Pit-lane dramas plague Ferrari as Raikkonen retires - updated 24 Aug 2008
Felipe Massa may have taken victory in the European Grand Prix, but it was a tough afternoon in Valencia for Ferrari, with Massa being investigated for a controversial pit stop and team mate Kimi Raikkonen failing to finish following a separate pit-lane incident in which a mechanic was injured.
Massa controlled the race throughout, but almost collided with Force Indias Adrian Sutil as he exited his second pit stop on lap 37. Stewards decided the Brazilian had been released in an unsafe fashion and subsequently handed him a reprimand and a 10,000 fine.
Raikkonen's afternoon went awry shortly afterwards. On his second stop the Finn tried to leave his pit before the refuelling hose had been removed. He quickly stopped again, but only after hose man Pietro Timpini had taken a painful-looking tumble, which saw him subsequently stretchered to the medical centre for checks. Fortunately Timpini suffered only a minor fracture to his left foot.
Things then went from bad to worse for Raikkonen on lap 46 when he pulled off the track with an engine failure and afterwards he admitted he had been to blame for the bungled pit stop.
I made a mistake and left before I should have done, he said. Fortunately, Pietro is not too badly hurt. I wish him all the best and hope he gets better soon. In any case, it would not have changed anything as then the engine broke. Now we must concentrate on preparing for the next rounds and on improving our qualifying performance."
Reflecting on the teams mixed fortunes, sporting director Luca Baldisserri commented: We have a great potential, from both the team and the car, capable of putting us in front of everyone else, but if not all elements are operating at their optimum, then we are throwing away precious points that could cost us dear. We must work to remedy these problems and that's what we will do starting in the days that follow."
Ferrari still lead the constructors championship on 121 points, but by a slightly reduced margin from McLaren, who have 113.