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Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen have explained the different reasons behind their decisions to switch tyre compounds for their second Q3 runs at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Raikkonen lost time after a wobble at Turn 1 on his first Q3 run and then decided to switch from supersofts to softs for his second and final attempt.
He finished down in fourth, however, nearly half a second off pole and three tenths behind team-mate Vettel.
“After the mistake I wanted to try something else,” said Raikkonen. “I didn’t have much to lose so I thought I’d try. [The softs] felt pretty good in Q2.”
Raikkonen conceded the supersoft tyres, which have given teams a headache this weekend, continued to pose a challenge for Ferrari, and he highlighted the thinner tread being used this weekend as a possible factor.
“We were struggling to make the tyres work, it was not the most straightforward qualifying,” he said.
“I’m a bit disappointed but it could have been worse.
“They have been changed a bit, the tyres, for whatever reason. They are not the same as they were at the last races.
“It wasn’t bad but we needed more laps. It was tricky, but once they are working it seems to be OK.”
Vettel also switched back to the softs for his second Q3 run, which he felt more comfortable on.
“I didn’t get a great feeling on that [supersoft] tyre,” he said.
“I asked to go back [to the soft] and I think it was the right call, we were very quick.
“The tyres this weekend are different because we had the change, I think they are a bit harder.
“For me it was pretty straightforward [to switch] because I was happier with the car with that [soft] tyre.”
While Ferrari – in contrast to Mercedes – usually has no problems to extract the best from the softest tyres, today’s session seemed to favour its rival.
“This has happened before,” said Raikkonen. “Obviously it’s only here, Silverstone and France [where Pirelli’s thinner tread will be used].
“Yes it’s the same for everybody but sometimes it works for one better than others. It depends on many small things.
“It’s a bit unknown when we start running, it’s not like we run hundreds of laps to figure out.
“We don’t have a say in it, it’s very difficult to say what would happen if we had the normal tyre.
“Would it be different? Maybe not, maybe yes.”