Raikkonen demanded team order clarity


Not for the first time, much of the radio-inspired entertainment during the German Grand Prix was supplied by Kimi Raikkonen.

In addition to questioning the timing of his second pit stop, the Finn also demanded the team 'say the words' when it wanted him to yield to teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Following the first - and what was considered by many to be for most drivers, the only - pit stop, Raikkonen, who was the first driver to make a scheduled stop, found himself ahead of his teammate.

With the Finn looking to be on a one-stop strategy and Vettel on a two-stopper, Ferrari wanted Raikkonen to move aside for the German who was on fresher rubber.

For lap after lap the Finn remained in place, leaving a clearly frustrated teammate in his wake, Vettel complaining that the hold-up was "silly" and causing damage to his tyres.

As Raikkonen continued to hold station, and with Vettel getting increasingly annoyed, the German losing over a second a lap, Jock Clear took to the radio.

"You are aware we need to look after tyres, both cars need to look after tyres," he told Raikkonen. "You two are on different strategies, your strategies are slightly different and we would like you not to hold up Seb. Thank you."

"I don't... I'm sorry, but can you be clearer," replied the Finn, "what do you want me to do?"

"Losing as little time as possible, but where you can," said Clear. "Seb is capable of going quicker but is hurting his tyres and you are as well we need to look after them."

"Do you want me to let him go?" said Raikkonen. "Just tell me."

Speaking after the race, Raikkonen explained the 'confusion'.

"We have certain rules but it wasn't clear enough," he said. "I had speed, and obviously it was in a moment in the race that it wasn't ideal to stop. In the end, it didn't change an awful lot."

Referring to the subsequent questioning of his second stop, when, on being told to pit, he replied, "are you sure?" the Finn explained.

"It's always easy to say afterwards but honestly we don't know what would happen if we stay out. I'm a hundred percent sure that the ultras worked better, plus I had very used tyres at that point already but I can't give an answer if it would have been just fine or a complete disaster, so that's always an unknown and you try to weigh up the differences and hope that the new tyres will give you some grip to come back.

"Obviously we knew that the Mercedes will be on one of the aged tyres but they seemed to be the right decision in those conditions so I don't have an answer, I don't think anybody would have an answer what the end result if we stayed out or not. Who knows. That's how it goes."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Hockenheim, here.

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Published: 23/07/2018
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