Raikkonen Defends Himself Following Bottas Clash
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has defended his move on Valtteri Bottas during Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom on the final lap which saw the Williams driver retire from the race as the pair battled for the final podium place which eventually went to Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez.
Raikkonen who started the race from fifth place made a cracking start and got past his team mate Sebastian Vettel however was later forced wide by the German resulting in the Finn having to coincide the place to Vettel after coming back on track ahead of Vettel.
Raikkonen drove a fantastic race and was unlucky to miss out on a podium place following his collision with Williams Martini Racing Team’s Valtteri Bottas and as a result the Iceman was handed a 10 second drive through penalty but having 30 seconds added to his race time and as a result was demoted to eighth place having initially finished the race in fifth place.
Raikkonen defended his move on Bottas following the race by saying:
All through the race the car was behaving well, especially after the pit stop, but then I was stuck behind other cars and had no speed on the straight, so it was hard to get past. In the final stages, I tried to overtake Valtteri in the same place I had passed him earlier in the race, I had a good run in turn 3 and in the next one there would have been enough space, so I decided to go for it. I don’t know if he was not expecting me at all or if he did not see me, but once I decided to go there was no way I could back off. I tried to turn inside as much as I could, but there was no way to go and in the end we collided. It is an unfortunate thing for us and for them, nobody want to have an accident even if it’s part of racing. It’s really a shame, but my move was based on a good chance and not something completely crazy.
While Raikkonen was penalized and left frustrated his team mate Sebastian Vettel secured another podium finish as he ended the race in second place behind race winner Lewis Hamilton and as a result the four time world champion has moved ahead of the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg into second place in the championship albeit 66 points behind Hamilton in the race for the championship with 100 points to play for in the final four races.
Speaking following the race Sebastian Vettel commented by saying:
Overall I am very happy. It was a great day, a great race and I felt really good in the car. In particular I am very happy for the Team, they have done a great job, after the lacking practice the days before. My start was not so good, I struggled a little bit, but as the race went on I fought my way to the front. After the safety car came in I could overtake Kimi and start the hunt for Williams. As for my fight with Kimi, first of all I think we both enjoyed the battle that since it was still so early in the race, it was right to let us fight to provide some excitement. In the end I was just able to finish my race. Lewis deserved the win, but we were maybe closer than some had expected.