• British Grand Prix

First lap proved costly - Raikkonen

ESPN Staff
July 8, 2012 « Perez slams 'very dangerous' Maldonado | Massa hopes improved form results in 2013 contract »
Kimi Raikkonen was just unable to get the better of Felipe Massa on the final lap © Sutton Images

Kimi Raikkonen pointed to the opening lap of the British Grand Prix as crucial to his hopes in the race as he finished in fifth place.

At the chequered flag Raikkonen was ten seconds behind race winner Mark Webber having displayed impressive pace in the second half of the race. However, he was playing catch-up for much of the race having dropped to seventh place in the opening few laps and Raikkonen said that a successful first lap is hugely important to the chances of victory.

"I had a pretty okay first few corners but I had to avoid the cars in front and drove over the kerb on the inside of the turn, then I lost a place and was pushed wide," Raikkonen said. "If I had stayed in front of Sebastian [Vettel] at the start it would have been pretty good seeing where he finished, but after that Lewis [Hamilton] also got past me. I fought back and our car was strong, especially on the harder tyres. If I'd had a better start I could have finished much better; but that's racing and sometimes you pay a bigger price than you expect from the first lap."

Technical director James Allison believes the drivers' starting positions didn't help its attempts to challenge for victory.

"We saw really strong drives from both Kimi and Romain," he said. "We didn't have the best grid positions but both drivers made up places in the race. The E20 delivered performance that was the equal of any car today, and it's encouraging that even with our less than promising starting positions, we've held on to third position in the Constructors' Championship. I think we'll only be stronger in the second half of the season and when everything falls into place in qualifying and the race we'll truly be a force to be reckoned with."

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