Kimi Raikkonen believes that the decision to not change his tyres at his first pit-stop cost him a race win this weekend. On the lap before both Hamilton and Raikkonen pitted, Raikkonen was challenging Hamilton for the race lead. The pair pitted at the same time but, crucially, Hamilton was given a new set of tyres whilst Ferrari elected not to change Raikkonen s.
The difference in strategy was obvious almost immediately the two cars left the pit-lane together however Hamilton immediately started to pull away from Raikkonen, who was clearly starting to struggle with his worn tyres. Raikkonen fought back to eventually finish in fourth place, however he believes this single error cost him the race.
“We only really made one mistake, which was to choose the wrong tyres,” Raikkonen explained “We didn’t really expect it to start raining so at the first pit-stop we kept the old tyres. So, until that point we had the speed and the car to win the race.
“But that mistake cost us, unfortunately, but at least we scored some points. It wasn’t as competitive as the car could have done, but it definitely could have been better.”
Raikkonen also explained that the decision to keep him on old tyres was that of his crew, however he defended the decision that the made.
“Everyone is involved with the team so we make the decisions together,” he explained. “Sometimes you get it right, but unfortunately today there was one of those times we didn’t.
“It could have gone in any direction and we had a very good speed at that point. But at that point it started to rain and the tyres were pretty old already so there was nothing to do.”
Raikkonen is now tied at the top of the drivers championship standings along with Hamilton and team-mate Massa. Although he hasn t had the best string of results recently, the Finn believes he will be back to winning ways soon.
“The last four races haven’t been easy for me especially. We haven’t had one good race,” he commented. “The last race we had a good speed but unfortunately I had a problem with the car, so if you look after all those things not scoring in two races and not really having a perfect race in the next two, we are still tied in the championship lead so it is not too bad.
“I am pretty sure we have a car to win races, there are many races to go and we just need to push hard. I think once we get everything running smoothly we should be up there winning races.”