Gamble costs Kimi second

Kimi Raikkonen's brave gamble to win Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix not only failed, but the Finn also handed second spot to BAR-Honda's Jenson Button. The McLaren ace, who started the race second on the grid, switched his strategy mid-way through the race in an attempt to beat eventual race winner Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari).

Gamble costs Kimi second

The team thought that by making the Finn's mid-stint shorter, he may have been able to get by the Brazilian, but Rubens had other ideas and slammed the door firmly shut on the Finn.

"From where I was sitting that was a close and exciting debut race and hopefully the Chinese fans agree," he said. "I was able to keep up with Rubens but just lacked that final speed to get past and take the lead. As always we are here to win races and decided to change my strategy in an attempt to get past Rubens with a short middle stint.

"However it didn't work out and we lost second place to Jenson, but I'm not too disappointed. The car has felt good throughout the weekend and once again my Michelin tyres were working well. My times were consistent during the race and I'm looking forward to the last two races where we will continue to go for victory."

Team-mate David Coulthard had an eventful race to finish outside the points in ninth. "An exciting race with a disappointing outcome for me," said the Scot. "As always with a low grid position it is difficult to achieve a decent result particularly as you inevitably get involved in the mid-field battles. There is no doubt that the pace was there, but I got stuck behind one of the Saubers in the opening stages and lost a lot of time.

"On lap 37 I unfortunately had a coming together with Ralf Schumacher at the hairpin and damaged my left front wheel. I'm sorry for him but it also affected my race significantly as I could have finished higher up in the points. It took me quite some time to reach the pits to replace the wheel. At the end of day the team could have used the points, but at least we put on a good show in China."

Team boss Ron Dennis added: "A thrilling race and a fantastic debut for Formula 1 in China. We have always made it clear that we exist to win and that was what we wanted to do today. As a result we took the decision to change Kimi's strategy to see if we could get him ahead of Rubens. On this occasion it didn't work out and in effect we handed second place to Jenson."

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