Raikkonen 'just didn't have enough tyres'
25 June 2012
Kimi Raikkonen has denied that he might have had a chance to become F1's eighth different winner of 2012, despite finishing second to Fernando Alonso in the European Grand Prix.
After a decent qualifying effort that left him fifth on the grid, the Finn ran in the points throughout the 57-lap distance, but only moved back into contention for a podium finish when Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel retired around the mid-point. Having spent much of the second half chasing down Lewis Hamilton's McLaren, the Finn snatched P2 from the Briton's ailing McLaren on lap 55, but did not have the time - or the car under him - to close in on the leader.
"I think everybody had quite old tyres at that point, and I just didn't have enough tyres," Raikkonen reported, "I had enough tyres to get past Hamilton on the second-last or third-last lap, [but] we didn't really have the speed to challenge for the win. The rear tyres were pretty bad, especially in the middle of the circuit. There were three or four corners that were really bad. The rest was not so bad, but I think everybody had similar issues."
Raikkonen was also left to regret an error at the restart that had consequences for his chase, having been ahead of Hamilton when the safety car was on track.
"I would have overtaken [earlier] if I could, I was not waiting for the last or second-last lap," he stressed, "I just didn't have the speed, [so] I just had to wait until he ran out of his tyres. Then I got the chance. I tried to get closer and closer, but I was not fast enough earlier on, otherwise I would definitely have tried to overtake. On the restart, I lost a place to Hamilton, as I just got too much wheelspin out of the corner after the bridge. I made a mistake and he got past me - it was my own mistake."
The Finn also reckoned that he could have been running higher up the order at the start of the race, but had had his quick getaway robustly defended.
"I got a good start, but got blocked by [Pastor] Maldonado in the first right-hander and lost quite a few places because of that," he revealed, "I lost quite a few places there, so I was a bit behind already at that point, and we made a good recovery from that position. It was a case of trying to catch up and get past people. I managed to pass some, but it was difficult to pass today. I got sight of Maldonado a few times, but he pushed me wide. I tried and tried and then, in the end, I managed to get past. After the safety car, I managed to get past people also, before [getting to] second place. It's okay of course, but not what we wanted. You're never happy until you win."