Raikkonen: Last year I had a fun first lap in Portugal

raikkonen alfa romeo

Kimi Raikkonen is looking forward to the Portuguese Grand Prix and has insisted that Alfa Romeo are “right in the middle” of the scrap for points.

The Hinwil-based outfit have been unfortunate not to score points from the opening two races of the season, with both Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi just outside the top 10 in Bahrain, before a combination of mechanical issues and penalties took them out of the running at Imola.

However, the team appear confident in their package at the moment and travel to Portimao for the start of a double-header hopeful of breaking their duck.

Raikkonen finished 11th at last year’s race despite starting 17th on the grid after managing to gain 10 positions on the opening lap in treacherous conditions.

However, the Finn explained that how you finish a race is more important than how you start it ahead of a return to the Algarve.

“Two more races mean two more chances to have a good result – something we went really close to in the opening events of the season,” Raikkonen said. “We are not miles off, we are right in the middle of this scrap and we can fight with anyone in the midfield if we do our job properly and we have a little luck, which we missed so far this season.

“Last year I had a fun first lap in Portugal, but it’s not going to be on my mind: in the end, it doesn’t really matter how you start a race, but where you finish it and we need to finish it in the top ten to achieve our objective.”