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Bottas, unrepentant Raikkonen moving on after Sochi clash

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AUSTIN, Texas – Both Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen have sought to put their contact while battling for third place on the final lap of the Russian Grand Prix behind them, the two Finns said during Thursday’s FIA Press Conference ahead of the United States Grand Prix.

Still, it doesn’t mean either of them would have changed their approach to the contact.

Ferrari’s Raikkonen explained things as simply and decisively as you’d expect.

“It hasn’t changed. Penalties came. I’d still do it again tomorrow,” Raikkonen told assembled reporters.

“We came together. That’s life. That’s racing. I don’t feel bad. I would do the same thing next time.”

Williams-Mercedes driver Bottas felt much the same now as he did about it two weeks ago.

“It’s the same, really. It was a good weekend until the last lap,” Bottas admitted.

“I was disappointed to lose points. I wouldn’t do anything different, either. I’m 100 percent ready to move on.”

Pressed further on the topic by F1 Racing’s Peter Windsor, Raikkonen and Bottas didn’t seem entirely keen to continue the conversation.

Bottas had let Raikkonen through earlier in the race, but wasn’t going to cede his position with a possible second podium finish at stake.

“I guess it’s still interesting for you guys. For us, not so much,” Bottas said.

“The first one was much more clear (of a move). I’m not gonna leave the door open two times.”

Raikkonen said once he was committed to his passing attempt, he had to continue it rather than back out in that situation.

“I saw it, but I tried to break. But by that point there was no way to avoid it,” he said.

He added, “We are here to race… not cry afterwards.”

The move cost Bottas key points, and with Raikkonen’s post-race penalty applied that dropped him from fifth to eighth, it sealed the Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes.

Champion Marc Marquez leads MotoGP into virtual world Sunday

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During its layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, MotoGP will become the latest racing series to enter the virtual world.

The MotoGP Virtual Race will be held at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, March 29 with 10 riders. It will be streamed on several platforms, including the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel. Reigning series champion Marc Marquez is among the riders in the field.

The premier class of MotoGP has yet to hit the track this season as its opener was canceled and the next three races were postponed, including the Grand Prix of the Americas being moved from April 5 to Nov. 15.

Several other racing series have tried online racing in recent weeks.

IMSA held a “SuperSaturday at Sebring” March 21 in place of the postponed Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. NASCAR started its Pro Invitational Series last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will continue Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. IndyCar kicked off its six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge with a Saturday race at Watkins Glen International that was won by Sage Karam.