Kimi Raikkonen says he had “zero idea” Carlos Sainz was alongside him during their bizarre Turn 10 clash as Formula 1 pre-season testing drew to a close.

In a strange end to the final day of running in Bahrain, Raikkonen and Ferrari’s Sainz ended up wheel-to-wheel under braking for Turn 10 before both drivers slewed off the track to avoid a collision.

The pair continued to squabble along the straight towards the braking zone at Turn 11, as Sainz chased down Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo before eventually backing off.

“I don’t think we touched,” the Finn said when asked about the incident.

“I had zero idea he was there, saw him at the last minute and pulled right, but I don’t know. I guess he was pissed off and tried to play games, but I don’t think we touched – I didn’t feel anything.”

F1’s most experienced driver enjoyed a strong final day as he racked up a whopping 165 laps on his way to finishing fourth in the timesheets, managing a best lap that was within a second of Max Verstappen’s benchmark time.

While Raikkonen is refusing to get carried away with his eye-catching time from the final day, he is hopeful that Alfa Romeo will start the season in a better position compared to 2020.

“Obviously, it’s only testing, and we never know what the others are doing, but purely on feeling, for sure it is better than it was last year,” he said.

“[We look] faster, compared to the others, than at the end of last year. It’s just testing, but the feeling with the car is a lot better and that’s the main thing. We’ll see, in a few weeks’ time, where we end up.”



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