Raikkonen: Fifth in China no disaster after first lap clash

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Kimi Raikkonen chose to look on the bright side of his fifth place finish in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix after a clash on the first lap of the race dropped him to the back of the field.

Raikkonen was tagged after Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel was forced wide by Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat at Turn 2, leaving his car with damage.

Ferrari pitted the Finn for repairs, dropping him to the back of the field and leaving him with a big task to make up the lost positions.

However, Raikkonen dug deep and battled his way up to fifth place come the checkered flag, with a late charge taking him past Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa in the final stint.

Despite being a likely podium contender at the very least without the first lap clash, Raikkonen said that finishing fifth wasn’t so bad all things considered.

“I have no idea of what happened at the start, I suddenly got hit and spun,” Raikkonen said.

“I had a puncture in the left front tire and a front wing damage, but I managed to get back to the pits.

“Once I went back on track I found myself more or less in last position, the car felt a bit tricky, but I tried to do my best to charge thorugh the field. At the beginning I struggled a bit, but then I managed to recover some places.

“Obviously the fifth position is not ideal and not what we were looking for, but after what happened it’s not a disaster.

“Seb came to apologize to me afterwards and it’s obvious he didn’t run into me on purpose. Unfortunately this does not change things for the race but it’s only the third round of a long season.”