'There wasn’t much else I could do' – Raikkonen gives his side of the story on Russell collision
It’s probably a good thing that Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t have much time for milestones, because his record-breaking race start at the Nuburgring turned out to be a weekend to forget.
Sunday saw Raikkonen start his 323rd race in Formula 1, surpassing Rubens Barrichello’s previous benchmark to become the most experienced F1 driver of all time. The Finn was not particularly bothered by the statistic in the build-up to the race and an underwhelming weekend followed as he qualified 19th and then finished 12th, hampered by a penalty for colliding with George Russell.
“For sure it was not the most we could do but that’s what we got,” Raikkonen said. “Not a great weekend, neither on Saturday nor Sunday. We know if we get it wrong on Saturday it’s going to hurt us on Sunday, but that’s how it is…
“It wasn’t the greatest weekend, but after [qualifying] we knew we’d have a difficult job on our hands. The start of the race was OK, but then I had to avoid some cars ahead of me and I lost a lot of places. We could have been a bit ahead but the Safety Car cost us a few positions and the end result wasn’t great. It was a frustrating weekend, but we have to leave it behind us and try again next time.”
Raikkonen got a ten-second time penalty for causing a collision when trying to follow Sebastian Vettel through and overtake Russell into Turn 1. After a snap of oversteer, Raikkonen hit the right rear of the Williams, pitching Russell into the air and out of the race.
“Not much [to say], we touched each other and that’s it," Raikkonen said. "We were the three together, I think I locked the rears a bit, got sideways and then there wasn’t much else I could do.”
Russell was unsurprisingly a little more talkative about the incident that saw the him pick up a left rear puncture as he landed heavily, and being unable to recover to the pits.
“It was obviously frustrating,” Russell said. “I actually overtook Sebastian in the chicane before, but he then got the run on me on the exit which I don’t think was shown on TV, which allowed him to have DRS.
“Kimi was behind, I left plenty of space, but Kimi locked up behind Sebastian and lost the rear. It’s racing, we’re all pushing hard, and it’s not easy sometimes, but it’s frustrating as the car was feeling good and the way the race went I think we could have scored points. It’s all going against us at the moment unfortunately."