Raikkonen defends Verstappen over Suzuka clash

Wednesday, 10 october 2018, 12:04 , by Matthew Scott

Kimi Raikkonen has defended Max Verstappen's driving style and says he likely did not intend to cause the incident between them at the Japanese Grand Prix which earned the Red Bull man a five-second time penalty. Verstappen was penalised for re-joining the track in a dangerous manner, having cut the chicane on the opening lap in Suzuka.

Verstappen's attempts to get immediately back onto the racing line took him into the path of Raikkonen, who lost fourth place to Sebastian Vettel after having to run beyond track limits.

It was not the end of Verstappen's eventful outing as a collision with Vettel soon after sent the German into a spin and to the back of the field, with his remaining title hopes going up in smoke in the process.

Vettel said he would seek talks with Verstappen in private over the incident, but his veteran team-mate was stereotypically more sanguine.

"In the situation where I was with him, it is a bit hard to say because I know sometimes when you come back over the kerbs it is impossible to turn the car when you bounce over them," Raikkonen said.

"I don't know if that was the case.

"I think if we were both on the circuit next to each other, I don't think he would squeeze because we all know what will happen from that.

"But it was obviously a bit of an odd situation where we ended up. I don't think he purposefully tried to hit anybody, but this is what happened.

"I tried to go outside and leave as much as I could, but he obviously came kind of off the track over the grass kerb part.

"Maybe he could not turn more, and maybe he just ended up there. In an ideal world, he should have left a bit more."

MORE: Verstappen gets extra punishment for Suzuka crash
MORE: Verstappen ruined my race - Raikkonen

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