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Kimi Raikkonen admits he misjudged the rain

Mark Sutton/Sutton Images

Kimi Raikkonen admits he stopped "four laps too early" at Silverstone because he thought the initial rain shower was going to intensify.

Raikkonen out-qualified Sebastian Vettel and had the measure of his Ferrari team-mate in the dry, but rain changed everything in the second half of the grand prix. On lap 39, with the rain worsening at certain parts of the track, Raikkonen made the bold decision to pit from fifth - a decision only copied by three other drivers at that point.

"It changed quite a lot from lap to lap," Raikkonen explainied. "On one lap it was very slippery and then it changed a bit at places, then it came back to Turn 6, Turn 7. For me it got quite slippery and it looked like it was raining more and more. Obviously I decided to come in; I thought it would keep raining. Four laps too early, so it was the wrong choice but at least we tried."

It turned out to be an ill-judged pit stop, with Raikkonen still five seconds off the pace three laps later. When the rain intensified for a second time on lap 43 he had taken the best out of his intermediates and would end up having to pit for another set of the green-striped tyre before the end of the race, by which time he had dropped to eighth.

Raikkonen had been passed by Vettel - who ended up on the podium after a perfectly-timed pit stop on lap 43 - just before his decision to dive into the pit lane on lap 39, which followed a wide moment at Luffield. The Finn says his decision to come in was not down to his hard compounds starting to go off at that point but rather his experiences from the earlier part of the lap.

"No, tyres were OK. I had a moment at [Turn] seven/eight on that lap and then it's very difficult to know where it's slippery, I got a bit of rain on the visor. I lost of speed on the back straight and he got past me but I decided to come in and pit anyhow on that lap. In the end result the pit stop was too early, but we tried so..."