Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Suzuka, 2012

Raikkonen says he had no room to avoid Alonso

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Suzuka, 2012Fernando Alonso questioned Kimi Raikkonen’s driving after the pair tangled at the first corner of the Japanese Grand Prix, putting Alonso out.

“Well I had no space,” said Alonso about the collision. “On the right I have Button, I think, on the left I have Kimi. And I don’t understand why Kimi didn’t lift off or anything because it was not any room.

“I don’t know what Kimi’s idea was for the first corner but it’s the way it is and this time it was bad luck for us.”

Raikkonen said he didn’t have any room to avoid a clash with Alonso: “I was on the left-hand side all the way since the very beginning of the start. And he kept coming left more and more.

“I tried to go more left but I have nowhere to go they all came on my side, touched my front wing and I couldn’t go anywhere else.”

Alonso’s retirement allowed Sebastian Vettel to reduce the gap between them at the top of the championship table to four points.

Asked what effect his retirement has one the championship Alonso said: “Nothing really. I think one time I will retire. Maybe next time Vettel will retire, you never know, this is motor sport.

“It’s five races to go, it will be like a mini-championship let’s say because we start with the same points and we need to score one more point in five races than the others so we will try to do.”

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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70 comments on “Raikkonen says he had no room to avoid Alonso”

  1. Alonsos comment is typical of his arrogance. Why did he not lift off himself? Kimi has shown over and over that he is one of the least accident prone drivers in the field. He did his outmost to keep out of trouble this time as well, which is very obvious from the videos of the incident.

    1. I don’t see how arrogance has anything to do with this. At that point, Kimi was already behind Fernando, he basically most likely lifted for Turn 1 a fraction later than Fernando, that’s why he clipped the Ferrari.

      For what Alonso could be slammed a bit is the way he forced Raikkonen behind: earlier they were wheel-to-wheel, and Alonso obviously did not let a car width between himself and the edge of the track, else Raikkonen would not have backed off. It was this ‘backed-off state’ in which they arrived to the braking zone to Turn 1. It is also controversial, because when Alonso arrived to the left side of the track, there clearly was enough room for a car, he was obviously keen to leave enough space. But the track narrows down on that part towards Turn 1, so Kimi literally run out of space.

      I’d say Alonso was at fault for now giving him enough room on the straight earlier, not when they were actually in the braking zone for Turn 1. In the zone, it was Raikkonen’s fault for lifting too late compared with Alonso. That’s all.

      Besides, Fernando is also not prone to first lap incidents. It is only his second time this year, and he was not in any kind of controversial position in the first instance in Spa.

      1. Alonso was actually moving in a straight line so can’t be blamed really, as there was a car on his inside.
        Secondly this is the start of the race, Kimi was behind, and considering it was the tip of kimi’s wing that made contact with Alonso’s rear tyre, it shows, Kimi was more to blame even if it was a racing accident.

        1. Alonso&Raikk accident was the same as Gro&Ham accident, at Spa. After Spa accident, Alonso said: “today, drivers has no respect for others”, regarding Grosjean’s maneuver. After Suzuka accident I say: “Yes, Alonso, you don’t have respect for others”. The same logic. :|

          1. Not exactly the same. There was no interlock. Hamilton couldn’t do anything because if was hit the brakes, his front left would touch Grosjean’s rear right. In Suzuka, Raikkonen had enough space to brake, not untill the inevitable. He some kind of “forced” him self into that situtation. All he could just do, brake early and try again. We all know that braking is equally important to throttle.

          2. Hamilton couldn’t do anything because he had no time to react at Grosjean manouvre. Same on here. I saw the footage from Alonso on-board, and before the chicane he turn left the wheel very fast. There he touched Raikkonen. So, it’s clear who hit whom. Alonso, was NOT forced by Button to do that, he had plenty of space(sure, not to do “S”). Plus, before that, he pushed Raikkonen outside the track, and if Raikkonen would have been out of the race, because of that, Alonso would have been penalised, for sure. Alonso: “all the time you have to leave space”, “respect for others”…are just BLA, BLA, BLA.

          3. The difference between this and the ham-gro incident is Rai regained control when he hit the grass ham did not. If he hadn’t they may well have had a similar airborne incident (although they were on the outside of the track for turn one and therefore may not have taken out others) alos manoeuvre was similar to gros IMHO.

          4. Very different accidents, Grosjean and Hamilton locked wheels, and they there was no way for Hamilton to get out of the locked wheels.
            Here, Kimi was able to lift slightly, but he was chasing a gap that wasn’t there to be honest. Alonso didn’t really have much fault as he was almost completely caged by the vehicles in front of and behind him.

          5. @psi
            The general rule at the start is to keep on the power, because these cars decelerate so quickly, it’s very likely that the cars behind you will ram into the back of you, particurlarly in close-quarters fighting.

      2. When you turn left VERY FAST, at high speed(like Alonso did, before the chicane), and knowing that someone might be there, you RISK a lot. Raikkonnen was the victim, of the stupidity of Alonso. He deserved to be penalised, because he broke something at Raikkonen car.

        1. Alonso: “Well I had no space”. Well, you had space in front, WHY YOU TURNED LEFT???

          1. I can’t believe what you just wrote. Do you really think he was not going for that space in front? man…

          2. Yes, he did. But blocking Raikkonen is more important than going to the front at that stage. God himself punished Alonso for his cruel intention.

    2. Well said. Alonso’s arrogance knows no bounds. He runs Kimi off the road even after he looked in his let mirror and saw him there.
      Alonso FAILED to leave a car’s width yet he expects everyone to roll out the red carpet!

      1. The arrogance is more about his comments; blaming Kimi for what is at best a racing incident

      2. Alonso FAILED to leave a car’s width yet he expects everyone to roll out the red carpet!

        Didn’t Raikkonen few laps later FAILED to leave a car’s width for Perez?

        1. No he didn’t fail. Do you saw them TOUCHING?

          1. No, because Pérez opted to left the track instead of slamming into Raikkonen. Raikkonen did not do so at the start. Obviously because he haven’t had asphalt run-off there as opposed to Pérez, so stating that Raikkonen left enough room for Pérez simply because they did not touch seems quite pointless for me.

          2. I’m not trying to say that Raikkonen left space, I’m trying to say that, whatever his maneuvers are, he won’t produce an accident, like others do. If he left no space, stewerds are there to decide this. So far, nothing happen with this “to leave space”. Are more important things to judge, like “to make accidents”. Perez was never put in this situation by Raikkonen.

          3. Wich was again the exact same we saw Vettel do at Monza with Alonso. This time you could even see it as a braking zone as that corner is actually the brakingzone of the next corner. If it was still gravel on the outside, Perez would have been out of the race, now it is all fine.

    3. Why did he not lift off himself?

      Because Kimi was entire car length behind him. There isn’t a driver in motor racing who would lift off when a driver is on the outside nearly a car length behind.

      1. If Kimi was a car length behind, he wouldn’t have touched Alonso’s Ferrari.

        1. My bad.. I didn’t mean that there was a car length between them. What I meant was the front of Kimi’s car was behind Alonso’s rear wheels

          1. Why didn’t he lift off himself?! hahaha makes sense. So, you want the driver who is ahead to lift off? that would just cause the crash even faster!!

    4. I don’t see how it would have help if Alonso had lifted. If anything, he should have left more room on his left. He probably could have also stayed on the throttle a bit longer.

  2. racing incident. move on.

    1. Agreed. We are in such a blame culture I can’t stand it. It was a racing incident, not born out of driver supreme negligence (Grosjean) but a matter of cm between contact and no contact. All this shouting for penalties is ridiculous. Perhaps it just happened and no one is 100% to blame.

    2. i was just about to post the same. stop whining.

  3. Seems the Lotus are responsible for both of Alonso’s retirements.
    Kimi could have eased himself out of that situation as that section of track had no room.

    1. Alonso is responsible for this one all by himself

    2. Jani Karusalmi
      7th October 2012, 13:23

      Yeah he could have, but why would he? Last I checked they were racing for position and Alonso was Kimi’s main rival in title chase. Why is it always others who should lift when the almighty Fernando says so. Kimi is allowed to drive around the outside if he wants to, its not his fault if someone’s runs into him and retires.

  4. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    7th October 2012, 12:19

    I wonder if opinions would be different if it was Grosjean and Alonso that touched? I bet people would be quick to blame GRO, but because it’s Kimi we feel a need to defend him. Indeed, I believe that had it been Massa that crashed out, this wouldn’t even be an issue right now.

    1. @tmcs88 – Actually people are being overly defensive with Alonso specifically because they want Vettel to lose. It’s almost funny to look at.

      The incident was well and truly Alonso’s fault. Saying that it was even remotely Raikkonen’s fault is like saying the incident at Spa was Hamilton’s fault, or that the starting incident in Monaco was Schumacher’s fault.

      Alonso pushed Raikkonen onto the grass and the Finn lost control. Simple as that. You can’t expect a driver to maintain full control of his car after stepping onto the grass. ‘nando knows that all too well – it’s what knocked him out in Q2 in Australia.

      1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        7th October 2012, 12:38

        People are definitely reluctant to blame Alonso. Take the Spygate debacle, he managed to escape unscathed…somehow. But hey, they don’t call him Teflonso for nothing!

  5. It was a pure first lap racing incident. If any one is to blame, I think it is slightly more on Alonso rather than on Raikkonen.

    1. I agree. Though above I argued both are equally to blame, I tend to accept @pamphlet‘s argument on Kimi not able to lift for Turn 1 properly, because he haven’t had time to re-settle after that brief moment on the grass – which stemmed from Fernando not giving him enough space in the first place.

      1. As he was on the edge of the track, anything else than committing to the corner would have easily caused under steer and off the track he goes.

      2. Yes, and dont forget that Ferrari might have brakes superiority over Lotus..dont expect they will have the same braking point and timing.

  6. Kimi, why don’t you lift off? You know I want to beat you in this race so you should lift off and let me get ahead !

    I think Alo is losing it.

  7. At Monza Alonso said something like “you must always leave racing room.” Apparently it only applies when he is being squeezed?

    As Grosjean got a penalty for a similar move at Spa, I think Alonso should get at least a reprimand, as the rules state quite clearly that if a significant part of the other car is along side, it must be left enough room. Thankfully Alonso’s mistake only took out himself and not Kimi…

    1. Rubbish,alonso was ahead….at the very best,it was a racing incident….

      1. If Alonso was (fully) ahead, how did they touch each other then?

      2. Alonso was ahead, though not completely after Kimi’s detour in the grass which was caused by Alonso – thus the wing was able to clip Alonso’s tires. So before the detour they must have been more neck to neck as you can see from the video. So, Alonso can only blame himself.
        The point is at no point of time during the incident was Alonso fully ahead. He thought it is more important to cover off Kimi or he could have thought the Lotus will yield more easily than the McLaren. Either way what transpired was JUST PERFECT. If I were kimi’s team boss i would strongly advise him to not change a thing – but then again he knows what he’s doing….

  8. This was just an unfortunate first corner incident. Alonso didn’t give kimi room and though kimi tried to avoid him they had the tiniest of contact. it was unlucky to puncture Alonso and only the puncture caused the spin….. hey ho.

  9. he was trying to bully Kimi cuz he was mad about the Raikkonen yellows from quali. it was nobody’s fault and nobody deserves blame.

    but Lotus should drop Grosjean. he isnt helping the team at all!

    Webber should shut up. he isnt in championship contention anyway and wouldn’t wanna help Vettel

    1. So, because Webber isn’t in the championship hunt, he can’t say Grosjean did something stupid again in the first lap of a race for like the 7th time this year?

      1. +1
        I’m glad drivers like Webber speak out and I’m sure he and others do in the GPDA meetings.

  10. I see little difference between what Alonso did at T1 Suzuka and what Grosjean did at T1 Spa. Grosjean squeezed and hit Hamilton, Alonso squeezed and hit Kimi. If Alonso and Raikonnen had been on the inside, rather than the outside of the track, they would have skittled into several cars. Alonso should be punished for causing an avoidable accident, and thank his lucky stars that he didn’t collect anyone else in the process. The Stewards were supposed to crack down hard on this sort of aggressive driving – squeezing another car off the track endangers lives of drivers and marshals. Alonso’s reaction makes the whole incident all the more disgraceful

  11. Why there was no replay of Raikkonen’s start? What are they trying to hide.. I smell consiracy!! :D
    First the qualify and then the race.


    Räikkönen should had lift off, there was no room to go in. It was Alonsos line, Räikkönen was clearly behind, so Alonso didn´t push Kimi off the track…………………………….

    1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      7th October 2012, 20:59

      That video just confirms that the incident was more of Fernando’s fault then Kimi’s. Look at 0:37 on that video. There is an ENTIRE car’s width to the right of Fernando, yet he continues to push to the right side, full well knowing that a car is out there.

    2. are right, the entire track is belong to Alonso, no matter he started on the right line..the left line is also belong to Alonso..go ask your mommy.

  13. I could hardly believe that these two had hit each other – usually, they’re the least likely to have a crash.

    They were both pretty stupid – you won’t beat Vettel to the championship like that. I have to agree with Alonso’s questioning what Raikkonen was hoping to achieve round the outside of turn 1. But with a big championship lead to throw away, he could have just left Kimi to run out of road by himself.

    1. That’s interesting what Alonso was trying to do on the outside of T1, then. After he came a long way from the inside and pushed the Raikkonnen who was alongside him, making him go on the grass.

  14. To me this was more foolish than Grosjean’s incident…they were travelling in a straight line!

  15. Just a typical racing incident that doesn’t deserve much analysis at all.

    1. I agree. But if analyzed; Alonsos fault.

  16. Alonso shows that he can abandon a race but never fails to deliver the ridiculous line: ´´I was there, why Kimi didn´t lift off?´´
    I have to say that I really wanted to laugh out loud reading such a preposterous statement, but sadly enough Alonso did this kind of stuff so many times that it is not funny anymore. It is just sad.

  17. AlonsoSucksBalls
    7th October 2012, 23:12

    Definitely Alonso’s fault. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t even investigated. Imagine if Kimi went off track ala the same incident involving Alonso/Vettel in Monza, I bet the stewards wouldn’t even look at it, let alone penalise Alonso for it! Total unfairness in the FIA he should’ve been given 5 place grid penalty for Korea. Just unbelievable.

  18. It’s another Alonso’s pathetic complaint. What’s the matter with this guy. Doesn’t he recognize himself as a crying baby. I bet we’re going to see some more of this yet this season, the question is “who’s the next victim?”.

  19. you people are full of cr@p u dont know what u talking about. KIMI IS AT FAULT – HE WAS WAY BEHIND! when you and i have a car crash if you are hit form behind you are in the right the car that hits you is at fault. Same here. why dont u use your brains. Alonso was way ahead otherwise kimi would not have hit his left rear tyre and broke off his tiny piece of front wing!! Jezzz you in england know ZERO about F1 in fact 90% of you couldnt bloody drive a car on the motorway. Also why dont u start assessing the fact that 2 renault cars have potentially intentionally taken out alonso twice and the other vettel’s rivals in hamilton and today webber. What about Renault trying to hand the championship to Vettel by allowing the lotus renault to crash into the rivals? Anyway in Korea you will see Alonso will be back and Vettel who can only win when he is way in front on his own hopefully will not even get a podium.

    1. Alonso pushed Raikkonen to the edge and the grass (already at this point, whole Ferrari crew and Alonso would have been crying out to FIA if it was them), while having more than enough room inside. They all lift the throttle in turn 1. Cause Alonso pushed Kimi to the white line, Kimi could not afford to break or he would went out. Alonso brought this situation on himself.

    2. alonso was driving into kimi line its like changing lane at the motorway if you are half a car length ahead of someone and you changed lanes its youre fault. kimi did an amazing job of avoiding the unavoideble becouse it could have been like kobayashi- hamillton at spa.

  20. It was like Senna vs Prost also in Suzuka, they both world champion and fighting for the world championship. Enough said.

  21. Is there anyone objective in this post or everyone supports it’s own team/driver and tries to support his word? I mean, see the replays four,five,ten times and the post something. Not by memory and likings. That’s the beauty of the sport. Even if the drivers you support crash each other, you can still enjoy the race.

  22. This incident was as much Alonso`s doing as it was Kimi`s. Alonso had room on his right side but went left to take the best line through the corner. Raikkonen had already been squeezed onto the grass and had nowhere to go. He couldn`t even brake properly as he was half-way on the grass, if he had braked harder he might have spun back onto the track.

    In hindsight everything could have been different if both drivers had known what the other was going to do. If Raikkonen had known that Alonso was going left he would have braked earlier and would not have been there. Alonso would not have gone as far left if he had known Raikkonen was going for it. They didn`t know, and when Raikkonen was on the grass it was too late, he couldn`t brake properly and Alonso couldn`t get away. I was actually impressed that we only had light contact, if it had been another driver than Raikkonen we would probably have seen a heavy contact.

    Disappointet by alonso`s reaction though. I can understand his disappointment, but there was no need for sour grapes this time around. I would have understood if Alonso had done this to a younger less experienced driver for tactical reasons. He might very well have scared one of the young and inexperienced drivers from contesting him into the first corner. Then his whining would have had some purpose. But this is Raikkonen, he`s not going to care at all. He has probably forgotten it allready. Raikkonen has had his fair share of people crashing into him himself (even in pit-lane). But he never made it into a big deal as he knows it`s not going to change anything at all. You`re out of the race with 0 points, no complaining is going to change that. so why bother.

  23. no matters how fault it was.alonso is a really bad loser! and vettel gonna win it all! i hope so.or i going for kimi! so stop blaming kimi for that!! blame alonso!! he is so jumpy right now. thank

    After watching this I don’t know how anyone could even pretend to think it was Kimi’s fault.

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