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F1 China 2013: Battle-scarred Kimi settles for second

"I'm not 100 per cent happy because we didn't win," admits Kimi Raikkonen. "But in the circumstances it was the best that we could manage."
There was no question that as he lined up in second place on the grid for the start of the F1 Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, Kimi Raikkonen was eyeing up a Shanghai surprise of a win over polesitter Lewis Hamilton.

But that all went awry when the starting lights went out and Raikkonen's Lotus struggled to get away off the grid, allowing both of the Ferrari driver behind him to get the jump on him and go into the first corner in front, demoting Raikkonen himself to fourth place.

Even so, the team was hoping that this would be a temporary setback easily overcome over the course of the rest of the race: "We had an interesting start with Kimi dropping back, but once we got onto the prime tyres things went pretty smoothly," pointed out Alan Permane, the team's trackside operations director.

Smoothly, that is, until Raikkonen came up on the back of Sergio Perez' McLaren and duly tried to overtake the slower car through turn 5 on lap 16.

"After a bad start, the car was handling well," explained Raikkonen. "Overtaking Perez, I was next to him and he just pushed me on the kerb. I tried to avoid him and went on the grass and I hit him.

"I don't know if he could see me or how it happened, but there was no way for me to avoid it anymore as I was there next to him and ran out of road," he added. "It damaged the nose but luckily it didn't damage too much the handling, just a bit of understeer."

But Perez refuted the suggestion that the accident was his fault. "Basically Kimi outbraked himself and locked his tyres and hit me from behind," he said later. Race stewards investigating the incident decided that no action would be taken against either driver.

After the collision, Lotus decided to live with the damage to the aerodynamic components on Raikkonen's car and not lose time in the pits making a change, but it was not a cost-free decision.

"Kimi lost quite a bit of downforce with his front wing damage, otherwise he should have been able to challenge Fernando for the lead," suggested Pername. "We lost around 0.25 seconds per lap due to the damage to Kimi's car."





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
14.04.2013- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
14.04.2013- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21 and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
14.04.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
14.04.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
24.03.2013- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28 overtaking Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
14.04.2013- Race, 2nd position Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21es AMG F1 W04
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

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Bradenws

April 15, 2013 12:38 AM

Kimi is always the exact opposite of full of crap, so I'm actually inclined to take his comments at face value when I read them. I do believe Perez screwed up when they touched (though it takes two to tango), but Kimi just got on with his job like a real man and hasn't actually thrown any vitriol, as would be expected of almost any other driver. He better win it this year.

sodesu - Unregistered

April 15, 2013 5:54 AM

Yeah normally he'll drop an angry comment in the heat of the moment on the radio and then immediately play it down afterwards... I fully agree that Perez driving standards weren't too impressive yesterday, and by the brief conversation in the greenroom it seems like the other two on the podium did too.



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