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Sauber curses ‘unsporting’ Bottas
29 May 2013
Members of the Sauber team have hit out at Williams rival Valtteri Bottas for the ease with which he appeared to allow Kimi Raikkonen through in the closing stages of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.
The rookie was running eleventh on the road as the race entered its final couple of laps, but appeared to make little attempt to block his fellow Finn, who was mounting a last-ditch comeback after being forced to pit to replace a puncture following contact with Sergio Perez.
Raikkonen had already dispensed with the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez as he attempted to recover from 13th place and, once past Bottas, was able to close easily on the second Swiss car of Nico Hulkenberg, eventually sweeping past the German at Ste Devote on the final lap to claim the single point for tenth place.
While team principal Monisha Kaltenborn chose to blame the lack of performance that has hindered the C32 all season, team manager Beat Zehnder referred to take out his frustration on Bottas.
"I've rarely seen such an unsportsmanlike action as voluntarily making room for an opponent on the last lap in Monaco,” he fumed to
, while Bottas attempted to convince other publications that he had thought Raikkonen could have been amongst the leaders, rather than attempting to gain places from behind.
Ironically, Hulkenberg remained on the cusp of getting tenth place back until the stewards decided that Raikkonen deserved only a slap on the wrist for apparently exceeding the prescribed delta time under one of the race's safety car periods.
Instead the German had to make so with another narrow miss, while Raikkonen moved to within one race of tying Michael Schumacher's record for consecutive points finishes.
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