Kimi Räikkönen: “Unfortunately my race was already over in turn one”

by Paul Hensby

Despite so much promise, it was a pointless Belgian Grand Prix for Alfa Romeo Racing, with Kimi Räikkönen finishing down in sixteenth and Antonio Giovinazzi crashing out with just over a lap remaining.

Räikkönen’s afternoon was compromised at the very first turn on lap one as he made contact with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen at La Source, with the Finn lucky not to flip as he was punched into the air by the Dutchman.

He made a secondary, albeit much lighter contact with Verstappen at Eau Rouge as the Dutchman exited stage left and hit the barriers with suspension damage, but Räikkönen’s car was already damaged in the initial incident, leaving him unable to fight for points.

“Unfortunately my race was already over in turn one,” said Räikkönen.  “I had to slow down as [Valtteri] Bottas was at the outside and the next thing I know I get hit and I’m on two wheels.

“Afterwards it was nearly pointless to stay out as there was a lot of damage to the floor but you never know what’s gonna happen so we did the whole distance. Really a shame as we had a strong car today.”

Team-mate Giovinazzi had driven a strong race and was on course for only his second top ten finish of the season but found himself in the barriers at Pouhon with less than two laps to go, with the Italian ultimately classified eighteenth as a result.

“The car has been really strong today and therefore it’s even more disappointing not to finish the race with an accident in the last lap,” said Giovinazzi.  

“Our strategy was great and we would have been in the points and for this I feel sorry for everyone in the team, but I guess that’s racing.”

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