency.

“Second is obviously better than third place, but we haven’t won [at Bahrain] and that’s what we try to do,” Raikkonen said. “Today, we got good points, we didn’t lose too many to [race winner] Sebastian [Vettel], but obviously it doesn’t help to finish second if he’s winning all the time. So we try to find something, but all of [the podium finishes] have been improved, in a way.”

Still, Raikkonen, who worked from a two-stop strategy in the race that he felt “worked well,” believed that P2 was the best result he could have wrung out even if he had qualified farther up the grid.

“I think it didn’t help, but I think overall, we would not have had the speed for beating Red Bull in here this weekend,” he admitted. “Yesterday we could have been a few places better, but still, we couldn’t have challenged on speed… to the front.

“But I would say then, second was the best that we could achieve and also third for the team, so, a good result.”

Raikkonen now sits 10 markers in second place behind Vettel (77-67) in the driver’s championship as it goes into an extended break before the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona next month.

He recognizes that’s a better position than where he was last year at this time, but is downplaying expectations of a bid for the world title — at least for now.

“It’s going to be hard to catch Sebastian [Vettel] if he keeps taking good results so we need to start taking more points from him, but you never know what can happen,” Raikkonen said. “We’ll keep pushing to improve the car and see where we end up.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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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.