After leading the way in practice and qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen had to settle for second place in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone behind the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher.

Raikkonen claimed his best result of the year as the McLaren team finally enjoyed a change in fortune after a difficult and frustrating first half of the season

From pole, Raikkonen scorched away from the field but a combination of traffic following his first stop and some blistering laps from Schumacher meant the Finn lost the lead he had built.

"It was good, the start was very good," he said. "I just tried and went as quick as I could, I think after the first lap there was quite a big gap already and I kept pushing all the time but then I was a bit unlucky with the traffic. I was stuck behind two Minardis for the first pitstop and this cost me way too much time. Every time when I came out with the new tyres I was always stuck behind someone but that's racing and at least we got the second place in there."

Raikkonen's final chance to grab victory came after the safety car was deployed following Jarno Trulli's massive accident [see separate story], but two lapped cars in between himself and Schumacher at the restart effectively ended his challenge.

However, after a season beset by problems, Raikkonen wasn't in the mood for complaining after visiting the podium for the first time in 2004.

"We finally got things going the right way on the right track and got some results," he said. "All the hard work that went into the development of the MP4-19B has paid off. It's only the second race for the car so hopefully we can improve it. The outcome of today's race is very motivating for the team after the bad first half of the season."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis was also delighted with the result and he believes that the team can build on the performance in the next race at Hockenheim.

"Our underlying performance strengthens our belief that we have made a significant step forward," he said. "Kimi's qualifying and our general race pace are not so far behind where it needs to be in order to win.

"This week we have intensive simultaneous tests at Silverstone and Jerez which should yield a little more pace, which we of course will carry forward to Hockenheim. In the end our weekend is a great boost for the entire team who have worked so hard to achieve the difficult targets that we had."