First-lap contact with Verstappen was fair - Raikkonen

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First-lap contact with Verstappen was fair - Raikkonen

Formula 1

First-lap contact with Verstappen was fair - Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen believes contact with Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the Austrian Grand Prix was fair despite losing out on victory to the Red Bull driver.

Verstappen was fourth on the road behind Raikkonen and approaching the high-speed Turn 6 when he tried a move up the inside and touched the Ferrari’s left rear tire. That resulted in Raikkonen running slightly wide and losing the position, but after an investigation the stewards decided against taking any action against Verstappen.

“I think there was a lot happening on the first lap,” Raikkonen said. “I think a little bit sideways or lost the line a little bit into Turn 6 and then Max… obviously we were pretty close to each other.

“I think the car in front of me, the Mercedes, disturbed the downforce a bit and then obviously [Verstappen] got the run and I tried to hang on on the outside but I got a little bit sideways because I guess we touched a little bit and lost a place but I think we got the best out of it, not taking each out and still fighting in that kind of corner that is fast speed and not very easy to stay next to each other when you try.

“That’s what happens sometimes. Not ideal for me but it was still fair enough.”

Raikkonen closed in on Verstappen in the closing laps and set the fastest lap on the final lap of the race, but fell 1.5 seconds short at the checkered flag.

“The car came good but we just run out of the laps and I think we took it easily too long,” he said. “It’s a shame. We had a great car today and in some points it was a little bit difficult but I think it was a good result for the team.”

Asked if he could have won with a few more laps, Raikkonen replied: “For sure it was possible but this is the laps we had in the race, so it’s easy to say ‘if this or if that.’

“Basically I think we had good speed, especially in the end, it was a little bit tricky in the first part of the second stint. At the end the tires felt like they were working really well — it was good.

“I think it’s disappointing but it’s great for the team, we get a lot of points against the team we’re probably fighting for the championship, as they had a pretty awful day today. From that side it was good for us. For sure we had the speed in the end but it didn’t happen today.”

–Chris Medland

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