Kimi Raikkonen hit back at Sergio Perez’s criticism of his driving in the Monaco Grand Prix by suggesting “someone should punch him in the face”.
The pair collided at the chicane when Perez tried to pass Raikkonen on the inside of the corner. The McLaren driver said Raikkonen “did not give me any room at all. I touched the wall on the entry to the corner and I had no room for that”.
Raikkonen laid the blame for the collision entirely at Perez’s feet: “Because of one stupid move from Sergio we’ve lost a lot of points to Sebastian [Vettel] in the championship and you can’t afford to lose ground like that,” he said.
“He hit me from behind and that’s about all there is to it. If he thinks it’s my fault that he came into the corner too fast then he obviously has no idea what he’s talking about.”
Asked if Perez would be spoken to by the drivers about his racecraft Raikkonen replied: “That won’t help. Maybe someone should punch him in the face.”
Raikkonen had already called Perez an “idiot” on the team radio earlier in the race after another attempted pass at the chicane by the McLaren driver.
Raikkonen and Perez have come together once before this year in the Chinese Grand Prix. This also provoked complaints from Raikkonen about Perez, but as in Monaco the stewards found nothing wrong with his driving.
MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. The 2017 season behind the wheel was better for Ed Carpenter than either of the last two years, but still wasn’t ideal results-wise in his six oval starts.
Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
- 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish
- 2017: 22nd Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 7th, Best Start 2nd, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 11.3 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish
Ed Carpenter’s 2017 season was largely one of frustration, both behind the wheel and as a team owner.
While a respectable turnaround in results occurred – Carpenter finished between seventh and 12th in five of his six oval races after a nightmare season of ending 18th or worse in each of his 2016 starts – this is still not what he sets out to strive for in the races he does. Lost opportunities loomed larger than any official result he or the Ed Carpenter Racing team achieved.
Carpenter and new teammate JR Hildebrand, in for the departed Josef Newgarden, dominated preseason testing in Phoenix but Hildebrand could only muster third in the race, Carpenter a season-best seventh. Then at Indianapolis, Carpenter (second) and Hildebrand (sixth) flew the flag for Chevrolet in qualifying and practice pace, but they fell to 11th and 16th on race day owing to a front-wing change and late-race penalty for passing before a restart.
Both drivers got collected in incidents at Texas. Hildebrand qualified and finished a season-best second in Iowa but that result came only after the ECR crew rebuilt his car from a crash in practice. Then Carpenter had a practice crash in Pocono and despite a rapid rebuild, they missed the clock to qualify by mere minutes and were unable to do so. Carpenter’s spin on a slick Gateway track at the start of the race sent him over Will Power’s nose assembly in one of the scarier looking incidents of the year, although fortunately he was OK.
In a similar refrain as we often write, it’s not that Carpenter’s lost his ability to drive and he remains one of the series’ savviest and smartest people in the paddock. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances of late, and it almost felt as though this team had “empty nest” components. Since September, Carpenter has had to secure his team’s future with a move away from its Speedway, Ind. shop, line up Spencer Pigot for a full-time drive replacing Hildebrand in the No. 21 car, find a new road/street course driver in the No. 20 car, and manage both driving and owning himself.