Kimi Raikkonen admits he decided to pit “too early” for intermediate tyres during the British Grand Prix and labels the call a “wrong choice”.
Having lined up fifth on the grid, the Finn initially saw the fast-starting Nico Hulkenberg sail past his SF15-T on the opening lap. But Raikkonen then managed to leapfrog the Force India during the first round of pit stops and was leading team-mate Sebastian Vettel when it started to drizzle at Silverstone.
It did not take long for the German to overtake the 2007 world champion, who elected to switch to Pirelli’s green walled inters on the same lap.
“It was difficult to know where it was slippery, so I lost some speed on the back straight and he got past me,” said Raikkonen.
“It was raining more and more and I decided to come in as I thought it would rain more, but it was four laps too early. It was the wrong choice, but we tried.”
The Finn eventually had to make an extra pit stop for fresh intermediate rubber and wound up eighth, while his team-mate finished third.
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Although Vettel insists his sixth podium finish of the season has been obtained on merit, there is no denying that Williams has made in-roads in the Italian squad’s pace advantage.
Having declared on Saturday that Ferrari was not sliding back, Raikkonen appeared less adamant after Sunday’s race.
“It depends a lot on other circuits and conditions over the weekend, but I expect it to be a different story in the next race and then we go to different circuits again. This was not ideal for us, this kind of conditions, but we have to improve.
“We have to try and get better, whatever circuit it is, conditions, tyres… they were quite good, even in the race, but we will keep working and try to improve.”
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