Kimi Raikkonen has echoed Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel in branding the inconsistency in the Formula 1 regulations as a 'joke' after disagreeing with decisions made over Max Verstappen's robust defence in the Hungarian Grand Prix and not fully enforcing the 107 per cent ruling in qualifying.
Raikkonen started down in 14th position after being caught out by rapidly evolving track conditions during qualifying, but made the most of an alternative strategy to go long on the first stint and recover to sixth position, spending the final laps engaged in a boisterous dice with Red Bull's Verstappen.
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Indeed, after the pair made contact at Turn 2 on lap 48 as Verstappen came across to defend the inside line – causing front-wing damage to the Ferrari – and came close to blows again on lap 57 at Turn 1, Raikkonen expressed his frustration that stewards didn't deem the teenager's actions as overly aggressive.
“The battle became more difficult when I lost part of the front wing. I could no longer follow closely in the last corners of the lap and didn't manage to get past. For me, he moved once to the right, I decided to go left and the other car moved left. Once I decided to go and he decided to move back, I did everything I could to avoid contact… Once you decide to go one way you cannot move back.
“It was good to somehow half miss him. I lost a bit of the front wing, but there are rules but this weekend, and I'm not just talking about what happened between me and Max, in many ways why do we have rules if Stewards can decide it's OK here and not OK here. If the rules don't apply all the time and to all the people, then we shouldn't have them.”
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Raikkonen went on to criticise the way rules are enforced in Formula 1 generally, making reference to a wrangle over the 107 per cent rule in qualifying. Eleven drivers failed to reach the necessary 107 per cent time in Q1, with the FIA later confirming it would only apply to the six drivers who failed to progress and not the other five that qualified to Q2.
Justifying the reason to exonerate the five – which included Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen – because of 'exceptional circumstances' brought about by four red flag periods in wet conditions, Raikkonen says he doesn't understand why the regulation applied to some and not others.
“There are so many different rules these days that if you are in front, according to some rules you can move but when the guy behind makes a move, commits to something and the other guy decides to move, it's difficult to avoid hitting him. In that second case I just managed to miss him but it was two times, in my feeling, he wasn't correct.
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“The Stewards or the people that decide how things go here, it's a joke with the rules. Yesterday's qualifying was a good example with the 107 per cent rule, but they applied it to the guys who didn't go through from Q1 but they didn't for the rest. How can you suddenly have the same rule and apply it in different ways during the same session? Can someone explain me how that works?
“This is Formula One these days and something has to change, because this looks bad to people outside, to you guys and I think it's not fair. There's a rule and it should apply exactly the same way, every time, to everybody.”