Kimi - After you Felipe
Finn says Massa manoeuvre was "normal"
Last Updated: 19/10/08 1:38pm
Kimi Raikkonen claimed he had no problem letting Felipe Massa through into second place in the Chinese Grand Prix, a manoeuvre which minimised the Brazilian's World Championship deficit to race winner Lewis Hamilton.
With his own chance of retaining the World Championship having already disappeared, Raikkonen led title-chasing Massa for the first 49 laps at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Then, after Massa had spent several laps working his way into Raikkonen's slipstream, the Finn let his team-mate past at the end of the circuit's long straight.
Massa thus stands seven points behind Hamilton ahead of the season's final race, the Brazilian Grand Prix, in a fortnight's time.
"We know what we want as a team and that is what we did. It is normal in this situation," Raikkonen said.
Although Formula One forbids explicit orders, there is nothing in the rules to prevent team-mates from switching positions should it be of benefit to the team.
Raikkonen, who took the title at the Brazilian Grand Prix last year after Massa let him by into the lead, further downplayed the manoeuvre in the post-race press conference.
"Like I said, I know what the team expects and what we want, it is racing, I have nothing to lose or win - I am driving for the team," he continued.
"It is a normal situation and I was pretty happy with how things went in the race apart from that we could not challenge McLaren today."
Raikkonen further admitted that Ferrari did not have the measure of Hamilton and McLaren Mercedes in China, but expressed the hope that they could offer more of a challenge at Interlagos.
"Unfortunately we were second and third today but hopefully in the next race we can challenge them a bit more. It was not easy and we gave our best but it did not work out this time," he added.
"The car was not too bad but we just didn't have the speed."
Nevertheless, with McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen failing to finish, Ferrari carry an increased 11-point Constructors' Championship lead to Brazil.