Kimi Raikkonen has said that he would have no hesitation in making another move similar to the one that took countryman Valtteri Bottas out of the Russian Grand Prix, even though he has been roundly criticised for doing so.
Speaking ahead of the US Grand Prix in Austin, the Ferrari driver was typically unrepentant when asked about the incident in Sochi, which not only removed Bottas from a likely podium finish, but also earned himself a penalty that ensured that rivals Mercedes could clinch the 2015 constructors' title with four races remaining.
“Nothing has changed although, obviously, there have been some discussions,” Raikkonen shrugged, “The penalty was given but I would still do again tomorrow – that hasn't changed the story. Unfortunately, we came together in the end, and we both lost a bit, but that's life you know. That's racing and I don't feel bad about it. Like I said, I would still do the same thing next time and see if, maybe, it goes better.”
While both drivers appeared keen to move on from the incident nearly two weeks after it happened, Raikkonen insisted that it had only been apparent that Bottas was going to close the door when it was too late to pull out of the move. The senior Finn had already made a similar move on his younger rival earlier in the race, and believed a repeat was possible.
“I saw it in the end and, once he decided to go there, I tried to brake and turn in as much as I could, but there was no way to avoid it – that was for him,” he insisted, “What can you do? I don't know, maybe he didn't expect me or didn't see me. I tried to slow down and turn in but, in the end, if there's no space, there's no space and we're going to collide. It's an unfortunate thing, but it's a part of racing. You get penalised sometimes, and sometimes not, but it's pointless to cry afterwards. I'm sure people like it more like that than just us following each other....”