Kimi Raikkonen: “I’m pretty sure Valtteri had enough space”


Kimi Raikkonen - Scuderia Ferrari - Spanish GP 2017. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was disappointed to see his Spanish Grand Prix end at the first corner, but feels there is nothing more he could have done to avoid the eventual outcome.

Having found himself at the entrance to Turn 1 at the same time as Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen and Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Valtteri Bottas, as they all converged on the same spot of tarmac, Raikkonen was tagged by his Finnish compatriot.

The collision sent the Ferrari driver spiralling into the Red Bull, culminating in both drivers running off track and onto the gravel, having both got good starts off the line.

“I made a good start, but on the main straight I got blocked once by Bottas.

“I chose to lift and go a little bit on the left to leave him space, but, I don’t know how, he hit me on the right rear corner, my car jumped and I end up going into Verstappen.

“There was nothing me or Max could have done, when you get hit from behind in that way there’s no way to avoid the collision.”

Raikkonen is adamant he left Bottas enough space to make the corner without contact, so is unsure how the Mercedes driver managed to hit him.

“I’m pretty sure Valtteri had enough space. Unfortunately, my race ended there.”

The 2007 world champion sustained a broken front suspension and bent tyre, meaning he had to park the SF70-H up, his race well and truly over before it had ever really begun.

The early exit was extremely annoying for the Finn who had felt strong in the car all weekend, having outpaced team-mate Sebastian Vettel in all sessions but qualifying, prior to the race.

“Obviously it’s very disappointing, we had been running quite well all weekend and I was happy with the behaviour of the car.”