Kimi Raikkonen missed out on a podium in the European Grand Prix on Sunday after picking up a penalty for crossing the white line at the pit entry, and while he conceded “the rule is the rule”, he added “there is zero gain from it”.
Raikkonen ran third for much of the race in his Ferrari, only conceding the position to Force India's Sergio Perez right at the end, as he knew it was pointless to defend given he had earlier picked up that five-second punishment.
“If you look where we finished, it's a bit disappointing,” Raikkonen said after the eighth round in the 2016 F1 World Championship. “I ran over the line, got penalised for that. I know the rule is the rule but there is zero gain from it. I just missed the line and that's it.
“I tried to pull the gap and was not able to do it with some traffic. The end result is not great, not far from disaster, but it doesn't give me personally anything. I think there was good speed but the penalty changed an awful lot the end result.”
Raikkonen also added that thought he lost too much time letting team-mate Sebastian Vettel by on lap 28. Vettel went on to finish second.
“I don't disagree with that decision,” he added. “I had the penalty so we knew the end story would have been the same way. We could have done it slightly better. I don't know how, I just felt I lost a bit too much. I lost two and a half seconds on that lap.
“My race was against Force India to try and keep them five seconds away. In the end, it didn't make an awful lot of difference and there was nothing wrong with the decision itself, it was just probably we could have managed to do it by slightly losing less on my side. But it's part of the thing.”
Meanwhile, Raikkonen said the plan was never to two-stop, even though he came in quite early, switching to the yellow soft compound tyres on lap 8.
“The plan was always one-stop, then it is depending on where you are. There were some people coming from behind so we had to put the car where we don't get penalised too much with the traffic and still be able to overtake. The tyres lasted pretty well. I wouldn't say there is an awful lot wrong. In the end, the guys who stopped later would have fresher tyres. There was nothing major with the tyres.
“With the penalty, we tried to stay in front of guys. In the end, I'm sure I could have kept the Force India behind but the end result would have been the same. There was no point to make a big fight.”