Kimi Raikkonen has defended himself after being found responsible for the last lap clash with fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas during the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver was handed a thirty-second post-race penalty, the equivalent of a ten-second stop and go penalty, for spinning Williams Martini Racing’s Bottas into the turn four barriers after making an optimistic overtaking manoeuvre as the duo fought for the final podium position, relegating him from fifth on the road to eighth in the final result.
Raikkonen defended the move, believing he had a good enough run to attempt the pass on Bottas, but felt it was more of a racing accident than anything malicious.
“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,” reflected Raikkonen.
“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.”