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Traffic costs Kimi title race

2012-09-25 07:24

POISED FOR PODIUMS: Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen (left) chats with Red Bull Renault driver Sebastian Vettel during a media conference ahead of the 2012 Singapore F1 GP. Vettel won, but Raikkonen only made sixth. Image: AFP

Patrick Johnston

SINGAPORE, Malaysia - World Drivers' championship contender Kimi Raikkonen moaned about the narrow Marina Bay street circuit as he struggled to weave his Lotus through the 2012 race traffic and lost ground in the title race.

The 2007 World Drivers' champion finished sixth in Sunday's race and fell a further seven points behind leader Fernando Alonso. He is now 45 points behind the Ferrari driver with six race remaining in 2012; Alonso finished third.

Paul di Resta was fourth for Force India and Nico Rosberg fifth for Mercedes but Raikkonen believed he could have finished ahead of the Rosberg. "We were definitely faster than Mercedes' Michael (Schumacher) and Nico but we ended up stuck behind them for most of the race," Raikkonen said. He started the race 12th.


"It's so hard to overtake here that you have to rely on passing people in the pit stops or on someone making a mistake." Which mistake Schumacher did make when he slammed into the back of Jean Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso to end his and Vergne's race's on lap 38.

Raikkonen's team mate Romain Grosjean then moved aside to allow the Finn through to pick up eight points instead of six to keep his slim title hopes on life support.

"I'm still third in the Drivers' championship but we've got some improvements to make for the next races. I hope we can take a step forward in Japan (October 7, 2012) and take it from there."

Raikkonen moved above McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who retired with a broken gearbox, in the standings but is still behind race winner Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.

Grosjean said he did not enjoy letting Raikkonen past but understood the position of the team.

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