Japanese GP - Third in extreme wet race
Kimi Raikkonen finished a fighting third in Sunday's packed Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, but felt that he had been robbed of a better result after having to make an extra pit stop to change to extreme wet tyres.
"We raced with virtually zero visibility. The hardest thing to work out was where the other drivers were and what they were doing," Kimi said after the race. "My race was ruined by the enforced pit stop on lap three. We had chosen to start on standard rain tyres but we will never know now if this decision would have paid off. Once I was back at the pack we tried our best to move back up. All in all, third place is not a result to complain about. I did a lot of overtaking always in very difficult conditions. Our set up might have been more competitive in the dry, but all the same the car was very quick and I certainly didn't lose any time because of this choice. Clearly the situation in the championship is now much more difficult, but I will still give it my all right to the end of the season as usual."
Jean Todt also said, "The race was held in weather conditions so extreme that the start had to be given behind the safety car and it stayed on track for no less than 19 laps. 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. From then on, our target was to make up for lost ground in a manner that was somewhat perplexing. After a strong climb up the order both drivers managed to get back into the points, with Kimi ending up on the podium in third place. Clearly, given the result, the situation in the Drivers' Championship is now compromised with only Kimi still in the hunt. It will need a miracle, but what is certain is that we will do our utmost to win the final two races of the season."
Luca Baldisserri commented, "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. The cars, despite being set up with a dry weather bias, worked well."