Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that he was delighted to add Silverstone to his list of Formula One conquests, but reveals that allowing Lewis Hamilton to steal pole in front of his home crowd had irked him somewhat.

Not that the Finn resented the rookie's opportunity to live up to the expectation placed on his shoulders by an adoring national media, but top spot in qualifying would have given him a clean sweep of the weekend's notable moments, to go with his race win and fastest lap.

With the top ten all forced to qualify on the fuel load they wished to start the race with, Raikkonen knew that it was important to at least get on the front row, particularly as it was later confirmed that both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were running heavier than the Finn's F2007. While his final flying lap had been good enough to topple Alonso from provisional pole, it wasn't enough to deny a mercurial Hamilton, who pulled a stunning effort out of the bag as the chequered flag fell.

"It really bothered me that I was not on pole," Raikkonen confessed, "We had an excellent strategy and the right pace, but I took the last corner too wide. You can make up some time with a line on the outside there, but I exaggerated. It was my mistake and I have a hard time accepting errors like that. It was lucky that we didn't have to pay a price too high for that."

For the second race in a row, the Finn did not hit the front until the final stint - pit-stop windows aside - but he had nothing but praise for Ferrari's strategic planning and execution.

"The six laps before the second pit-stop were the most important ones of the whole race," he revealed, "I knew that, after the first series of stops, Alonso had less fuel, so it was fundamental to stay close to him and give my best when he came to the box for his second stop. I had some traffic during these laps, but we had expected that."

Having chased Hamilton in the opening phase of the race, and then had to follow the short-fuelled Alonso through the middle stint, the Ferrari emerged comfortably in front of the two McLarens for the run to the flag, giving Raikkonen his third win of the season, and second in succession after Magny-Cours the previous weekend.

"It was great to win two races in a row - the team and I needed that," he admitted, "After the two races in North America, people thought we had nothing more to give. But now, after two wins, they celebrate us like kings... In the end, however, not that much has changed.

"It was great winning in France and it was nice to repeat that in England only eight days later. I came close a couple of times on both of these tracks, but I could never complete the mission. Now, with Ferrari, it finally worked out. I especially enjoyed winning at Silverstone, one of the tracks I have always liked. In fact, I love this track, with its challenges and its atmosphere."

Having hauled himself back onto the fringes of the title fight - he still trails Hamilton by 18 points - Raikkonen is confident that the Scuderia can give him the tools to close the gap even further in the coming weeks.

"More important than the fact that we beat McLaren at home, is that we got some points for both championship in each of the last two races," he said, "The team has done fantastic preparation for these two races, but we must continue to work hard to stay ahead of our main rivals. On Wednesday, I'll go to Spa-Francorchamps for a day of tests, as we have some new components to test to improve the F2007. And, then, it's off to the N?rburgring.

"I always enjoy this track, so let's hope we can make a hat-trick. Just like Magny-Cours and Silverstone, I have never had a perfect race there with my former team, so it's time to succeed. The second part of the championship has begun and you can see how the performance pendulum is easily swinging from one side to the other. Obviously, I want it to stay on our side and continue to win."

 

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