Arrivabene defends Raikkonen strategy

19/09/2016
NEWS STORY

When Mercedes opted to put Lewis Hamilton on a three-stop strategy in the final stages of yesterday's Singapore Grand Prix it was a move that was to change the face of the race and almost came back to bite them.

Red Bull instantly reacted to the Briton's move and consequently Daniel Ricciardo almost stole the race from Nico Rosberg who was initially told to pit also but then told to stay out as Mercedes realised that such was the Australian's pace it could not pit the German without losing the lead.

However, another team that reacted to Hamilton's strategy change was Ferrari, and the decision to pit Kimi Raikkonen probably cost the Finn a podium finish.

Speaking after the race however, Maurizio Arrivabene, who team has made a number of wrong strategic calls in recent years, defended the decision.

"I think it was the right decision to take," he told reporters. "At that point, keeping the tyre maybe would have had huge degradation and that would be a huge disaster. So we had to think about the opposite. We took a decision based on our data, and now the exercise to verify if our data was right.

"Kimi was very good today," he continued, "he showed he's not a world champion for nothing, in my opinion he was great."

"Obviously they managed to get in front of us again, so I lost the place," said the Finn, "there's not much I could do at that point.

"The gap wasn't far to the Red Bulls or Lewis, I think we had good speed but most of the race we were stuck behind them… and Nico had more speed than any of us.

"We gained a place, but that's not really what we're looking for. We're trying to be in a position to win. Third or fourth isn't where we want to be. I managed to get past Lewis, I think he made a mistake in turn seven and then we fight for a few corners. Unfortunately, they got us back.

"For sure, we could have got to the end," he concluded, "but it's always easy to say that afterwards."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Singapore, here.

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Published: 19/09/2016
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