Kimi Raikkonen was left to reflect on what might have been after being the victim of circumstance not once but twice during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver started third on the grid but collided with Valtteri Bottas at turn two, an incident he blames on his rival, but the bigger issue was Raikkonen suffering a puncture after running over debris caused by the two Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team drivers colliding just after the restart after one of the safety car periods.
Raikkonen had been set to retire due to damage caused by his flailing tyre but hard work by his mechanics during the red flag period saw him return to the race, albeit a lap down, but after a drive-through penalty, given to him thanks to his mechanics working on his car outside of the fast lane in the pit lane he retired from the race for good whilst running fourteenth and last, a lap down on the field.
“Today many things happened that were out of our hands and unfortunately we paid a big price,” said Raikkonen. “After the start, at the second corner, I got hit by Bottas; I don’t know what he was doing, he braked very early but probably he noticed that and let the brakes off, went too fast and hit me.
“Because of that the rear end of my car hit the wall and I had a massive damage. We were able to keep going but then I was unlucky. The two Force Indias collided, some debris flew off and destroyed my rear tire. As a consequence my whole floor and the rear wing were damaged and we decided to retire.
“When the red flag stopped the race we thought that we might try and go back on track. The mechanics did and amazing job, managed to change the floor and the endplate in a very short time. But obviously my car was still not perfect and we decided to stop.”
Raikkonen admitted it was not a great afternoon in Baku, but felt there was nothing else he could have done differently, so he will shrug it off and move on to the Austrian Grand Prix in two weeks time.
“It’s not a good day when your car retires twice in a race. I’m disappointed because, without all these things happening, my car would have been good. There’s nothing else we could have done, we tried our best.”