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.”

  • kcabmi

    Lots of room on his outside, little or none on his inside. Another mistake from a driver who was alongside another. It’s not the first time Kimi has miscalculated and contributed significantly to contact at a corner.

  • Akash2K11

    too bad Verstappen does not share your opinion.. he’s blaming Bottas for the incident

  • kcabmi

    “An unfortunate start to the race which ultimately finished it also. I tried to go around the outside as there was plenty of room there.” explained Verstappen after the race.

    And when he watches the replay he’ll see why there was ‘plenty of room’ on ‘the outside’ – because Kimi took the wrong line.

  • John Seabrooke

    Actually Kimi was on the proper racing line, Bottas and Max were off the racing line. It’s hard to place blame on anyone really, it was a legit racing incident, 3 wide in turn 1 is always a gamble.

    Some would say Bottas should have backed off once he realized Kimi was ahead of him, or that Max could have given more room, or Kimi could have tried to get even closer to Max. You could apply a small amount of fault to all 3.

  • kcabmi

    Bottas was in front of both as they approached the corner. Kimi had to overtake him, which he failed to complete.

    As you correctly note, Kimi was on the ‘proper racing line’ but as he hadn’t completed overtaking someone he therefore shouldn’t have been on that line.

    It might have been called a racing incident and we shouldn’t expect that he intended to cause mayhem, but it was his responsibility to corner a little further out and then Max would have also done so “as there was plenty of room there”.

  • John Seabrooke

    You need to go rewatch the replay. Both Max and Kimi were ahead of Bottas at corner entry.

  • kcabmi

    You can’t just make things up to try and prove your own point.

    Kimi NEVER cleared Bottas before contact. He never completed an overtake. Kimi’s front wheels were just in front of Bottas’s as they took the corner, meaning they were side by side. Bottas tried to avoid Kimi who was where he shouldn’t have been. He forced Bottas on to the curb and the rest is history.

  • John Seabrooke

    Make things up?? Clearly you need to rewatch the replay. Kimi and Max were both ahead of a Bottas at corner entry, and Kimi was on the race line, if anything he had ultimate claim to the corner.

    If Kimi were behind bottas, explain how he hit Kimis rear tire. FACT was he was behind.

  • kcabmi

    Easy. Bottas slowed after the two were alongside each other as they enter the corner and he could see Kimi turning in on him. Kimi created the environment for mayhem. Thankfully it cost Kimi.

    I’d say watch the line Hamilton took to see where Kimi should have been, but perhaps you need glasses?

  • John Seabrooke

    Hah. I’m not the one who needs glasses. And it’s clear you don’t understand the rules in racing, Kimi was ahead at corner entry and was on the racing line, he has full right to the corner and it’s the job of the guy on the inside or outside to avoid him.

    And you also ignore the comments from a Bottas in that he broke too early which is why Kimi/Max were ahead at corner entry.

  • kcabmi

    Yes, Bottas shouldn’t have braked so early. It would also have removed the opportunity for Kimi to cause chaos.

    “Kimi was ahead at corner entry”

    As I said before, you can’t make stuff up when losing an argument. At least have some pride.

    Kimi was never ahead, that’s how they made contact. The overhead shot shows them clearly side by side at corner entry, Kimi’s front wheel just ahead of Bottas’s front wheel.

    I’d show you a screen shot to complete the discussion but this site won’t let me add one with a Disqus account.

  • John Seabrooke

    You don’t need to send a screenshot, I have the actual replay which I have watched over and over. Bottas broke too early which allowed Kimi to be ahead of Bottas at corner entry.

    You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding on the definition of “ahead” in terms of racing. Kimi was ahead of Bottas at corner entry. That is a indisputable fact backed up by video replay. You can keep denying it but the facts are the facts. Go watch the replay. At corner entry Bottas front wheel is near Kimis side pod. In racing, that driver is ahead and combined with being on the proper racing line, gives him ownership of the corner.

    Dude you are arguing with someone who used to race, I have a much better understanding of racing etiquette than you.

  • kcabmi

    Last time. You can try to reword all you like. And the ‘I race a car’ sort of contribution sounds even more desperate of you.

    Kimi was never ahead of Bottas in any terms. Kimi never ‘owned’ the corner’.

    Both were angling to the corner. Kimi’s turn-in was too acute. He never cleanly reached the apex because Bottas was still present and being squeezed, or ‘pinched’ as Brundle commentated. This wasn’t like the later section last year where Hamilton came from behind of Rosberg who misjudged the closing speed.

    Kimi misjudged and turned in on a vehicle that was already present, having failed to secure a position. The ‘proper’ line for him to take would have been the same as Hamilton’s, or wider. Perhaps he felt threatened by Max. Perhaps it is something they teach at Ferrari as Massa also was the meat in a sandwich a few meters later, and Hamilton had to avoid Vettel at the same corner on lap 38.

    But it’s not like it is the first time Kimi has misjudged a move on a corner and caused chaos.

  • Gigi OC

    It doesn’t matter, Kimi is still super hot!