Kimi Raikkonen points at 'wrong call' on Lotus pit wall for late slide in British GP
Title contender slipped from second to fifth in final five laps
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 30/06/13 6:41pm
Kimi Raikkonen has accused his Lotus team of making "absolutely the wrong call" after plummeting from second to fifth over the final laps of Sunday's British GP.
Unlike the Mercedes team of race victor Nico Rosberg, Lotus opted not to call the Finn in for a pit-stop after the second Safety Car deployment of the afternoon with ten laps still remaining.
That decision - which left Raikkonen to finish the race on tyres 23 laps old - backfired spectacularly during a gripping finale as first Mark Webber, then Fernando Alonso and finally Lewis Hamilton hurtled past his E21.
Amid ongoing speculation that Raikkonen could be lured to Red Bull as a replacement for the Porsche-bound Mark Webber, Kimi's relations with the Lotus team will be closely scrutinised over the coming weeks and the typically sanguine Finn was unusually animated on Sunday as he reflected on the loss of a podium-scoring result on a day.
"We had an easy P2. I asked the team whether we ought to change the tyres and they said 'no', [it was] absolutely the wrong call," Kimi complained to Sky Sports F1. "Not my fault this time."
In Lotus' own post-race press release, Raikkonen was slightly more lucid in voicing his frustrations but no less damning of his team.
"I tried to hold on at the end of the race, but with tyres that were maybe twenty laps older than the others' it was impossible to keep them behind," he said. "It's three races now where we haven't had the result we maybe expect, but hopefully if we can have a bit more luck and also get rid of some of the mistakes we'll be able to get back to the front."
Nor was a record-breaking 25th consecutive points finish of any consolation to Raikkonen. Asked if the feat provided him with any solace, his answer was as blunt as it was straightforward: "No."