Kimi Raikkonen was pleased to end a podium drought that had dated all the way back to the 2013 Korean Grand Prix by finishing second in the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Finn was moved onto an alternative strategy by Ferrari during the race, allowing him to push in the final stint on the soft tire whilst others struggled on the slower medium compound.
Raikkonen moved up into the podium positions when his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, was forced to make an unplanned pit stop due to front wing damage.
He then set about catching Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, finding his way past on the penultimate lap of the race before finishing just 3.3 seconds behind race winner Lewis Hamilton.
Speaking on the podium after the race, Raikkonen said that it was impossible to be wholly satisfied with second place, but given his qualifying result and difficult start to the year, he was pleased with the result.
“Obviously you’re never happy when you finish second, but I think after a difficult start to the year I’m a bit pleased to get some result,” Raikkonen said.
“Obviously we came through in the end very quickly, but we ran out of laps. I think we have to be happy after that and where we qualified.”
Raikkonen has already made his satisfaction with the new regime at Ferrari clear, saying earlier this week that the atmosphere at Maranello was better than any other he had experienced in F1.
The Finn is confident that this can aid Ferrari in its bid to topple Mercedes at the front of the field and get back in the fight for race wins later in the season.
“Yeah I’m very happy how the team is working,” Raikkonen said. “After last year, where we are now is a big step. Everyone is working very well together, and the atmosphere is very good now.
“We have a good direction to keep pushing. It seems to be working well. Things are improving. I’m sure as a team we will get there and be able to be fighting for wins, but it will take a bit more time.”