Kimi Raikkonen has played down suggestions his Ferrari team favoured Fernando Alonso during the Spanish Grand Prix after a switch of strategy saw him leapfrogged by his team-mate.

The Finn started well to get ahead of Alonso through the opening turns, a position he would maintain until Ferrari chose to switch the Spaniard onto a three-stop strategy in an attempt to cover off a charge from Sebastian Vettel further back.

Giving Alonso pit-stop priority, the move duly allowed the local favourite to jump ahead of a two-stopping Raikkonen into sixth place, with the Finn finishing adrift in seventh place as he struggled with tyre degradation in the closing laps.

Related Articles

Asked whether the decision to move Alonso onto a more viable strategy was a hint that Ferrari was favouring him, while Raikkonen admits he wants to 'clear things up', he insists the difference between a two and three-stop strategy was minimal anyway.

"Obviously, I want to clear up a few things and that's all. There was not much between it. I ran out of tyres a little bit in the end, then we still finished far away from where we wanted to be, so it did not make much difference to do two stops over three.

Still his best finish on the road this season (he moved to seventh after the Australian GP in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification), Raikkonen nonetheless says Ferrari remains far from where it wants to be.

"It is a different place and we have been trying many things, which were a bit better, but as I said we are still sixth and seventh, one lap down, so we are far away from where we want to be. I am fighting with the car all race so it's not easy.

"We are not happy with where we are as a team and we know we have an awful lot of work to do to catch up, but in the future we know where we are lacking. It is not easy to catch up because other teams are pushing forward also."