Kimi Raikkonen has defended his decision to try and pass countryman Valtteri Bottas for the final podium position in the Russian Grand Prix after the two Finns collided and allowed Sergio Perez to steal the silverware.

The pair had been closing on Perez for several laps, making the most of their fresher rubber after the Force India driver opted to stop under the second two safety car periods that interrupted the early part of the race, but, having both got past, contrived to come together on the last lap as they battled over third place. Bottas ended his race in the barriers, his car too damaged to carry on, while Raikkonen limped his Ferrari to the chequered flag, still in fifth place - although that would subsequently become eighth after the stewards imposed a 30secs time penalty well after the race had ended.

"I went to the inside but I don't think he realised I was there," Raikkonen said of his rival, "Obviously, at the last point, I knew he was turning in so I tried to avoid him on the inside and had to brake hard, but I was passed him already and there was contact."

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Although he had yet to be adjudged the guilty party in the accident - the stewards ruled after much of the F1 paddock had already headed for the airport - Raikkonen attempted to defend what looked, from the outside, to be something of a do-or-die move.

"I don't think it was something completely stupid that I tried," he insisted, "We made a call and it was only two cars, but there are many ways of looking at the incident. I was there, but did he know that I was there? The fortunate thing is that it wasn't a bad accident but it is part of racing and it happened."

The subsequent penalty added 30secs to Raikkonen's race time, enough to drop him three positions to eighth, where his points haul proved insufficient to help Ferrari deny Mercedes the 2015 constructors' crown. Prior to that, the battle had been set to rumble on to the USGP in a couple of weeks...


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Kimi is not a reckless or unsportsmanlike, though his move was over overoptimistic at best and he deserves his punishment.
I just think that it was a case a of last lap "do or die" lunge.