Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen missed out on a podium finish at the British Grand Prix after a strategic blunder by his team.

The 2007 F1 world champion had been running in a good second after Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire 11 laps from the chequered flag.

However, the German's abandoned Red Bull necessitated a safety car, the second of the afternoon, and with Lotus electing to leave Raikkonen out, he soon became a sitting duck for Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso, who both took advantage and put on fresh rubber.

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Raikkonen eventually finished in fifth as he also lost out to a hard charging Lewis Hamilton.

"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," lamented Kimi. "It's a shame as the race went pretty well until then; we had good pace and looked set for a pretty easy P2, but this is racing sometimes."

"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," he added.

Despite this setback though, the Finn still managed to close the gap to Vettel in the F1 2013 Drivers' Championship standings, and in addition, he also set a new record by scoring points for the 25th time in succession.

Lotus boss Eric Boullier meanwhile admitted the team were largely to blame for the loss of the podium finish.

"Our strategy was great today until the last safety car when we should have called Kimi in to save at least one position and make the podium. Unfortunately, we made the wrong call for which we apologise to Kimi and to the team. This sometimes happens and it isn't easy to manage when you have so many safety car periods," Boullier commented.

Nonetheless though, he remains in a bullish mood for when the season resumes in Germany next weekend.

"Most of the upgrades we brought here seem to be working, however, which is a positive sign, although we did struggle a bit in qualifying to generate good grip from the tyres. We will be in Germany in a few days' time where we're confident we will be competitive and aiming to make amends," Boullier concluded.

by Philip Barclay