Kimi Raikkonen’s race ends on lap 22 after a collision. Sebastian Vettel crashes out with 20 laps to go
Mexico City – Scuderia Ferrari’s Mexican Grand Prix came to a premature end today. Sebastian Vettel faced an uphill struggle from just metres after the start. The German and Daniel Ricciardo had a coming together at the first corner, which punctured the Ferrari’s right rear tyre, so he had to pit and change tyres. Having rejoined, Vettel moved up from last to eleventh, but a spin on lap 17, made life even more complicated. In the middle stint, Seb was driving at a very strong pace, but a mistake at Turn 7 brought his race to an end.
Kimi Raikkonen’s race lasted just 22 laps. Having started from nineteenth, the Finn had climbed back into the top 10. On lap 22, Raikkonen had to retire after a collision with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, which damaged his right rear suspension. Come the end of the 71 laps, Nico Rosberg emerged victorious for Mercedes ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Maurizio Arrivabene: “Over the course of this season we had already managed to touch the sky. This time we reached the bottom. But today’s race was a lesson of humility that we must put to good use and that will further bind the team together and strengthen the character of everybody. I had already seen yesterday how this team can react to difficulties, having had to replace both engine and gearbox in so little time. Today, we are not blaming anybody: we are a team, we win and lose together. I regret the result as we had a really good pace in the race, but that’s racing, you can always have a bad day. This does not change our targets for the season, as Seb can still catch Rosberg in the point standings and Kimi can do the same with Bottas”.
Kimi Raikkonen: “About the accident with Bottas, 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.
Obviously we had a pretty poor weekend, we were a bit unlucky on many things, and it’s not the nicest feeling for all of us, but we are still a strong team. It was an unlucky situation for both me and Sebastian, but that’s how it goes sometimes. As a team, we haven’t lost anything, we just had a pretty difficult weekend and I’m sure we can be back in the next two races, trying to finish the season strongly.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Today I had a bad start, and obviously 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.”