Ferrari were already having a black weekend in Malaysia. Things went from bad to calamitous when Kimi Raikkonen failed to make to start the Malaysian Grand Prix. He went out with a suspected engine failure. Whether it was similar to Vettel’s issues in Qualifying is unknown. Raikkonen rued the wasted opportunities for a decent finish especially since he had qualified 2nd. Vettel was able to salvage some pride by finishing 4th, but gave Ferrari another headache with a post-race clash.
Raikkonen said “It hurts a lot of us but there’s nothing we can do. The car worked perfectly the whole weekend and the problem came out of nowhere. I’m sure we could have had a very good race, speed wise we have been very quick. But we couldn’t get anything out of it in the end.”
Was it similar to Vettel’s failure?
Raikkonen was unsure if the issues were related to Vettel’s issues in qualifying, but stressed the fact nobody was to blame.
“I don’t know what he felt because I don’t drive his car. I don’t think any of us [do] right now, but we know the end result. Obviously it was a difficult weekend, Seb had issues yesterday, I had them today, but there’s nobody to blame.”
All in all it was a nightmarish race for the Scuderia Ferrari team. Vettel’s hard work to finish 4th was undone when he tangled with Lance Stroll. Only time will tell if Vettel’s gearbox needs changing. Raikkonen on the other hand will need to pull up his socks if he wants a contract extension beyond 2018.
Opportunities in Suzuka?
So can Ferrari overcome reliability and can Vettel keep his nose clean? The answers will be found in Suzuka in a week’s time.