Mixed feelings for Raikkonen after season-best P4 for Alfa Romeo
Kimi Raikkonen was left with mixed feelings after his best result of the season in Brazil. Frustrated after finishing fourth behind McLaren’s podium-sitter Carlos Sainz, Raikkonen was at least relieved by a positive turn of form for Alfa Romeo after he'd gone seven races without a point.
“Yeah, obviously a lot of things happened in the end, a bit disappointed,” said Raikkonen post-race.
“I think we had the speed but with the last set [of soft tyres] I had a bit too much understeer, especially trying to follow the McLaren, I couldn’t get past on the restart – it [the door] was twice closed – but anyhow, at least we got points on two cars and that’s a much more positive end of the weekend.”
That seven-race scoreless streak was the longest of Raikkonen’s career and the Finn started Sunday's Grand Prix eighth – making up two places when the final Safety Car was brought out due to Ferrari’s crash, and another during the restart.
After Lewis Hamilton’s post-race penalty for colliding with Red Bull’s Alex Albon, Raikkonen was promoted to P4 – his best finish for Alfa romeo – meaning he missed out on a podium by half a second to Sainz at the flag.
Team mate Antonio Giovinazzi, who recently renewed his contract to stay at Alfa Romeo for 2020, had more reasons to celebrate, however, after taking the best finish of his F1 career with fifth at Interlagos.
“It was fantastic, I think the best things to celebrate the renewal of the contract for next year," commented the Italian. “Really happy with the race, really happy with the start and the restart after the safety car – so really happy with the result.”
Between them, Giovinazzi and Raikkonen combined to give the team their first double top-six finish since the 2012 German Grand Prix (when they were known as Sauber).
It means eighth-placed Alfa Romeo are now a healthy 29 points clear of Haas in the constructors' table, and just 10 behind Racing Point heading into the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Constructors' standings after Brazil
|7 Racing Point||67|
|8 Alfa Romeo Racing||57|
|9 Haas F1 Team||28|