Räikkönen: I might as well be last if I finish 11th
Kimi Räikkönen remains Ferrari's most recent world champion and is now the oldest and most experienced drivers on the current F1 grid; it is quite certain that he knows his way around a race track.
When he announced his switch from Ferrari to Alfa Romeo, everyone expected the 2019 to be difficult and horrible for Kimi. He and his teammate Giovinazzi showed that Alfa was a force to be reckoned with by getting numerous points finish including Giovinazzi's debut points finish at the Austrian GP.
Räikkönen has not had a points finish since the Hungarian GP so with a pointless streak of 7 races, it is easy to sympathise with the 2007 world champion. In Austin, Kimi qualified 17th but quickly moved up to P11 on the opening lap. He then ran in the points for the opening part of the race and then finished a rather disappointing P11.
Tyres were suspected to be the key factor in the reason why both Alfa Romeo cars failed to reach Q2 and when asked if they the main reason for the lack of pace, Kimi said: "If you take many previous races for sure I was [the] strongest for a long time, but when you obviously finish 11th you get absolutely nothing so you [might] as well be last". Strong but real criticism from the 21x race winner.
"We are lacking a little speed generally. we were at least in a fight but it's still disappointing to finish 11th."
He continues to talk about how he didn't have enough speed and grip to maintain his position. He said: "It feels like we are lacking general speed a bit so we have to use the tyres more than others to hold onto them"
This problem with the tyres has also been experienced in both sides of the Alfa garage. Antonio Giovinazzi, who has just been confirmed for a 2020 seat at the Swiss firm, said that the car is "just missing grip"
"We were on different strategies with Kimi trying to finalise something" said the Italian driver. "We are still struggling on race pace. We tried to do something, bit it's still not enough."
It must be hard to have won this same race last year and now struggle to finish tantalisingly close to the points. In 2018, Räikkönens win was one of two victories Ferrari had in the second half of the 2018 season.
Räikkönen holds the all time record for the gap between his maiden and last win which is 5,691 days to be exact.
He had to cling onto his degraded tyres to hold off a rampant Lewis Hamilton towards the end of last years race but he ended up taking his 21st race win.
The tyres issue continue to ruin many races such as Räikkönen's at the Circuit of the Americas. It was also arguably tyre problems which caused former teammate Sebastian Vettel to tumble down the order and then eventually suffer a suspension failure.
Prior to the Brazilian GP, Alfa Romeo are 8th in the constructors standings which means they are 29 points away from Toro Rosso, soon to be known as Alpha Tauri, and they are only seven points away from Haas F1 Team.