Ferrari have blamed a late e-mail for the mistake that could have cost Kimi Raikkonen the Formula 1 World Championship drivers' title after both he and Felipe Massa were forced to pit soon after the race had started.

With the race starting under safety car conditions, Charlie Whiting had instructed all teams to have extreme wet tyres bolted onto their cars, but Raikkonen and Massa began with the less treaded wet rubber in accordance to Ferrari's weather predictions.

However, soon into the race, Ferrari received a call to bring both of their cars into the pit lane to replace the tyres or face disqualification, something the team duly did, leaving Raikkonen and Massa having to fight back up the order.

Indeed, Jean Todt and Luca Baldisserri claim the e-mail sent to all of the teams was received by them after the race had gotten underway and that Ferrari were otherwise unaware of such a rule. Indeed, Todt was shocked at the ruling.

"In light of the weather forecast we had obtained, we chose to start on standard wet tyres but, after a few laps, we were informed of a decision of the stewards that demanded the use of extreme wets.

"The team had not been informed and only after the race, did we find that an e-mail had been sent to Stefano Domenicali which arrived after the start of the race. We were amazed and had to immediately call in the drivers to the pits to change tyres."

Raikkonen and Massa fought they way back up to third and sixth places respectively, but with only eight seconds separating the Finn and winner Lewis Hamilton at the chequered flag, Baldisserri insists that was a win that slipped through the team's fingers.

"Our race was ruined by the stop both drivers had to make to switch from standard wets to the extreme ones, which came as a result of a decision of the Stewards of which we were unaware.

"We had specifically chosen to start on those tyres because the start was behind the safety car and we though that weather would improve. Stuck at the back of the pack, we tried to save what we could from the situation. Both drivers drove a great race in virtually zero visibility, given they were always behind other cars."

 

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