Bottas: Raikkonen’s move in Sochi was “too much”

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Valtteri Bottas has hit out at Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen following their clash on the final lap of last Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

When trying to pass for third place on the last lap, Raikkonen crashed into the back of Bottas at turn four, eliminating the Finn from the race and leaving him with zero points.

Bottas had been set to score just his second podium of the season, and reacted angrily immediately after the accident, asking his team: “What the f**k did [Raikkonen] do?” after the shunt.

Writing in his blog following the Russian Grand Prix, Bottas made no secret of his annoyance over the collision, believing that Raikkonen went too far.

“It’s very disappointing to lose P3 in the last lap and end up with zero points,” Bottas said. “I had fought back to a podium position and then somebody just crashed into me. What can I say? It’s just disappointing.

“I don’t think it was a standard racing incident. I didn’t see anyone there next to me and I was in front, quite clearly ahead, and taking my line. Then suddenly, already at the apex, I felt someone hit me. I don’t really get the point of doing moves like that on the last lap.

“The fact Kimi got a penalty doesn’t matter really to me. I’m never getting those points back. One thing I know for sure: I was not at fault, so I am happy about that at least, but it doesn’t really help at the end of the day.

“I’m a little bit surprised by Kimi’s move. There’s a fine line between aggressiveness and just going for it, and what happened on Sunday was just too much.”

Bottas is now looking to make up for the lost points in the United States Grand Prix next weekend, taking place in Austin, Texas.

“The good news from the weekend was I felt very good in the car and was able to put very consistent lap times together all weekend with no mistakes,” Bottas said.

“The team also did a great job in what was a complicated weekend for everyone with the lack of running; the car was competitive, well balanced and we were truly on the pace here, even managing to stay close to the Mercedes for the first 20 laps.

“That’s what I want to take from here as it’s better to move on and focus on making the most out of this package in Austin.”

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.