Kimi Raikkonen has urged Ferrari to alter its pit stop procedure to ensure it never suffers a nightmare repeat from the Bahrain Grand Prix when a Ferrari mechanic suffered a broken leg after being hit by the Finn’s car.

The 2007 Formula 1 world champion was forced to retire from the Bahrain race after a pit stop mistake by Ferrari when Raikkonen was shown the green light despite an issue with his rear-left wheel. Ferrari mechanics were still replacing his wheel, with his old tyre still on the car, when the Finn was unsafely released from the stop and he hit mechanic Francesco Cigarini who sustained fractures of his shinbone and fibula.

Cigarini has undergone surgery on the injury and Ferrari will shuffle its crew to fill in for the stricken mechanic with Raikkonen urging changes to ensure a similar blunder is avoided.

“I think a lot of things are questionable,” Raikkonen said. “We are always trying to gain on everything, but unfortunately it was far from ideal, and the end result was one of our guys got hurt, but my only job is to follow the lights and go when it’s green.

“Even if it goes green for, I don’t know, one second, I’m gone already, there’s nothing that you can do to turn back to red.

“There are probably a lot of things that could’ve been done differently, but this is what happened, and we paid the price for it.”

Raikkonen saw his F1 world championship ambitions take an early hit with the retirement, coupled with the frustration of losing out on a potential victory charge at the 2018 F1 opener due to an ill-timed Virtual Safety Car, but the Finn has shrugged off the incidents and is quietly confident with his Ferrari package after showing strong pace at the start of the year.

“I don’t know if it’s unlucky,” he said. “I don’t think it’s anything to do with the luck, really, to be honest. Maybe at the safety car you can argue it’s unlucky, but it happens, and it can happen to you.

“I don’t think it’s anything to do with luck; it’s purely things that we have to improve on. It’s disappointing obviously to have that early in the season such a bad result.

“It’s a bit hard to say exactly where we’re going to be [in China], because to be honest the first two races are quite different from each other and this is again not necessarily the most normal circuit, so let’s see. It’s hard to imagine it’s going to be a lot different than it has been in the last races, so it will be pretty interesting.”

Ferrari mechanic Cigarini is thought to be recovering from surgery in Italy after flying back from Bahrain, while Ferrari were hit by a €50,000 fine for the unsafe release by the FIA. The Italian manufacturer also picked up a €5,000 fine after a first F1 pit stop error for Raikkonen during FP2 in Bahrain when his front right wheel wasn't attached correctly.


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