Raikkonen: F1 not the place for payback moves on-track

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Kimi Raikkonen has spoken of the importance of drivers remaining sensible on-track when racing in Formula 1 following a clash with Max Verstappen during last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Verstappen and Raikkonen made contact at the first corner at Spa before becoming embroiled in a fierce fight on-track for position after pitting.

Raikkonen was angered by Verstappen’s aggressive defence that saw him push the Finn off-track at Les Combes and swipe across the track to stay ahead.

Verstappen has vowed not to change his driving style, but Raikkonen expressed his disappointment over the moves in response to the clash at Turn 1.

“I’ve nothing personally against him. It’s just certain things in my view that are not correct,” Raikkonen said.

“I’ve no interest to call Max into it but obviously if somebody says during the race that he does something because of what happened in the first corner, that it’s payback, I don’t think it’s the correct sport to start doing purposely paying back something that has happened.

“It can end up in a very bad way. Yes, people make mistakes, everybody has made it and it will happen to probably all of us and you just have to accept it but it’s not the place to start acting silly in a way and paying back for something that has happened.”

Raikkonen’s teammate Sebastian Vettel was also caught up in the incident at Turn 1, prompting Verstappen to lay blame with both Ferrari drivers for ruining his race and saying they should be “ashamed”.

Vettel rejected this idea, and spoke of the importance of respect between drivers while racing on-track.

“I don’t think we have anything to be ashamed about. It’s a question of respect,” Vettel said.

“I think we’re all here to race, we love what we do, we share one great passion which dictates a very very big part of our lives. It’s something we all have in common.

“We might get along, we might not get along but that’s not really that important, but I think we should always have respect for each other.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.