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Bad luck for Kimi, Mercedes

2013-07-08 08:07

GERMAN GREMLINS? Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen was a bit frustrated during the 2013 German GP thanks to a faulty radio which possibly cost him victory. IMAGE: AFP


NURBURGRING, Germany - Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen had to contend with a faulty radio as he tried to catch German GP winner Sebastian Vettel but he was far happier than his Mercedes counterparts.

They flopped in the team's home race.

Finn Raikkonen made a late switch of tyres in a bid to prevent World champion and current leader Vettel being the first German to win a German GP in a half-century but didn't quite get there.


Vettel recognised he might have been overtaken had the race gone two laps longer but that was no comfort to Raikkonen whose team is again over-performing after nine of 19 races with Raikkonen, 2007 World champion, third in the standings and 41 points behind the German.

"Unfortunately today there was quite a lot to discuss and it didn't work," he said about his struggles to work out when to pit with a half-broken radio. "I could hear them but they couldn't hear me."

Raikkonen is in the running to replace retiring Australian Mark Webber at Vettel's champion Red Bull team in 2014 but the 33-year-old wants renewed glory now in his inconsistent Lotus.

"(The result) is good for the team, not so good for my championship," he said, with team mate Romain Grosjean third. Team boss Eric Boullier said it was "first place lost" and Lotus definitely had the fastest car.

Mercedes could only dream of having that on Sunday.

Nico Rosberg's Silverstone victory the previous weekend in England and Lewis Hamilton taking pole in Germany on Saturday had revved up the hopes of the Mercedes fans but it all fell away under the hot sun.

German Rosberg qualified only 11th and made up only two places in the race while Hamilton was overtaken by both Red Bulls on the first corner before sliding down the field and then working his way back up to fifth.

Rosberg commented: "A very strange, disappointing weekend after the highs from recent weeks. One to forget. A bit of a worry, really, the race pace. It brought back memories of months ago when we were really struggling in the race."


Before the next race in Hungary at the end of July Mercedes will miss the Silverstone test after its ban for conducting a tyre test with Pirelli at Barcelona in May.

Hamilton was glad to see the back of the special rear tyres brought to Germany after the previous weekend's dangerous blow-outs in Britain. Another new set in awaits in Hungary.

The Briton said as most of the rest of the paddock praised Pirelli's offering: "I have to hold myself back, I have nothing positive to say about these tyres. And I don't understand why we struggled so much on them. But that's motor racing.

"I just got a bad start and didn't get off the line as quick as them, they seemed to get really good starts. Or maybe mine was just bad. But either way they both kind of sandwiched me and there was no way I could defend."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 F1 season – fresh reports every day.


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