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Raikkonen unsurprised by Bottas clash after Russian GP run-in

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Kimi Raikkonen admitted that he was unsurprised to have clashed with Valtteri Bottas during today’s Mexican Grand Prix following their run-in at the Sochi Autodrom three weeks ago.

On the last lap of the Russian Grand Prix, Raikkonen tried to pass Bottas for third place with an aggressive overtake, only to make contact with the Williams driver and punt him into the wall.

During the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday, the two came to blows once again at turn five when Raikkonen squeezed Bottas in a bid to keep him back.

The two drivers made contact, but it was Raikkonen who came off worse this time around as a broken rear axle forced him to retire from the race. Bottas continued to finish third, scoring his second podium of the season.

Speaking after the race, Raikkonen pointed the finger firmly at Bottas for the incident, suggesting that it could have been payback for the incident in Russia.

“About the accident with Bottas – there are always two different ways to look at things, everybody can have their own view, but to be honest I did not expect a much different end result,” Raikkonen said.

“It’s racing in the end, but I think I was expecting that it probably might happen after Russia.

“Has he done it on purpose? I don’t know, you can decide yourselves, it doesn’t change the final outcome right now and it’s not going to change anything for me for the future.”

Bottas was less vocal when asked about the incident, believing that there was no need for him and Raikkonen to sit down and talk despite this being their second run-in in three races.

“I don’t know if there’s anything to really speak about,” Bottas said. “For me, we were racing hard, obviously, and normally, what I’m used to in those kind of situations, there is enough for two cars when you go into a chicane like that but this time there wasn’t.

“And of course I’m not going to back off, I’m fighting for the positions. I was calculating the risk, I think there was a decent possibility to get through.

“But, hey, it ended up like this. I don’t know if there’s anything really to speak about. Unlucky that it was us two that collided again.”

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.