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Raikkonen: No point playing blame game over Singapore crash

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Kimi Raikkonen saw no reason to point fingers over the three-car crash at the start of Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, instead ruing a rough day for Ferrari’s Formula 1 title aspirations.

Raikkonen and teammate Sebastian Vettel were both caught up in a start-line crash with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, eliminating all three drivers on the spot.

“Unfortunately I had a good start then I got hit and the race was done right there,” Raikkonen told NBCSN after the race.

“One of those things. I don’t think I could have done anything to avoid it.

“The cause of the accident doesn’t change the end result. We’re out.”

When asked if any blame could be laid with one driver, Raikkonen said: “I don’t know. Like I said the end result was the same whichever way you look at it. The rest comes after that.

“I still would have made the decision to start like that. We are not in the race. And that’s the bad part of it.”

The FIA stewards closed the case soon after the race, deeming no driver to be wholly or predominantly responsible for the clash.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.