Kimi Raikkonen wants Ferrari to analyse the decisions it made on his Chinese Grand Prix strategy as he believes he could have got "much more" than fifth with different calls from the pit wall.
Raikkonen's typically entertaining radio messages grew increasingly heated in the middle of the grand prix as his calls for a pit stop were denied by Ferrari, despite feedback that he was struggling with the car's handling. While it seemed Ferrari was initially considering keeping him on the soft tyre until the end of the race, they eventually called the Finn in to pit on lap 39 -- five after teammate Vettel and six after Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.
The time lost in that gap proved to be decisive, meaning he emerged from his stop a long way off the Red Bulls and behind Carlos Sainz in sixth. Though he easily dispatched Sainz and closed right up to the Red Bulls on the final lap, he had to settle for fifth, something he blamed on the timing of his last stop.
"I think we should have got much more than what we got but that's easy to say afterwards," Raikkonen said after the race. "We stopped too late for new tyres and after that it was pretty much race over. Yes, I caught up with the Red Bulls in the end but it was too late. I think the car was behaving pretty nicely on fresh tyres, but the fronts just went away after two laps.
"For sure we have some work to be done with set-up so we can be happier all the time, but the speed was not too bad. But it was not a great result."
"Obviously I had the feeling we should stop. I felt a long time before that we would need to stop at some point, so I'd rather do it earlier rather than later, to get out of the traffic I had in front of me. But that didn't happen and my feeling grew stronger.
"It took a while, but the reasons behind it I don't know right now. We need to look but, like I said, it's easy to look back and say we should have done a better job out of it. Hopefully next time..."
Though unhappy with Ferrari's strategy, Raikkonen had been unable to get past Daniel Ricciardo in the opening stint of the race. When Sebastian Vettel got past Raikkonen he soon dispatched the Red Bull in front too.
Raikkonen was surprised at how much he struggled behind the Red Bull but thinks his car's handling hindered his progress.
"I struggled a bit to get through Turn 3, which pretty much led to the only place we could pass them, I couldn't get the traction or couldn't get the car to turn around there. They were quite strong in the back straight, I was probably expecting to be able to get at them easier than it was, they had good speed there and I was also struggling on the exit of Turn 12 in the first part of the race, I couldn't go early on the power.
"Just small things but the effect could be quite big. It's a disappointing race, but I still scored points and hopefully in the next race we can put things as we want and then, for sure, it should be easier to fight at the front."