Kimi Raikkonen has accepted that Sebastian Vettel didn't intentionally make contact with him at the start of the Chinese Grand Prix, but says it doesn't change the end result that prevented him from a podium challenge.
The Finn was tipped into a spin by his Ferrari team-mate as they rounded turn one, Vettel complaining that a 'crazy' Daniil Kvyat in the Red Bull had forced him out wide and into the sister car as a result.
Regardless, the contact left Raikkonen with damage on his car, forcing him into the pits at the end of the opening lap. Despite damage, the former champion embarked on a strong fight-back through the order that would take him to fifth position at the chequered flag.
However, despite the hard fought performance, Raikkonen admits the costly incident ultimately prevented him from mounting a podium challenge.
“Obviously he [Vettel] said “sorry” but that doesn't change what happened. I'm sure he didn't try to do it on purpose but it was not ideal for me or for the team, but sometimes it goes like that, unfortunately. I paid the price for it, but it wasn't a disaster after that.
“At least we got some points out of it, but I'm sure in many ways it could have been better. I guess 5th is better than nothing but it's obviously not what we were looking for. But that's part of racing.”
Reflecting on his charge up the order, Raikkonen admits the varying strategies playing out meant it was occasionally difficult to know where he was in the order.
“It was quite hard to follow what was happening. There were quite a lot of cars running with different tyres, doing different things, so at some points I felt we were not going very fast. I think with the tyres we were using we still managed to hold off people that had softer tyres, we could actually pass people, but it was a bit hard to say where we were going to end up.”