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GP Week : Issue 171
RAIKKONEN REALISTIC ABOUT TITLE HOPES 28 GPWEEK.com // 28 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> KOREA Kimi Raikkonen has acknowledged that Sebastian Vettel will be “very difficult” to catch in this year’s title race, after Red Bull Racing sealed a dominant one-two victory in Korea. Starting from fifth on the grid, the Finn capitalised on the misfortune of others to hold his position at the finish line. However, with Vettel taking a third successive win in Yeongam and former championship leader Fernando Alonso finishing on the podium, Raikkonen – third in the standings – is now 42-points adrift and concedes that his chances of achieving a second world title are, at best, slim with only four races to go. “The gap to Sebastian [Vettel] in the championship is quite big now so it will be very difficult to catch him, but we’ll keep pushing all the way,” said Raikkonen. “I think this was about where we should have been today – we didn’t quite have the speed to match the Red Bulls and Ferraris.” Lotus trialled a new downwashed Coanda- style exhaust during Friday practice and, while the upgrades were far from optimised, chose to continue running the package on Raikkonen’s car for the whole weekend. The Finn was somewhat under whelmed by the updates and says a lack of horsepower compared to his Ferrari and Mercedes-powered rivals prevented him from moving for wards. “I lost quite a bit of time behind Lewis [Hamilton] – mainly because the new exhaust system means you lose a little bit of power so it was hard to get past – but with a few more practice sessions I’m sure we’ll learn a lot more to be able to improve it,” said Raikkonen.