Kimi defends Lotus tactics
Kimi Raikkonen has defended Lotus' decision not to order team-mate Romain Grosjean to let him pass at a critical juncture during Sunday's Bahrain GP by blaming himself for not taking victory.
Pipped to the post by just three seconds by race winner Sebastian Vettel, the Finn brushed off his disappointment at narrowly missing out on a race victory by insisting Lotus ought to be happy with a double-podium finish. Pressed on whether victory would have been achieved had the team instructed Grosjean to let him through when the Finn was running on the faster and softer Pirellis tires, Raikkonen opted instead to blame himself over his failed move on Vettel just before their final round of pit-stops.
"There are no team orders and I tried to get past as quickly as I could, but it's not easy because we have two similar cars. It's always easy afterwards to say 'if we had done that', but in the end we were not fast enough to win and we have to take second," Raikkonen reflected.
Even after losing timing behind Grosjean, who at that stage of the race was running on the medium compound, the 2007 World Champion still had enough pace to make a move for the lead of the race, but blamed himself for not making his attempt around the outside of Vettel into the first corner stick.
"I had one chance under braking because I chose the wrong side," he observed. "And that was it really - I had no other chances."
Yet after tumbling down the field in China last week when his two-stop strategy spectacularly unraveled, and having started from just eleventh on the grid in Bahrain, Raikkonen was understandably delighted to have secured his first podium since returning to the sport after two years of rallying.
"We gave ourselves a chance and it's a bit disappointing not to win, but at least we got the podium with both cars. After the last race, people probably thought we were a bit stupid, and after yesterday, but it turned out to be the right decision and I think the team deserve what we have achieved."