Kimi Raikkonen has confirmed that the decision not to run again in the first part of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix was taken by Ferrari, and that the team is at fault for his early elimination.
The Finn did not head out for a second run during the first session on Saturday afternoon, allowing Marussia’s Jules Bianchi to improve his time and make it through to Q2 at Raikkonen’s expense.
Raikkonen explained to the media on Saturday that the decision not to run again was the team’s alone, and that he even challenged the call when it was made.
“The plan was to go out,” Raikkonen said. “Obviously I struggled a bit with the harder tires this morning and yesterday afternoon to put a good lap in those. The car has been good on the softer tires.
“That was the plan and then the team said that ‘no, we are fine, we don’t need to go out’. I questioned it a few times, and they said there’s no need, and obviously we can see the end result.”
However, Raikkonen is not willing to dwell on it, saying that everyone makes mistakes, although he does not expect them to happen at Ferrari.
“Obviously not good for me, not good for the team, but the mistake has been made,” he said. “It has been a difficult year anyhow so I don’t really see a point to start shouting around.
“The mistake’s done, I’ve done mistakes in the past, I will make in the future, people make mistakes.
“But obviously there’s things that we have to change. As a team, in Formula 1, as Ferrari, we should not make this kind of things. We are not here first year, any of us, it’s not easy times.”
This appears to be a new low point in what has been a difficult year at Ferrari for Raikkonen. When the Finn joined the team at the beginning of the season, it was meant to be the beginning of a new, successful era for the team. Instead, both Raikkonen and teammate Fernando Alonso have struggled with the F14 T car, and quite what the future holds at Maranello is far from clear.