Raikkonen says “someone should punch” Perez

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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.

Teammates James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens earn top-fives at Barber

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For the first time this season, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates James Hinchcilffe and Robert Wickens earned top-five finishes in the same race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

Hinchcliffe finished third in the Grand Prix of Alabama; Wickens was one spot behind in fourth.

Wickens had one previous podium at Phoenix with his second-place finish. Hinchcliffe’s best result was a fourth in the season-opener in St Petersburg, Fla., so this marked his first podium of the year.

Both drivers needed a little help from the rain.

As precipitation began to fall in the closing stages of the race, Hinchliffe asked his team on a couple of occasions if it was wet enough to pit for rain tires. He was told twice to stay out and was then called into to the pits at the optimal time.

“Solid weekend for us after coming here before – not a great test,” Hinchcliffe said. “Two cars in the top 10 qualifying; two cars, top five in the race. Pretty proud of these boys, everybody on the Arrow car.”

The rain helped Wickens’ race strategy come together.

“I was having to save a lot of fuel in that second stint,” Wickens said. “So once (Scott) Dixon starting getting close to me I was thinking ‘Oh God, I’m going to actually have to give this one up.’ And then the rain came, so the fuel mileage happened naturally. So, yeah, it saved us a bit.”

And while both were pleased with their top-five finishes, drivers are rarely satisfied unless they are standing on the top step of the podium.

Wickens’ top-five finish was hard-fought. After winning the pole at St Petersburg and starting sixth at Phoenix, he failed to advance to the Fast 6 in back-to-back races at Long Beach and Barber – qualifying 10th both times.

“I was a little gutted that we came out in a big bunch of traffic,” Wickens continued. “It made the race fun, but a little frustrating as well because of people off sequence and whatnot. We lost a lot of track position there. Both of us could have been fighting for higher steps on the podium, but we need to do a little better job in qualifying. “