Kimi Raikkonen says “everything felt normal” before the front left tyre on his Ferrari suddenly failed and cost him second place in the British Grand Prix.
Raikkonen was running a comfortable second to Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes in the closing stages at Silverstone, when a delamination of the front-left, soft-compound Pirelli on Raikkonen's Ferrari forced him to make an unscheduled second pitstop.
The problem meant Raikkonen ultimately trailed home third, allowing Valtteri Bottas to complete a one-two result for Mercedes and help Lewis Hamilton close to within a point of Sebastian Vettel at the head of the drivers' championship.
Vettel also suffered a front-left tyre failure, which dropped him from third to seventh in the race results, while Red Bull had to bring fourth placed Max Verstappen into the pits for a precautionary stop.
Both Vettel and Verstappen complained about blistering on their front tyres in the second half of the race, but Raikkonen said his rubber failed without warning.
"Everything was going more or less normally," Raikkonen explained. "The gap was fine for us. Two laps from the end, I don't know what happened - before Turn 6 [Brooklands], under the tunnel, the tyre didn't explode but the rubber part came off suddenly.
"I don't think I hit anything, everything felt normal before, luckily I came back. I struggled a bit after that because the tyre was flapping around, [but] we managed to get a decent position.
"I was very unlucky and, in a way, lucky, but didn't want to see the same happen to Seb and then a lap later – I don't know what happened."
No answer for Hamilton
Raikkonen spent the entire race in fruitless pursuit of Hamilton and said Ferrari simply lacked the pace to challenge Mercedes properly at Silverstone.
"It wasn't the easiest feeling," Raikkonen added. "We had all weekend a few places that were quite difficult for us and in race it was similar to Friday.
"I tried to hang on to Lewis, tried to keep the gap, but just didn't have enough speed. We could have been second, but we have some work to be done.
"We had a decent start, but once we fall behind, we had no real chance to beat them."
Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble