Raikkonen "Should have Played Safe"

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen should have played safe at the European Grand Prix rather than risking all on victory, according to Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello

Raikkonen "Should have Played Safe"

Raikkonen crashed out on the last lap while leading at the Nurburgring 11 days ago when his damaged front tyre caused a suspension failure.

Had the Finn pitted for a replacement, allowed under the rules, he might still have finished on the podium rather than allowing Renault's Championship leader Fernando Alonso to win and go 32 points clear.

"I don't want to go too much into his problems but if it was me driving that car, I would most certainly have stopped," Barrichello, who finished third, told a news conference at the Canadian Grand Prix on Thursday.

"Not because it was dangerous and I'm afraid to have a crash or die or something like this but just because it wasn't going to work.

"Sometimes in life you have to go backwards to go ahead so I think that day it was better to get eight points."

Raikkonen, who had won the two races before the May 29 disappointment, said he had no regrets about his and the team's decision to stay out.

"In the end we needed to try and gain more points than Alonso and he was behind me so I didn't see any reason to come in and change the tyre and lose points," he said.

"We took the gamble and it didn't pay off but I still would do the same thing."

The Finn said he was to blame for flat-spotting his tyre, while lapping Canadian Jacques Villeneuve, and had no complaints.

He was confident the team could claw some points back in Canada and the following US Grand Prix, even if the Championship battle had become harder than ever for him.

"The car is quick, better than it was at the last race," he said after recent testing. "We are pretty hopeful that it will be good here and I'm sure it will be good in the United States.

"There's many races to go and so many things can happen...we still have a good chance to catch him (Alonso)," said Raikkonen. "But it's not going to be easy.

"They have a very reliable package and were very strong at the start of the year. We have at least as a good a car as they have and we can definitely fight against them."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Author Alan Baldwin
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