The end of the final day of Formula 1 testing in Bahrain was punctuated by a near-miss on track involving Kimi Raikkonen and Carlos Sainz.
Sainz was on a flying lap just before the checkered flag on Sunday evening and improving his best time of the day when he encountered a slower Raikkonen approaching Turn 10. The new Ferrari driver went for a lunge down the inside of the Alfa Romeo as Raikkonen turned in and the two came perilously close to contact, ending up in the run-off area and then scrapping back to the pits with Sainz right on the rear of the Finn.
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“I had zero idea he was there, saw him at the last minute and pulled right, but I don’t know,” Raikkonen said. “I guess he was pissed off and tried to play games, but I don’t think we touched — I didn’t feel anything.”
It was one of the more dramatic incidents of what had been a productive test for Raikkonen and Alfa Romeo, as the 2007 world champion finished fourth on the timing screens for the week.
“Obviously it’s only testing, and we never know what the others are doing, but purely on feeling, for sure it is better than it was last year — faster, compared to the others, than it was at the end of last year.
“It’s just testing, but the feeling with the car is a lot better and that’s the main thing. We’ll see, in a few weeks’ time, where we end up.”