Raikkonen, Alonso have differing views

Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso had differing views on whether the better car or the better strategy won the British Grand Prix.

updated: July 11, 2007 06:30 IST
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Silverstone, England:

Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso had differing views on whether the better car or the better strategy won the British Grand Prix. It was easy to tell who was the winner and who was the loser.

Alonso conceded the lead during his second pit stop on Sunday. Raikkonen stayed out longer with a larger fuel load, and ended up winning his second straight Formula One race.

"Maybe I was slightly quicker forgetting the fuel loads that we saw today. And in the race they were slightly quicker," Alonso said. "Maybe starting in front of them was just enough to win the race or maybe not."

Raikkonen answered: "It doesn't make any difference anymore. We were first, they were second."

'We' was Ferrari, which helped Raikkonen win his series-leading third race of the season.

'They' were two-time defending world champion Alonso and McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton, whose third place was his ninth successive podium finish in nine races.

"I have had a wicked season so far," Hamilton said after his first F1 race on his home track at Silverstone.

Only Michael Schumacher and Alonso have done better in consecutive podium finishes. Schumacher had 19 for Ferrari in 2001-02, and Alonso had 15 for Renault in 2005-06.

Hamilton continued to lead the drivers' standings with 70 points, followed by Alonso on 58, Raikkonen at 52 and his Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa on 51.

There were eight races remaining, starting with the European Grand Prix on July 22 in Nuerburgring, Germany. It was formerly called the German Grand Prix before a conflict among organisers.

At Silverstone, Raikkonen finished a comfortable 2.4 seconds ahead of Alonso.

"It is important we gained some points on the other guys," Raikkonen said. "It is still a long season, but right now it is looking good for me."

Hamilton used his pole position to lead for the first 16 laps. Alonso took over the lead after Hamilton and Raikkonen pitted but after Alonso went in for his second stop on lap 37, Raikkonen moved to the front by not pitting until the 43rd.

Last week at the French GP, Raikkonen moved ahead of Massa after the second stop.

Raikkonen decided against trying to overtake Hamilton in the opening laps because of his refueling strategy.

"I was able to close the gap fairly easily, but I didn't want to take a risk," Raikkonen said. "We knew we would run longer. We just saved fuel."

Alonso thought the result was inevitable long before the finish.

"I spent two laps overtaking cars, but I don't think the result would have changed," he said. "I am happy with second place. It's better to win, but today was not possible.

"The championship is very long, the second half will be better and everything is more or less OK. I have confidence and I have the speed to be there. Sometimes you can do it, sometimes not. Of course we need a little bit more consistency and a better approach to the races from the team."

Hamilton agreed.

"I think I need to step up my game which I intend to do," he said. "As a team we need to push as always but try to push even more if we can."