Raikkonen tyres gamble pays off

25th June 2012

Lotus-Renault driver Kimi Raikkonen was left celebrating after his careful tyre planning left the Finn with an unlikely second place finish at Valencia.

The former world champion enjoyed a solid qualifying session that saw him start the race in fifth position on the grid for the European Grand Prix.

But rather than adopt an aggressive pursuit of the drivers ahead of him, the Formula 1 veteran instead chose to hang back and preserve his Pirelli tyres for later in the race.

It was a strategy that ultimately paid off, as Raikkonen successfully moved ahead of Romain Grosjean and Sebastian Vettel before spending the next few laps pursuing McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

"I just had to wait until he ran out of his tyres. Then I got the chance," he told Crash.net.

Despite the second place finish, the Finn admitted he was disappointed not to have challenged race winner Fernando Alonso.

"I had enough tyres to get past Hamilton on the second-last or third-last lap, [but] we didn't really have the speed to challenge for the win," he explained.

Had he successfully caught the Spaniard then Formula 1 would have enjoyed an unprecedented eight winners in the first eight races of the season.

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