Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene refused to be too harsh on Kimi Raikkonen after a strategy error caused the Finn to drop down to eighth place in the closing stages of the British Grand Prix on Sunday.
Raikkonen had been running in fifth place before a late rain shower hit Silverstone, prompting a number of drivers to pit for intermediate tires.
The Finn was among the first to make the switch, only for conditions to remain dry enough for slicks for a few more laps.
This caused Raikkonen to destroy his tires, forcing him into making a third pit stop late on that left him in eighth position at the end of the race.
“When it started raining heavily, the track became very slippery, especially in turns seven and eight,” Raikkonen said after the race.
“So I took the decision to come in the pits for intermediate [tires], but then the rain stopped.
“Probably I made the call three or four laps too early. But in general, this kind of track is not ideal for us, and this is something we have to work on.”
His teammate, Sebastian Vettel, finished the race in third place to end Ferrari’s podium drought, but Arrivabene believes that Raikkonen could perhaps have even won the race had the rain grown in intensity earlier on.
“The strategy guys do a wonderful job, but when it rains, it’s the driver who has the final call to the pits,” Arrivabene said.
“In the case of Kimi, whose strategy was identical to Seb’s, he thought it better to come in. If it had rained harder, maybe he could have won the race.
“But we must be honest and acknowledge that Williams was stronger than us today.”
With pressure mounting on Raikkonen as Ferrari contemplates its driver line-up for the 2016 season, missing out on a possible podium finish is unlikely to have done the Finn too many favors.