Raikkonen says tyre error cost him win
|By Jonathan Noble and Pablo Elizalde||Sunday, July 6th 2008, 16:53 GMT|
Kimi Raikkonen believes the decision not to change tyres during his first pitstop cost him the chance to win the British Grand Prix.
The Finn was fighting for first place, right behind McLaren rival Lewis Hamilton, when both men pitted at the same time when the track was still wet.
Hamilton put on new tyres while Ferrari decided not to change Raikkonen's, a decision that backfired moments later when the rain hit the track again.
That left the Ferrari driver struggling for pace, and the world champion dropped down the order before pitting again to put on new tyres.
Raikkonen recovered and finished fourth on a disappointing day for Ferrari.
The Finn, however, reckons the day was not as bad as it looked, as he believes just one error cost them victory.
"We only really made one mistake, which was to choose the wrong tyres," Raikkonen told reporters. "We didn't really expect it to start raining so at the first pitstop 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 said the decision to keep the same tyres was the team's, but he defended his crew.
"Everyone is involved with the team so we make the decisions together," he said. "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."
Despite his disappointing day, Raikkonen managed to move into the championship lead, tied with Felipe Massa and Hamilton.
Although Raikkonen has not won since the Spanish Grand Prix in April, the world champion is convinced he will return to winning ways when he stays out of trouble.
"The last four races haven't been easy for me especially. We haven't had one good race," he added.
"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."