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GP Week : Issue 227
By the time the field reached the first corner, Kimi raikkonen had fallen from the front row of the grid to stone cold last. The Finn was left stranded on the grid as the lights went out, Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas doing well to avoid the stricken Ferrari before he eventually got the car going. The incident might have spirited a strong recovery drive from the former world champion, but that comes as little consolation for a race that had promised so much on Sunday morning. Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene wasn't pointing fingers at Raikkonen for the poor getaway, but suggested the early indications were that it was the result of human error rather than a technical malfunction. "If it is a technical issue we will let you know," said the Ferrari boss post-race. "Looking at the moment on the images on television, it looks lke he was struggling a bit, or messing a bit, with a finger to follow the procedure." Raikkonen though was adament he had followed the correct procedure as he pulled up in his grid slot, and his fiddling with the steering wheel came as he attempted to recover the car. " The engine stalled when I let the first clutch go," he explained. "As far as I understood I did the correct things but we can see a problem with the second clutch - the way it is was not in the correct place. I am pretty sure I did everything correct as always, but I don't know exactly." Having dropped to the back of the pack within seconds of the start, Raikkonen climbed back to 14th by the end of the first lap - helped by contact at the first corner which eliminated both Lotus' and saw Carlos Sainz stop with a puncture, while Max Verstappen vanished to serve his drive-through penalty. Raikkonen eventually climbed back to fifth place, a position the team is satisfied with but laments the startline error which robbed them of strategic options to challenge Mercedes for the win. "Being positive, he had a fantastic qualifying and today into the race, starting from that position, he was doing very, very good overtaking and we were happy," Arrivabene claimed. "If you ask me what was the ideal situation, the ideal situation was to see Kimi passing first at the first curve. "We have to be happy. But we have a driver who is second, we are still second in the constructors' championship. Fine." "We finished fifth but when you start in second place and end up last in the first corner, it is not ideal. So, it was a bit disappointing," added Raikkonen. "Whatever it was, it triggered the anti stall and after a few seconds I was in last place. After that we did the best we could but we were quite disappointed – the race was okay." Teammate Sebastian Vettel enjoyed a comparatively lonely race to second place, 25 seconds adrift of race winner Lewis Hamilton. Late in the race he came under increasing pressure from a closing Nico Rosberg, only for his Mercedes engine to expire and leave Vettel in an uncontested second place. 30 GPWEEK.com // 30 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> ITALY PARTNERS: poor start self inflicted, says Ferrari