Indian GP: Kimi Raikkonen blames qualifying error for missing podium

Abu Dhabi GP highlights

Kimi Raikkonen lamented a mistake in qualifying that he believes put paid to his chances of a podium finish at the Indian Grand Prix.

The Lotus driver claimed a set-up change left him grip-less in Q3 that prevented him from qualifying higher than seventh.

Raikkonen finished where he started in Sunday's race, over 45 seconds behind winner Sebastian Vettel.

"We made a mistake on Saturday and we paid the price on Sunday," he said.

"We could have had the chance to fight for a podium here as we have the pace.

"Hopefully next week with the pace we have we won't make a mistake in qualifying and then we will have a chance for the podium."

There was also disappointment for Michael Schumacher, whose race was effectively over from the moment it started.

The seven-time world champion suffered a first lap right-rear puncture after contact with Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso at the first corner.

Schumacher continued before retiring five laps before the end with a gearbox issue.

"That was a pretty unsatisfactory race today," he said.

"It was effectively over just after the start; I lost so much time getting back to the pits with the puncture that any hope of scoring points was gone.

"The pace was pretty good but I was too far behind to make up more than a few positions. In the end, we had to retire the car for technical reasons."

For his part in the incident, Vergne, who finished 15th, said: "Immediately after the lights went out, I was caught up in a bit of a sandwich and had to brake harder and earlier than I wanted to. That meant I locked my wheels and made contact with the back of Schumacher's car.

"It broke my front wing, so I had to pit and my race was more or less over after that."

It was a happier race for Nico Hulkenberg, however, with the German claiming eighth for Force India in their home grand prix.

He said: "I'm very happy with the result and I think eighth was about the maximum that was possible.

"It was a great team performance and I'm feeling satisfied with what we achieved.

"You could really feel the support for the team in the grandstands and it's great that we could score points for them."

Bruno Senna found himself involved in a few battles throughout the race, and he secured a point for Williams by finishing in the top 10 for the first time since Monza.

"It was a fun race because I was fighting with cars that were very similar on pace so I had to make my overtaking manoeuvres stick, and so that was very satisfying," said Senna.

"The car has felt much better this weekend so we will head to the next race with a lot more confidence."

For Sergio Perez, it was largely a weekend to forget.

The Mexican missed first practice on Friday as he recovered from a cold and he retired just 20 laps into Sunday's race after clashing with Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso.

"Sunday was a total disappointment," said Perez.

"First of all I had to pit after 14 laps because the front-left tyre was blistering badly. We don't know yet why this happened.

"I wanted to recover the lost positions but touched Daniel Ricciardo's front wing when I overtook him. The rear right tyre came off the rim and damaged something at the rear of the car. So my race was over after 20 laps."

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