Ferrari suspects Raikkonen to blame for poor start

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene suspects that finger trouble was to blame for Kimi Raikkonen's failure to get away from the front of the grid at the Italian Grand Prix.

After a brilliant qualifying session to secure a place on the front row, Raikkonen threw away his victory chances when he struggled to get away as the lights went out and dropped to the back of the field.

Although Ferrari was still awaiting the results of an official investigation into what happened, Arrivabene reckons that the problem may have been caused by Raikkonen not handling his clutch paddles properly.

"If it is a technical issue we will let you know," he explained. "Looking at the moment on the images on television, it looks like he was struggling a bit, or messing a bit, with a finger to follow the procedure. But, doing an accusation before having the data is wrong.

"What I have to say is that being positive he had a fantastic qualifying and today into the race, starting from that position, he was doing very, very good overtaking and we were happy.

"If you ask me what was the ideal situation, the ideal situation was to see Kimi passing first at the first curve.

"We have to be happy. But we have a driver who is second, we are still second in the constructors' championship. Fine."

Raikkonen baffled

Raikkonen himself was adamant he followed his normal procedures, so was at a loss to explain what happened when it went wrong before he released the second clutch lever.

"The engine stalled when I let the first clutch go," he said. "As far as I understood I did the correct things but we can see a problem with the second clutch - the way it is not was in the correct place. I am pretty sure I did everything correct as always, but I don't know exactly.

"Whatever it was, it triggered the anti stall and after a few seconds I was in last place. After that we did the best we could but we were quite disappointed – the race was okay.

"We finished fifth but when you start in second place and end up last in the first corner, it is not ideal. So, it was a bit disappointing."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Italian GP
Track Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news