Raikkonen takes blame for Giovinazzi collision

Jamie Woodhouse
Kimi Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur jokes he almost bought Kimi Raikkonen a guide dog after Portimao.

Kimi Raikkonen has taken responsibility for his race-ending crash with Alfa Romeo team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi at Portimao.

Raikkonen triggered an early Safety Car when he ran into Giovinazzi down the main straight on Lap 2. Replays showed Raikkonen drifting across to the right where he tangled with his team-mate, causing the Finn to damage the front wing on his C41.

With the detached wing then lodged underneath Raikkonen’s car he was forced to pull off the track and retire, which means he remains without a point so far in 2021.

Speaking to the media afterwards, Raikkonen accepted full responsibility.

“Basically it was my mistake. I was checking something on the steering wheel, changing a switch I got wrong coming out of the last corner so I had to change it again and then I just drove into him, so clearly my mistake,” Raikkonen told Sky Sports F1.

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In the media pen he added: “I got caught out by the slipstream and ended up driving into Antonio.

“I couldn’t do much after that, the front wing got stuck under the car and I couldn’t steer. All I could do was go straight into the gravel.

“It’s a disappointment as we looked like we had decent pace. I made a really good start and the race could have been positive. The only upside was that at least Antonio didn’t get any damage and was able to continue.”

The incident capped off a tough race weekend for Raikkonen. Earlier in the day, the stewards had decided not to overturn the Finn’s 30-second time penalty from Imola after he had failed to take the race restart correctly following a spin behind the Safety Car.

Giovinazzi was unable to brighten the Alfa Romeo mood as he too finished without a point in Portugal, but nonetheless was just relieved to have escaped a puncture during the Raikkonen bump.

“I didn’t speak with Kimi yet but the team told me he was changing something on the steering wheel but it’s okay, luckily we had no puncture and after that it was a clear race from my side,” he told Motorsport.com.

“I had some fun with Fernando at the beginning and some fun with Sebastian at the end.

“We started P12 and today we were faster than the Aston Martins but slower than the Alpines, so it was not enough to get into the top 10.

“I think we are at a point that is better than last year but still not really in the top 10, so when it is like this, that nobody stops in front, it is difficult to score points.”

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