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.
Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.
The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.
“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.
Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”
Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.
“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.
Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.