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Ferrari suffers: Who was at fault in Kimi Raikkonen and Valterri Bottas 'rematch' in Mexico?

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Ferrari suffers: Who was at fault in Kimi Raikkonen and Valterri Bottas 'rematch' in Mexico?
Nov 2, 2015, 1:40 PM

The longest finishing streak in F1 history came to an end in Mexico.

The longest finishing streak in F1 history came to an end in Mexico. Tipped before the start to possibly be able to challenge Mercedes for the win, Ferrari endured a disappointing Mexican Grand Prix as the team suffered a double retirement, the first time both of the Scuderia’s drivers have failed to see the chequered flag since the Australian GP in 2006.

Kimi Raikkonen crashed out after a collision with Valtteri Bottas, the second coming together for the pair in three races and Sebastian Vettel’s race also ended in the barriers as he tried to recover from a disappointing start to the event.

So who was at fault this time? Raikkonen and Bottas have both described their clash a racing incident, but both clearly feel the other Finn was to blame, as in Sochi.

XPB.cc Kimi Raikkonen

The two drivers were fighting over sixth position at the start of lap 23 when they came together at Turn 5. As the cars approached the right-hander, Raikkonen turned in as Bottas was on the inside and the resulting contact broke the Ferrari driver’s right-rear suspension.

The incident came two races after the pair also clashed on the final lap of the Russian Grand Prix, when Raikkonen’s attempted pass knocked Bottas out of the race and the 2007 world champion was penalised by the stewards as a result.

Valtteri Bottas Kimi Raikkonen

Raikkonen, who twice refused to apologise or accept blame for the crash in Sochi, explained that he was not surprised by the outcome of the fight in Mexico given his recent history with his fellow countryman.

He said: “There are always two different ways to look at things, everybody can have their own view, but to be honest I did not expect a much different end result.

“It’s racing in the end, but I think I was expecting that it probably might happen after Russia. Has he done it on purpose? I don’t know, you can decide yourselves, it doesn’t change the final outcome right now and it’s not going to change anything for me for the future.”

XPB.cc Kimi Raikkonen

But Raikkonen insisted he had left Bottas enough space on the approach to Turn 5 and explained that he had to turn into the corner at some point.

He said: "There was not much room, but if you go over the kerb on the inside [at Turn 5] then there is enough room. It was tight, but if you ask him, I'm sure he's going to blame me.

"It was quite slippery there so he locked the front wheel. [But] I had to turn in at some point, I cannot just go straight."

Bottas, who went on to finish third, reckoned there was no need to speak to Raikkonen about the incident but did not agree that the Ferrari driver had left him enough space to make the corner without contact.

Valtteri Bottas

He said: “It's a shame it had to end like that, but that's racing. It was big contact, but it was just unlucky that we got together again. There is not anything to speak about for me, we were racing hard."

"Of course, I'm not going to back off, I'm fighting for positions. I thought it was a decent possibility to get through but it ended up like this. There was just no room. I was on the inside and we touched, but I had no space.

In the other Ferrari, Vettel had hoped he would be able to challenge the Mercedes cars for victory and the race history graphs (see UBS race Strategy Report tomorrow) show that he had the pace to do so, but his race unravelled at the first corner when he suffered a puncture after making contact with his old Red Bull teammate, Daniel Ricciardo.

After he had toured slowly back to the pits for a new set of tyres, Vettel ruined his recovery with a spin at Turn 7 on lap 17 and then crashed out at the same corner late in the race.

XPB.cc Sebastian Vettel

Vettel, who was angry at the stewards’ decision not to sanction Ricciardo during the race, later described the collision a racing incident. The four-times world champion also took responsibility his race-ending crash and said he had simply been trying to hard to come back from his tough start.

He said: “After the contact with Daniel I was very angry, but in the end I think no one is to blame. He clearly could not avoid hitting me being too fast for the line he had chosen, but these things happen.

“That’s racing, even if of course it’s painful if it happens in the first corner and you have to drive all the way back. So the race was pretty much lost at that time. I was hoping for a safety car earlier on, but it didn’t happen.

“I tried to catch up, but the two mistakes didn’t help. The last one obviously ended my race and I am not proud of it. The car in general was good, we were quick, the pace was promising and we were very close to Mercedes, probably we hadn’t been that close for a while.

“I tried everything to force it and come back. And trying too hard is probably the right explanation for my mistake.”

XPB.cc Sebastian Vettel MFFP5

Was either driver at fault for the Raikkonen and Bottas crash? What could Vettel have done differently in Mexico? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Whose fault was the Raikkonen/Bottas collision in Mexico?
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