Kimi Raikkonen may not be the Ferrari Formula 1 driver who had the most to lose - or indeed, lost - at the start of the Mexican Grand Prix, but called his getaway a "disaster" before fighting back to third place on Sunday.

Raikkonen's teammate, Sebastian Vettel, saw his title hopes all but end when he collided with Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton at Turn 1, leaving both cars with damage.

Amidst the carnage, Raikkonen struggled to make up ground, falling from P5 on the grid to seventh as Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez all got past.

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"The initial start wasn't too bad. I got alongside Bottas, I think, but then everyone behind me had a good tow and came past me," Raikkonen explained.

"It was a disaster but we had some patience and enough speed to improve. Once those in front of me stopped for tyres I could push, so we recovered well." 

Raikkonen made use of the Virtual Safety Car to leapfrog Ocon into third place, and ended the race with a 20-second gap to Vettel behind him and an equal gap to Bottas ahead, running in a lonely order.

Asked what more he could have done, Raikkonen said: "I don’t know really, I don’t know what to say because I spent most of the race on my own. In the beginning I was stuck behind the Force India and I couldn’t get past. 

"Once he stopped I had decent speed, but I was far behind the others and it wasn’t the nicest feeling. I don’t know, I was on my own, and at that point there was nothing to do,  the guys in front of me were so far and behind there was nobody. 

"I have to say it was not too bad. But I kind of expected to be this way after yesterday; I think the biggest issue was the first lap."

Asked what he thought of Lewis Hamilton's fourth world championship win, Raikkonen said: "It’s great for Lewis, it’s a lot of wins, a lot of championships.

"What can I say? We can be happy for him, but inside… I don’t know…"