Kimi Raikkonen not best pleased with Lotus’ British Grand Prix pits call
- Credit: Archant
Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen found even fewer words than usual as he fumed at a missed opportunity to pit – costing him at least a podium finish at a chaotic British Grand Prix.
With tyre explosions all around him at Silverstone – plus title rivals Sebastian Vettel's race retirement and Fernando Alonso off the pace – Lotus turned down a free chance to refresh Raikkonen's rubber during a late safety car.
The Finn questioned the decision over team radio moments after the window to do it disappeared.
And his fears were soon realised, as Raikkonen dropped from second to fifth over the final seven laps – losing valuable points in his faltering bid for a second drivers' championship.
Indeed, Alonso was one of those who came through to pinch third and darken Raikkonen's mood just that little bit more.
'We were P2 and I asked the team if I should pit and they said no, which was absolutely the wrong call,' simmered Raikkonen. 'It's very disappointing but it's not my fault this time.'
His finish did at least make it a record 25th race in the points, beating Michael Schumacher's previous record – but the Finn denied it was any consolation, before walking off to get some answers from his Hethel-backed team. Lotus' mistake could not have come at a worse time, after Thursday's confirmation of Mark Webber's departure from F1 in the winter made Raikkonen prime candidate to replace him at Red Bull.
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Raikkonen remains third in the drivers' standings and Lotus fourth in the constructors' race – not helped by Romain Grosjean's retirement with a damaged front wing ahead of the final lap.
And it may be the Hethel-backed outfit have new serious rivals on both fronts in Mercedes, after they excelled with Nico Rosberg winning and Lewis Hamilton recovering from a bitterly disappointing – and rather spectacular – tyre failure to claim fourth as he too pipped Raikkonen to the line.