Ferrari confident they were right to follow Mercedes lead in extra stop
Raikkonen lost third to Hamilton in pits having earlier overtaken him
By James Galloway in Singapore
Last Updated: 18/09/16 6:49pm
Ferrari believe they made the right decision to pit Kimi Raikkonen for a third time in the Singapore GP, despite the Finn losing a podium to Lewis Hamilton.
Raikkonen looked set to compound Hamilton's weekend-long Singapore troubles when he overtook the Mercedes driver for third place just past half distance in Sunday's 61-lap race.
However, Mercedes then suddenly threw a strategic curve ball into proceedings on lap 45 when they pitted Hamilton for a third time to switch to the quickest ultrasoft tyres in order to mount a late attack.
Ferrari responded a lap later by pulling in Raikkonen, but Hamilton was travelling fast enough on track to jump ahead. And, although the Finn pressurised the Briton into the closing stages, Hamilton held on to third.
But despite ending up in fourth, Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene said: "To be 100 per cent sure you have to look at the data. I think it was the right decision to take because at that point keeping the soft, it had huge degradation.
"If you think about the opposite, having huge degradation and Mercedes attacking us, it would have been crazy.
"So we took a decision looking at our data. Now what we have to do is verify if our data was right."
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Had Raikkonen stayed out to the finish, then the Ferrari driver would have held an initial advantage over Hamilton of around 25 seconds.
That was the same gap race winner Rosberg had over Daniel Ricciardo following the Red Bull driver's own late extra stop, with the German managing to hold on to win by a mere 0.4s.
Raikkonen was lapping at a similar 1:50 pace to Rosberg on the same soft tyres in the laps before his third stop and said: "Obviously we have to go through all those things and see what we could have done better.
"For sure we could have got to the end, but would they have caught us or be able to pass us? I don't know yet."
Don't miss the F1 Report for all the reaction and analysis from the Singapore GP. F1 technical expert Craig Scarborough joins Natalie Pinkham and Marc Priestley in the studio at 8:30pm on Wednesday on Sky Sports F1.