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Raikkonen: No point playing blame game over Singapore crash


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.

Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen fastest in rainy final practice at Australian GP

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second.

Both Ferrari drivers switched from their intermediate tires to the super-fast, ultra-soft tires for the final few laps of the session, testing conditions on the track after a day-long downpour left it slick and filled with small puddles.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did not opt to try out their soft tires, sticking to the intermediates for the entire session. They had the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, after topping the leaderboard in practice in dry conditions on Friday.

The heavy rains subsided by early afternoon, allowing the track to rapidly dry during the third practice session and making conditions safe for drivers to test their soft tires.

Still, only a few drivers completed a timed lap with the softer compounds, with Mercedes, Red Bull and most of the others staying with their intermediates.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had the third-fastest time of the session on ultrasoft tires, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on intermediates.

Hamilton remains the favorite to capture his fifth straight pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying later Saturday. He had the fastest laps on ultrasoft tires in the two practice sessions on Friday, though Verstappen was right behind him.

Verstappen and Vettel both slid on the slick track early in the third practice session, but maintained control and completed their runs without incident.

Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, had the sixth-fastest time of the session. The Australian’s chances of winning his fifth career Grand Prix on his home track in Melbourne took a hit late Friday when he was assessed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Australian driver was penalized for driving too fast under red-flag conditions during Friday’s second practice session because of debris on the track.