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F1 Mexican GP: Raikkonen rues not mirroring Vettel tyre gamble

Kimi Raikkonen feels he could have made similar progress to Sebastian Vettel had he joined him in being as aggressive with his tyre strategy.
RESULTS: Mexican Grand Prix – Race results

Kimi Raikkonen says making the switch to the medium tyre resulted in a lack of grip in his Ferrari and hampered his Mexican Grand Prix as he finished a distant sixth.

The Finn began the race on the soft compound from sixth position, an alternate strategy compared to Red Bull Racing who began with the super-soft rubber.

However, having not trialled the medium compound in any session throughout the weekend aside from one installation lap, Raikkonen was unable to get the tyres to work and struggled on his second stint where he ran the mediums for 25 laps before pitting for a new set.

POLL: Should Sebastian Vettel be punished for his foul mouthed outbursts?

“Once we put the Medium tyres on the grip was quite poor overall,” said Raikkonen. “It wasn't a disaster but they had quite poor grip. It was the first time I ran them this weekend, I'm sure they would have lasted the distance but I was hoping the next set would be a lot better.”

Having started the weekend looking like a genuine threat to challenge at least one of the Mercedes, Ferrari lost pace on Saturday and qualified behind regular 2016 rivals Red Bull. However, while the Scuderia had the different strategy option ahead of the race, it quickly diminished once the safety car was deployed on the first lap.

Not looking like they were ready to present a challenge to Red Bull, Vettel opted to run his soft tyre for 32 laps, 10 laps more than Pirelli's recommendation, while Raikkonen pitted earlier for the mediums, a strategy which may have been too conservative with hindsight.

“I think we could have run quite a bit longer in the first set but saying that afterwards it's always easy,” the Finn continued.

“We tried to do something and if any good came out of it, it was that we pushed Red Bull to make a second stop too, as we were trying to beat Ricciardo and that helped Seb's race a bit. It's one of those things – we tried something, I'm happy we tried and I have no complaints.”

by Josh Kruse

POINTS: The F1 World Championship standings after the Mexican GP

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