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F1 Japanese GP: Raikkonen: It’s not hard to let people past…

Kimi Raikkonen criticises backmarkers for not yielding to blue flags as he endures a frustrating Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
RESULTS: Japanese Grand Prix – Race results

Kimi Raikkonen has criticised the conduct of some drivers under blue flag conditions after a bad tempered Japanese Grand Prix that saw the Ferrari driver, along with Sebastian Vettel, repeatedly complain about backmarkers.

The Finn endured a frustrating race day in Suzuka after an overnight gearbox penalty demoted him from his original starting position of third to eighth. Despite making progress up the order he would only go as far as fifth place.

One of a few drivers to air frustrations with backmarkers over the team radio, though Raikkonen accepted it is sometimes not easy for some to move over – particularly at the narrow Suzuka venue – he stood by his critique that they need to be more aware of cars around them.

POINTS: The F1 World Championship standings after the Japanese Grand Prix

“I think it's the track, as it's different, but the fact is that when there are blue flags certain people just move out of the way, let you pass and they're one lap down. I understand sometimes they're having their own battles, but it's not difficult to let people pass.

“You always going to lose time, but you're one lap down and that's part of racing. Obviously a circuit like this makes it a bit more difficult to get past the backmarkers and you end you following a backmarker for a full lap. It could have been better but we can't change the whole race now.”

Satisfied with his race but frustrated by the penalty, Raikkonen was nonetheless refusing to dwell on the unrewarding result.

“We had good pace in every session, in qualifying and even in the race. If it's the strongest weekend I've had, I don't know. Until the penalty everything was going well, we were put at disadvantage with the issue, but sometimes things go that way.”

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October 10, 2016 9:45 PM

If you are in the faster car you shouldn't need anyone to slow down and let you drive past whether they are being lapped or not. I think it is time to ditch the blue flag and let these drivers prove they deserve to be driving F1. Remember if you need to get past a backmarker to catch up with the driver a position ahead of you, that driver also had to deal with the backmarker as well... So lets just level the playing field and stop forcing drivers to help the leaders by pulling out of the way. Might even make the race a bit more interesting.

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