SILVERSTONE (United Kingdom) , July 17 — Kimi Raikkonen said his car felt normal and he had no warning of the first of two tyre failures to hit Ferrari’s hopes in the closing laps of yesterday’s British Grand Prix.
The Finn said the front left tyre of his car was behaving ‘more or less normally’, before it suddenly delaminated and failed, costing him second place in the race.
His team-mate Sebastian Vettel also suffered a front left tyre failure and fell from fourth to seventh, as Briton Lewis Hamilton led Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas home in a one-two to trim the German’s championship lead to a single point.
“Everything was going more or less normally,” said the 2007 world champion Raikkonen. “The gap was fine for us. Two laps from the end, I don’t know what happened — before Turn Six under the tunnel, the tyre didn’t explode, but the rubber part came off suddenly.
“I don’t think I hit anything, everything felt normal before, luckily I came back.
“I struggled a bit after that because the tyre was flapping around, but we managed to get a decent position.
“I was very unlucky and, in a way, lucky, but didn’t want to see the same happen to Seb and then a lap later...”
Vettel was fourth behind Bottas when his tyre deflated through Brooklands and caused him to run off the track.
Like Raikkonen, he had to limp to the pits for new tyres to complete the race.
“I don’t think there’s anyone particularly to blame,” he said. “Hindsight is great — with hindsight it is easy, but at the time it felt ok to keep the tyres.” — AFP