Kimi Raikkonen is convinced he would have had no trouble pulling off a one-stop strategy had he not retired from the Spanish Grand Prix. 

The Ferrari driver had been running in second place behind eventual race-winner Lewis Hamilton following the opening stint in Spain but was forced into retirement when he encountered a suspected engine issue on Lap 27. Raikkonen said he did not know what had caused his failure but reported a “loss of power” as he crawled back to the pitlane. 

Teammate Sebastian Vettel finished fourth after being left with “no option” but to switch onto a two-stop strategy having struggled on his tyres, but Raikkonen insists he had no such troubles. 

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“I would have been one and a pretty easy one,” he said. “Obviously we never found out but I think we were in a decent position at that point but because of the problem that’s how it ended up. I don’t know more about the issues. Obviously they will check it then we’ll know.”

Pirelli introduced tyre specifications with a reduced tread for this weekend’s race, with the decision proving controversial after it was suggested the revisions had been made to favour Mercedes, something Toto Wolff denied. 

Vettel claimed the changes had hurt Ferrari more than Mercedes, but Raikkonen believes it is “impossible” to tell whether the tweaks made a difference. 

“There were some changes in the tyres for here, in the rear tyres, but how much that affect it, who knows? 

“We didn’t have the other tyres, the normal tyres, let’s say, here, to try them, so it’s impossible to say. The reasons to change them, I don’t know. Is that making a difference? It’s impossible to say.”

Raikkonen, who has fallen over 40 points behind championship leader Hamilton following his second retirement in the opening five races of 2018, admits he has found his situation frustrating. 

“It’s far from ideal. We’re here to try to win races and, as with this weekend, when you don’t finish you don’t give yourself any chances. Unfortunately it’s the second time this year we don’t finish, which puts us in a pretty bad position. 

“But this is how it goes and there’s not much I could have done differently. But it’s obviously far from ideal for either of us.”

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