Tyre confusion costs Ferrari at Fuji

Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari were not warned that they had to start the Japanese Grand Prix with full wet weather tyres

Tyre confusion costs Ferrari at Fuji

Both Raikkonen and teammate Felipe Massa started the race on intermediates, but the FIA had asked teams to start on full wets given the poor track conditions.

The race start took place behind the safety car and Raikkonen and Massa were forced to pit to change tyres, dropping from third and fourth to the back of the field.

Raikkonen, who went on to finish in third place, said after the race that Ferrari had not been informed that they had to start the race with different tyres and admitted the first pitstop had cost him dear.

"We made a decision to start on intermediates," said Raikkonen. "It started to rain a bit behind the safety car but that wasn't really the issue, it was more for me to see anything.

"After the race I heard there were some rules to force everyone to start on full wets but the FIA or race control forgot to tell our team. That forced us to pit behind the safety car. It cost us but not a lot. All race I could not see anything.

"Then I tried to overtake Heikki (Kovalainen). Actually I got past him but went too fast and he got past me back. The biggest problem was to see the circuit and the cars. At least we got something out of it.

"I aquaplaned off a few times but I kept coming back. We had the car set up for the dry so it was not perfect for the wet. I thought we had a good car. If you are in front it is much easier. We could have gone faster. We lost points to Lewis again but we could not do much after that first pitstop."

Renault's director of engineering Pat Symonds said he had been surprised by the tyre rule, pointing out that it had been introduced after the teams had already decided on their fuel strategy for the race.

"It is a bit surprising, actually, because you're not allowed to change the fuel - with the timing of this race - after 12 o'clock, and that rule came out at 12:15. So it's a little bit surprising, I guess," Symonds told ITV.

Raikkonen is now 17 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton with two races to go.

Massa, meanwhile, saw his slim championship hopes killed off after finishing in sixth place after making four pitstops.

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