Raikkonen blames Bottas for clash: ‘He didn’t see me’

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Kimi Raikkonen has pointed the finger at Valtteri Bottas following their collision on the last lap of Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.

Battling over third place, Raikkonen tried to pass Bottas down the inside of turn four, only to punt the Williams driver into the wall and sustain damage to his own car.

Raikkonen managed to limp across the line in fifth place, but Bottas was forced to retire and was eventually classified in P12.

Speaking after the race, both drivers pointed the finger at each other, with Raikkonen claiming that Bottas had left him nowhere to go and did not see him trying to make a pass.

“In the final stages, I tried to overtake Valtteri in the same place I had passed him earlier in the race,” Raikkonen said. “I had a good run in turn three and in the next one there would have been enough space, so I decided to go for it.

“I don’t know if he was not expecting me at all or if he did not see me, but once I decided to go there was no way I could back off. I tried to turn inside as much as I could, but there was no way to go and in the end we collided.

“It is an unfortunate thing for us and for them, nobody want to have an accident even if it’s part of racing. It’s really a shame, but my move was based on a good chance and not something completely crazy.”

Bottas was frustrated to have seen his hopes of a second podium finish in 2015 be dashed on the final lap of the race. The non-score leaves him just two points clear of Williams teammate Felipe Massa in the drivers’ championship with four races remaining.

“It’s difficult to describe the disappointment because the team has worked so hard all week to get a good result, and then the result we feel like we deserved was lost with only one lap remaining,” Bottas said. “It’s a tough end to the weekend.”

The stewards had the final say on the incident and deemed Raikkonen to have been at fault, handing him a 30-second time penalty that dropped the Finn down to eighth in the final classification.

The penalty also allowed Mercedes to finally celebrate winning the constructors’ championship after Raikkonen’s original result had threatened to postpone its success until the next race in Austin, Texas.