While teammate Fernando Alonso raced to the Italian team’s first podium of the season, Finn Raikkonen struggled all weekend in China in the sister F14-T.
Spaniard Alonso couldn’t help labelling Raikkonen’s deficit at the chequered flag as “a minute”, even though the true gap was just over 50 seconds.
But no matter the gap, the self-described ‘iceman’ did not appreciate being asked if a dip in motivation, three years into his F1 comeback, might help explain his troubles.
“I don’t know why this comes up again and again,” Raikkonen hit back, according to German-language reports.
“If I was not motivated, I wouldn’t be here and I definitely wouldn’t be answering your questions,” he bristled.
“I’ve been around long enough to know that sometimes it is just like this.”
Raikkonen admitted, however, that he is not quite sure why he is struggling so much.
“In the race I was just too slow,” he said, “but there is not one big problem that we have found.”
Raikkonen was using a different chassis in China, but he thinks the issue is “probably something to do with my driving style and the track and the temperatures”.