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Kimi Raikkonen: Ferrari must have had reasons for strategy

HUNGARORING -- Kimi Raikkonen trusts Ferrari had good reasons for its strategy calls at the Hungarian Grand Prix after the timing of his pit stop appeared to suit teammate Sebastian Vettel's race more than his.

Raikkonen finished second to Vettel at the Hungaroring, but only after playing rear gunner for his teammate in the second half of his race as Vettel struggled with a steering issue and the Mercedes drivers closed in. Vettel's problem meant Raikkonen was the quicker of the two Ferraris and stood a good chance of emerging ahead of his teammate after his pit stop had he stayed out in clear air and exploited the pace of his car when Vettel pitted.

Kimi Raikkonen
However, Ferrari pitted Raikkonen the lap after Vettel, giving him a minimal amount of time to gain an advantage, and resulting in Raikkonen rejoining the race directly behind Vettel. Raikkonen complained on the radio that he had "the speed to stay out" longer and when the two Mercedes drivers closed in behind him later in the race, he told the team "you've put me under massive pressure from Mercedes for no reason".

Raikkonen said he had considered extending his first stint longer to gain an advantage, but was wary of the pace of the two Mercedes behind, which had pitted in the two laps before Vettel's stop and were on fresh tyres.

"I wondered... but I have no idea what was happening behind us," Raikkonen explained after the race. "Mercedes stopped before and maybe they went a lot faster with the fresh tyres.

"The team told me I had to come in, I had good speed on the in-lap so I wanted to stay out longer, but I had to trust what the team was telling me. They see the whole picture and we did get close to Seb, but it was OK."

Raikkonen believes his best chance to win in Hungary was lost on Saturday when he made a mistake in qualifying.

"In the end we got another one-two and I can look at what I did yesterday [in qualifying] and blame myself for not giving myself a better chance in the race," he said. "My car was good, we had a plan as a team, Seb was first yesterday and he got away first. The aim was, in whatever way, to finish one-two.

"Obviously we know as team-mates what we are supposed to do and, like I said, I had a pretty good run into the first corner, but being team-mates, we can fight but probably leave a bit more space and we're not going to force the issue, compared to what we'd do with somebody else."

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/20200455/kimi-raikkonen-ferrari-had-reasons-strategy

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