Raikkonen: Lotus made “absolutely the wrong call”

2013 British Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Silverstone, 2013A disappointed Kimi Raikkonen blamed his team for discouraging him from pitting during the final Safety Car period.

Several drivers who did pit were able to pass Raikkonen in the final laps, pushing him down to fifth by the end of the race.

“We had easily P2,” said Raikkonen. “I asked the team if we should in to change the tyres and they said ‘no’.”

“So absolutely the wrong call. Disappointing but not my fault this time.”

Among those to demote Raikkonen was his close title rival Fernando Alonso. With championship leader Sebastian Vettel retiring, Raikkonen was unable to make the most of a key opportunity to gain ground.

2013 British Grand Prix

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70 comments on Raikkonen: Lotus made “absolutely the wrong call”

  1. g (@endel) said on 30th June 2013, 16:25

    And that’s the Red Bull deal done.

    • scuderia_fan85 (@scuderia_fan85) said on 30th June 2013, 16:28

      I totally agree. my head started to hurt tryna figure out how they made such a call

    • liam (@) said on 30th June 2013, 16:28

      And that’s up to you know who and will he allow it..time will tell

    • melkurion (@melkurion) said on 30th June 2013, 17:04

      Well that escaleted quickly :P

    • Lotus have always shown us alternative tactics, unfortunately most of them have been wrong, it all started with Bahrain 2012. In the end if you had all the undesirables the race track team is for not only dodgy tactics but slow pit-stops and some blunders.

    • zippy99 said on 30th June 2013, 18:36

      Not so sure about that – I can’t see Kimi accepting being a #2 driver for any team he drives for, including Red Bull. And it’d be hard seeing Golden Boy Vettel accepting a driver as good as Kimi, especially if Vettel has any say in the selection.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th June 2013, 18:45

      Pretty much my thoughts as well there @endel

    • rambler said on 30th June 2013, 19:39

      Not the first time they’ve thrown away a better finishing position with stupid strategy. Like so many times last year, just staying out way to long for no reason for example…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th June 2013, 23:31

      If I were at Red Bull, I’d say no to Raikkonen based on his actions here. We’ve seen plenty of occasions when a driver has decided to pit against team advice, and it has been the right call. Raikkonen could have won the race if he had pitted under the safety car, but he didn’t. He instead listened to a team that has cost him several potential victories with overly-conservative strategies in the past. That’s not a quality I’d want in a driver.

      • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 1st July 2013, 8:50

        I assume you are joking and being provocative just for the fun of it.

        There is no way any (sane) driver would’ve pitted against the advice of the team in that situation. The suggestion that RBR are looking for a driver who ignores their advice is, to put it nicely, ridiculous. It wasn’t like Kimi knew his tires were gone and he had to come in or something like that. The team was better informed than him in such a chaotic race and Kimi had to assume they knew better than him.

        The fact that Kimi told the team he should pit isn’t relevant in my opinion. The driver shouldn’t be making that kind of decision anyway, since he can’t have all the information needed for that.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st July 2013, 12:46

          No, I’m not being inflammatory.

          In 2010, Jenson Button made a split-second decision to pit during the Australian Grand Prix. Everyone thought he had made the wrong decision, especially when he spun off on his outlap. But he went on to win the race because he made that call. McLaren admitted that if they had had the time to weigh up the choice, they would have kept him out.

          This is the decision Raikkonen should have made. He saw the opportunity, but instead of making the decision himself, he deferred to the team’s judgement. It cost him the race win.

          • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 2nd July 2013, 7:22

            That situation was completely different. First of all, Button didn’t ignore his team’s decision, because they didn’t make any. Secondly, Button was better informed than his team in that situation, Räikkönen definitely wasn’t. And neither was any other driver, when the SC came out. The other teams that pitted radioed their drivers “box, box, box!”, not “do you think we should pit, Nico”?

        • Howard (@howard) said on 1st July 2013, 13:11

          You’d think these internet armchair “experts” actually ran F1 teams in real life.

  2. Calum (@calum) said on 30th June 2013, 16:26

    Is it not a given a team should use the ‘free’ pitstop?

  3. Manished said on 30th June 2013, 16:26

    These bad strategy calls had happened too many times since 2012. Particularly on pitting to undercut someone, lotus prefer to stay out longer.

    Not to mention their slow pit stops all season long + blunders from rear jack man…and the brake failure that the team detected on friday at Canada gp, but failed to get it fix for race.

    Just too many ***** up

  4. erix said on 30th June 2013, 16:30

    Lotus is not only loosing Car development, pitstops also awful espescially comparing with pitmaster RedBull. So it would be easier for Kimi to decide future.

    • minnis (@minnis) said on 30th June 2013, 16:43

      Actually, I don’t think Kimi has to choose, I think RBR has to choose. Given how surprising some of the midfield like Di Resta, Hulkenburg, Ricciardo etc have been performing recently, it might be worth picking a driver like these who are young, yet to peak in terms of ability, and are likely to play a number two role a lot more than Raikkonen would. Also, given their ages, someone like Hulkenburg etc would be at the team a lot longer, and should have the pace to grab a win or two should anything happen to Vettel, like it did today.

      We have seen in the past few years how two #1 drivers in a team is a recipe for disaster. I can only see a Vettel-Raikkonen partnership lasting a couple of years.

      • 5150 (@) said on 30th June 2013, 17:11

        I am sure that it has already been decided who will drive for RBR next year, be it Raikkonen, Di Resta or whoever. It’s naive to think that performances of the driver will from now till the end of the season will matter.
        We just don’t know who it is.

      • erix said on 30th June 2013, 18:20

        Couple of years will be enough, Kimi wont drive forever, just hanging around shooting several wins like Webber. Another possibility will be Vettel 5 times WDC and he seeks other challenge aka different Team.

    • Rigi (@rigi) said on 30th June 2013, 16:44

      grosjean had two excellent pit stops if i remember correctly

      • Merv (@) said on 30th June 2013, 19:46

        Yeah I’m sure I saw a 2.8s stop for Grosjean, seems a huge step forwards for the Lotus pit stops.

        Of course, that should have given them more reason to pit Kimi under the last safety car!

  5. puneeth Bharath (@puneethvb) said on 30th June 2013, 16:31

    it was nt apparently a free stop… Webber and Alonso both lost positions because of the pit stop

  6. alberto fichera (@sceccosecco) said on 30th June 2013, 16:44

    is not the first time that lotus team do wrong strategies….
    think to barcelona 2011 for example…
    they could copy ferrari’s strategy, would be enough…

  7. alberto fichera (@sceccosecco) said on 30th June 2013, 16:45

    sorry guys
    barcelona 2012

  8. TMF (@tmf42) said on 30th June 2013, 16:48

    Well it was a close call. in hindsight he’s right but it wasn’t a no brainer.

    • Manished said on 30th June 2013, 16:50

      not hindsight at all. he was pushing for pit and the team said NO.

      Its a no brainer as the tire not going to last after 20 laps, more so with SC coming in to close the gap.

  9. thenotoriousOINK said on 30th June 2013, 16:58

    Quit whining Kimi. Look, Alonso pitted just before the safety car and it cost him. He was actually higher up, pitted, the SC came out, and he was back in 9th or something. He didn’t complain. If the team had told him to hold on for the likely safety car he’d have restarted much higher up. You win some you lose some. You’ve been lucky considering how many knocks and scrapes you’ve had in races but never any serious damage unlike Alonso and now Seb who’ve had to drop from races this year with DNFs. Meanwhile, yes, yes! So happy Seb had some bad luck for once. Now let it happen about 5 more times please!

  10. Tariq Patel (@mdtariqp) said on 30th June 2013, 17:39

    I for a moment cannot believe that if Kimi is ready to partner Seb next year, Red Bull will not have him for either of the two Torro Rosso drivers.

  11. AldoG said on 30th June 2013, 18:09

    Kimi ended in the points for 25th consecutive race. Truly impressive. Truly, truly fantastic.

  12. I find it hilarious how when Di Resta complained of the same blunders continuously marring his races, everyone blamed him for continuously whining and throwing the blame out of his garden and now that the same thing happened to Raikkonen for just the second time since his comeback to F1, everyone’s saying Lotus are utterly incompetent…

    Strategies backfire, that’s the way things go sometimes. And to some it happens more often than it does to others. It doesn’t mean the team should be bashed senseless for it.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 30th June 2013, 18:24

      Because there is a lot to blame on Di Resta and not on Raikkonen.

      If Raikkonen had screwed up his entire race and then there also was a bad team call to compound his problems then it would be cause to call him a whiner or “blame shifter”. In this case he did pretty much everyhting right and solely was let down by the team.

      • @patrickl:

        In this case he did pretty much everyhting right and solely was let down by the team.

        Sounds a lot like Di Resta’s season so far to me. And I’m not a fan of Paul in particular, trust me. It’s just that I find it odd that people are so quick to take Raikkonen’s side here (for all the right reasons, I might add) but when the same thing happens to Di Resta race after race, everyone’s instantly bashing him, not FI, for some reason…

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 30th June 2013, 18:27

      This isn’t about ‘strategy backfiring’ as in Lotus tried something risky that could’ve given them victory and it didn’t work. It was a rather simple situation and Lotus failed to make the correct decision, which cost them four places. To be honest, I don’t think this was about Lotus choosing whether to pit or not and making the wrong call, they were just too slow to make any decision at all.

      • @hotbottoms: Don’t get me wrong, Lotus made a mistake. That’s clear as the light of day. Whether it was something they thought it could work and didn’t or simple lack of reaction doesn’t matter that much to what I’m trying to say here.

        I’m just having an issue with Raikkonen’s fans throwing bricks at Lotus for something that has only happened TWICE in almost 30 races and concluding he should jump ship to Red Bull for it. Come on people, Ferrari had more miscalled strategic decisions to deal with than Lotus in the past year and a half. So did Mercedes. And don’t even get me started on McLaren’s blunders. I’d say Lotus’ success rate when it comes to strategic calls has been pretty darn good so far… Give the guys a break, will you?

        • Boudica (@boudica) said on 30th June 2013, 22:58

          Obviously you haven’t been watching too closely then, Lotus has made quite a few bad strategic calls in these pass two seasons. To their credit they have been better this year then last season but with their strategic decisions and slow pitstops they often lose places for their drivers.

          • Antonio Nartea (@tony031r) said on 1st July 2013, 0:28

            @boudica: Point me to those exact botched strategic calls (costly ones, I mean) on Raikkonen’s car, except for China 2012 and this race and I’ll believe you.

            Slow pitstops? What on earth are you talking about? Look at the stats again. Lotus are constantly up there with Ferrari, Merc and McLaren in the pit stop times pecking order every single race. Sure they’ve botched it up in Canada, they have a slip-up once in a while (EVERYONE does) and are not quite as fast as Red Bull but they’re doing ok…

            You want to talk about bad strategic calls and botched pit stops, ok, let’s talk Force India 2013 or even better, McLaren 2012. Lotus does not belong in this discussion.

          • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 1st July 2013, 7:40


            Point me to those exact botched strategic calls (costly ones, I mean) on Raikkonen’s car, except for China 2012 and this race and I’ll believe you.

            For some reason people often evaluate teams and drivers based on number of mistakes, when this should be only one of the criteria. Lotus haven’t had many “costly mistakes”, because they usually have a very conservative approach to the race strategy, following what other teams do and reacting to their decisions. Can you point us some of the great strategic calls from Lotus? There are very few of them also.

            Lotus is very good at conserving tires, which is why they often gain many places during the race without having to fight for them, but we shouldn’t confuse this with having a good strategy. Lotus is no McLaren 2012 or Force India 2013, but I wouldn’t call that an achievement. They’re supposed to be fighting for the championship, so their aim should be a lot higher than not being the worst team.

            And let me also say that when it comes to strategy, Lotus have been a lot better this season than in 2012, but they still aren’t doing well enough to fight for the championship, which is why I think RBR is looking more and more tempting for Kimi even if that means having to attend more PR days.

          • Boudica (@boudica) said on 1st July 2013, 14:26

            @Antonio Nartea

            Here is something that shows Lotus’s pitstops against Mclaren, Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes:

            They are just much slower then the other top teams. BBC did a pitstop rating last year and Lotus was constantly on par with Marussia. They have improved a bit and yesterday was the first time they did pitstops under 3 seconds. But generally it has been a big weakness.

            When it comes to strategy they constantly lose places for their drivers. Just in this race alone if you take a look at the first round of pitstops. Kimi was the driver in front but they just kept him out on old tyres. Most teams would atleast have tried to undercut or pit earlier. They pitted Grosjean first and they just kept Kimi out, when Kimi finally did his pitstop he was leapfrogged by Grosjean and Alosno, and both of them were safely behind him before. This could easily have been avoided. And the problem is they do this practically every single race or every second race. It would be useless for me list every race because it happens as often as clock work, combine that with slow pitstops and it becomes really frustrating.
            They have been better this season but that is basically because they have used a different strategy then the others by pitting less. As soon as they use the same strategy with the same amount of pitstops as those around them they start to lose places because they often leave drivers out of to long.

    • Boudica (@boudica) said on 30th June 2013, 18:40

      Kimi never blames or complains about his team. It is obvious that he was very mad, he has only done it once before.

      • Calvinette said on 30th June 2013, 22:08

        Kimi is cracking up. The signs were visible already after Barcelona when everything was still going well. The terrible grumpiness after a 2nd place in Spain, then Checo-induced verbal aggression in Monaco, and now team blunders in Canada and Silverstone, and Freezoid’s open criticism for his team! What next?

        I so hope Germany will work out brilliantly and we’ll see a happier Kimi. On the other hand, if it goes badly, he might laugh hysterically or even cry in the post-race interview.

        • Boudica (@boudica) said on 30th June 2013, 23:04

          People are always complaining about drivers not speaking out enough but when they do, people just cant seem to handle it.

          • Calvinette said on 1st July 2013, 8:03

            I can handle it – I’m loving it! Kimi has always been my favourite because he is outspoken and doesn’t seem to care what people think of him. Deep down, I’m sure he does though :)

            Now that Mercedes have solved their tyre troubles, Lotus really need to improve their strategic department if they want to stay in the game.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 1st July 2013, 0:13

      You had to work hard as a Social Media moderator last year due to all the negativity from people due to constantly bad calls from Lotus pit-wall. It is definitely not unbiased.

  13. Coanda (@ming-mong) said on 30th June 2013, 18:51

    I miss the days when drivers made the tough calls. Maybe don’t ask just do next time.

    • Merv (@) said on 30th June 2013, 19:49


      “The car will be in the box in 30 seconds, have tyres ready!”

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 30th June 2013, 20:21

      Please provide them with an on-board computer with all the necessary data as well.
      So they can make informed decisions…..

      Hey, maybe even an on-board TV so they see what’s happening in the entire grid.

    • Metallion (@metallion) said on 30th June 2013, 22:51

      @ming-mong I agree with @jason12 on this one.
      It’s not like this was about making a decision if it’s the right time switching from intermediates to slicks for example. It was a chaotic race and the drivers can’t know the distances to the cars behind and knowing if it’s better to pit or not. The team should have already calculated for such a scenario and known to pit him as soon as the safety car was deployed.

  14. Jason (@jason12) said on 30th June 2013, 20:29

    Just go to Redbull Kimi….

  15. Hotwheels said on 30th June 2013, 22:00

    Lotus strategy just didn’t react quickly enough to the SC. Caught napping as they thought their decision making was over after second pit stop. Definitely human error as no one would / could knowingly make that decision would they?!
    Hoping no one scoots off home early from Germany…

    • Kimi4WDC said on 1st July 2013, 0:14

      Worst thing about that nap, that they had plenty of time to think it through as time between incident and SC it self was rather significant.

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