Kimi Raikkonen said he was “scared to move” in his near-miss incident with Valtteri Bottas during second practice for Formula 1's season-opening Australian Grand Prix. 

The pair nearly collided early on in the session, as a fast-approaching Bottas met Raikkonen under braking at Turn 3 and was forced to take evasive action, running wide and through the gravel. 

Raikkonen was summoned to the stewards over the incident for blocking the Mercedes driver, though he insists he had no way of knowing exactly where his fellow countryman was. The stewards later confirmed no further would action would be taken, after it was deemed Raikkonen had not "unnecessarily impeded" Bottas. 

“I didn’t see anything, that’s the problem,” Raikkonen explained. “I knew he was somewhere there but I could not see him at all. Obviously the team tried to tell me, but the call came quite late when they told me. 

“I saw the smoke and I knew he was somewhere, but I couldn’t see him at all, so I was scared to move either way. For sure it was not ideal for him but I couldn’t move because I couldn’t see him.”

Reflecting on the incident, Bottas said he would have been surprised to see Raikkonen get a penalty: "He was on a cool down lap and I was expecting him to move out of the way. But he stayed on the line and when I got close to him I had a lock up."

Raikkonen ended Friday as the quickest Ferrari driver, edging teammate Sebastian Vettel by finishing fourth in both practice sessions, and posting a time just 0.228s shy of pacesetter Lewis Hamilton in FP2. 

The Finn admits his team has work to do if it is to challenge Mercedes in qualifying, with rivals Red Bull outpacing Ferrari throughout the day as Max Verstappen split the Silver Arrows in the second session. 

“It wasn’t too bad, but we can do better, for sure. We tried a few things and they seemed to improve here and there. The feeling is different from what we had in winter testing but it’s a completely different circuit. It was a normal Friday.

“We have a lot of things to put exactly right and a lot of things we’re wondering what is the best way to go, but those are normal things, especially in the beginning of the year, when we are trying things and trying to figure out the best way to go forward.”