Kimi Raikkonen's chances of overhauling the leaders in Barcelona were undone early on in the Spanish Grand Prix, especially when both Lotus cars made an unexpected strange decision to change to a second set of soft option tyres in their first pit stop.

"Maybe we took the wrong choice in the first pit stop," said Raikkonen after finishing in third place behind Pastor Maldonado and Fernando Alonso at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday.

"The first stint was pretty okay, but the second I chose the soft tyre and I didn't have the speed to keep up with them," he admitted. "I'm a bit disappointed but I just tried to fight.

"Then we changed the tyres and it seemed to turn out to be pretty good," he continued. "But we were just too far away. We needed, like, ten more laps and then I think we could have been fighting for the win.

"One more lap we could probably could have got Fernando - but it's easy to say after," he added.

So why had Lotus decided on that strategy of a second run on options, when everyone else on pit lane was trying everything that they could to avoid an additional outing on the grippy but very short-lived soft compound Pirellis?

"I had two new sets of prime but unfortunately I didn't have more sets of prime anyhow to put in the first pitstop," he revealed.

Even before that point of the race, he'd already fallen back from the leading pair despite managing to leap-frog his own Lotus F1 team mate Romain Grosjean down to the first corner to claim third place.

"Yeah, I had a pretty good start, nothing to complain about," he confirmed. "I thought I would get the chance to overtake outside both of the first two but I didn't have enough speed in a straight line - I actually hit the limiter I think in fifth gear which kind of stopped my acceleration a bit.

"But after that I didn't have the speed to hang on and hound them," he said. "I was pulling away from the guys behind me but I couldn't stay [with the leaders.]"

In just five races since his F1 comeback after a hiatus spent in World Rally (and a brief detour Stateside for a taste of NASCAR), it's already the second time that Raikkonen has been left thinking that he had missed out on a win that was there for the taking.

"Yeah, twice already. Unfortunately you're not always going to get there," he said. "If you get the chance, you should take it because it's not every race that you will be able to fight for that position or even try it.

"Hopefully we can keep doing what we're doing now and at a certain point I'm sure that things will go exactly right and we can," he said, remaining optimistic. "But so far it's going in a good way and I'm happy with it. OK, we're not 100% happy with it because we are not winning but that's a very normal thing and I'm happy for the team."

Next up is the unique race in Monte Carlo, so does he think that Lotus are in a good position there to extend the run of different driver/team Grand Prix winners to six in a row?

"The next race is a bit different - Monaco - it's hard to say how it goes there," he said. But at least he has some proven race-winning ability on the streets of the principality to build on, having won there for McLaren in 2005.


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment