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McLaren Change Tyre on Raikkonen's Car

McLaren have been allowed to change the left front tyre flat-spotted by Kimi Raikkonen in qualifying on Saturday to give him a better chance of success in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix

Raikkonen threw away his chance of a possible pole position when he braked later than he had all weekend as he headed into the first corner and struggled for the rest of his flying lap before finishing fifth fastest.

McLaren surveyed the tyre after the session, proved to the FIA that it had suffered flat-spot damage and, because of a mid-season change in the ruling over race tyres, were allowed to make the change without a penalty.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis said: "There have been precedents in the past, it has occurred on at least one previous occasion so basically we are able to run a tyre with three or four laps on it.

"That is an absolutely written interpretation of the rule. The disadvantage we have is that we do not have anything to revert to other than a high mileage tyre if we have a problem in the race."

New regulations for tyres to last a full race distance were brought in this year and FIA chose not to see a driver mistake that caused a flat-spot as a valid reason to change a tyre without penalty.

McLaren decided to keep Kimi Raikkonen out on track at the European Grand Prix after he had damaged one of his tyres in a move that resulted in a dramatic suspension failure on the final lap of the race.

And Dennis explained: "It was very clear prior to the race at the Nurburgring that it was not considered valid to change a tyre because of a flat-spot and the solution was to simply drive slower.

"After the Nurburgring it was clarified that a flat-spotted tyre would be unsafe and could be changed for a tyre with the same amount of laps on it, so that is what we have done for this race."

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