Kimi Raikkonen says Max Verstappen’s controversial last-lap overtake “really pissed me off” and the whole incident took him by surprise as the Red Bull driver was hit by a post-race five-second time penalty.

The Ferrari driver was struggling with fuel saving to reach the end of the United States Grand Prix which enabled Verstappen to produce a final lap charge against Raikkonen for the final podium place. Verstappen was judged to have put all four wheels off the track when he dived up the inside of Raikkonen and was slapped with a five-second time penalty, plus one penalty point, which demoted him off the podium and put the Finn third.

Raikkonen says he wasn’t expecting Verstappen’s late lunge and was happy to benefit from the race stewards' decision to hand the Red Bull driver a penalty.

“I was kind of half-surprised,” Raikkonen said. “I saw him in the mirror and I tried to slow down the whole thing before the previous corners, just to try and save enough fuel, to be honest.

“I thought I had covered him enough on that corner and I lifted, because of the obvious reason that I said, but suddenly I saw a bit of him in the mirror and I was a bit surprised. Obviously at that speed I was looking more forward, so I was just really pissed off he got past me, but I didn’t have any chance but to slow down. I was happily surprised I got to go on the podium.

“I was pretty disappointed just after the race when I thought I finished 4th but then there was some issue with Max. My car was very good all the way. I just had to do fuel saving in the end, so it was not so easy.”


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