Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2015

Bottas: Raikkonen knew I was there

2015 Mexican Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas believes Kimi Raikkonen was well aware his Williams was alongside when the pair collided in turn five during the Mexican Grand Prix.

The contact forced Raikkonen out of the race. It is the second time the pair have tangled in three races: in Russia Raikkonen was penalised after taking Bottas out on the final lap.

Afterwards Bottas told reporters he had not handled the situation different because the pair had collided before.

“No matter who there would have been I would have tried the same because I saw a real opportunity there,” he said, “and normally in this kind of situation there is space for two cars in that kind of corner.”

“Especially if the car outside knows that there’s one inside,” he added, “so it’s a shame it ended like that.”

“For sure he saw me,” said Bottas when asked if he though Raikkonen knew where he was. “We were side-by-side in turn four so I’m sure he knew I was there. I can’t fly over the car, so…”

“It’s just unlucky that it was me and him again,” Bottas added. “There’s nothing personal and it didn’t have to end up like this.”

Bottas went on to finish on the podium and neither driver was penalised for the collision. Raikkonen played it down afterwards: “We touched and I lost the wheel and I end the race but that’s life and it doesn’t change anything now,” he said.

“I haven’t seen the pictures but the end result wasn’t ideal for me.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “Bottas: Raikkonen knew I was there”

  1. Brother Lehmann
    1st November 2015, 22:27

    My personal belief is that the (un)official Finnish championship is now 0-2 for Bottas. Kimi came again a bit short in this battle. Maybe he is trying more than he was in his Lotus days when he (as I see) was on top of his game.

    But we all know. Kimi will bounce back… (or at least I sincerely hope so.)

    1. Kimi gave too much space at first. I think a Fernando would’ve aggressively blocked the space first and then claim the apex, Kimi was too nice and too gulible to think that Bottas wasn’t going to put his car on a pointless place. As in the Vettel/Ricciardo incident, Bottas wasn’t going to gain anything by running inside there.

  2. Yeah Kimi was stubborn there. Only a damaging contact could ever have resulted from claiming the apex and he gambled it would be Bottas’ suspension that would give way.

    More incidents is what happens when drivers get too old for it, more than a loss of speed, and I have to say that seems to be happening to Kimi.

  3. Very mature approach by both of these drivers to this incident. I agree with Bottas: Kimi knew he was there and Kimi simply didn’t leave any space for Valtteri. Stupid move by Kimi (yet again…)

    1. And Bottas knew Kimi was inside in Sochi. Kimi was going well right into corner and it was Bottas to cut him off in a last moment by drawing into him. But if officials thinks that anyone in front could cut a way in any moment, evem if it results in collision then Bottas should receive 5 positions in San Paulo.

      1. christopheraser
        2nd November 2015, 23:21

        Bottas was over halfway through the corner at Sochi. He had completely closed the apex and was on his way out of the corner when Kimi hit him. It was sloppy as hell and your implication that Bottas should have seen him coming is wrong.

  4. mmmm I can finally comment in real time… yes!

    anyway, I think Kimi could have given more room on the apex and still maintained the position.

  5. Kimi Raikkonen – surely the very worst World Champion on the grid, buy some margin!

    After 2014 it’s an utter JOKE that he is in that Ferrari this year and a complete laughing stock that he has the seat next year.

    1. buy – I will “buy” car
      by – I am ahead “by” some margin

  6. Kimi left the car so calmly, like he didn’t care at all with what just happened.

    That’s how he’ve been handling his career since late 2013.

    1. At this point Raikkonen is wasting a Ferrari seat, someone else deserves it. I say Hulkenberg or Bottas.

  7. Kimi has just been really disappointing the last couple of years. He’s been totally outclassed first by Alonso and this year by Vettel, and even his racecraft is getting sloppier. Today’s incident was really unnecessary. Ok he shouldn’t give up a position easily but Bottas was on much fresher tyres and was bound to get by either that lap or the next. Not giving him room at the chicane just seemed like stubbornness which shouldn’t be the case for a driver of his experience.

    Maybe there was a time when he was one of the best on the grid but clearly he is not any more – whether that’s due to age, turbo engines, tyres or whatever. I know he’s still hugely popular but I’m afraid I’d rather see one of the promising youngsters given a shot in the second Ferrari.

    1. So why should Raikkonen have give Bottas room here, but in Russia Bottas didn’t need to leave room? And for that matter in Monaco Ricciardo can punt Kimi off the apex? Admittedly, I’ve been a longtime Kimi fan, and he’s not the driver he once was. Still, there seems to be a lot of double standards flying around.

      1. @n0b0dy100, in the case of the collision between Kimi and Bottas in Russia, Kimi was behind Bottas when the two drivers entered the braking zone for the corner and there was also the feeling that he was not fully in control of the car given he went into the corner with locked brakes. The way that Kimi approached the corner in that situation gave Bottas no chance to see where he was and it was judged that he did not give Bottas any opportunity to prevent the collision.

        In this situation, Bottas was alongside Kimi as the two drivers approached the corner and Bottas was in a position where Kimi should have been able to see Bottas’s car; equally, Bottas was in control of the car at the time, as he had managed to stay within the confines of the circuit. That is why I feel more individuals think that Kimi should have provided room in this situation – he could reasonably have expected that turning into the corner would cause a collision, whereas Bottas could not have expected that to be the case in Russia.

        1. But Raikkonen was on the racing line and in front. Even if he had left more room Bottas would’ve had to continue through the apex toward the outside of the corner where Kimi’s car already was. It doesn’t appear he could’ve safely overtaken Raikkonen at that speed without Kimi jumping off line, and isn’t that what the overtaking car is suppose to do?

          1. Does help that Bottas briefly locked the fronts going into it as well.

  8. I am surprised no one has compared this to the Hamilton/Maldonado crash in Valencia 2012. That incident was deemed to be Maldonado’s fault.

    Should Kimi have ran Bottas off the track at the first ess when he had the inside racing line, a la Hamilton?

    1. @jonnypwtf The key difference is in that incident Maldonado had left the track completely – with all four wheels – before contact was made. He was no longer in a position to legitimately overtake Hamilton when he rejoined the track and blundered into the side of him.

      Contrast that with this incident, where Bottas remained on the circuit and had a right to be where he was, but Raikkonen turned in anyway. I’d compare it to the contact between Raikkonen and Ricciardo in Monaco, where Raikkonen again did himself no favours by acting as if his rival wasn’t there when he was already alongside.

      1. @keithcollantine Interesting. Upon retrospect, I find this very true – Bottas has remained, with two wheels on track. A successful pass, in this instance, if Raikkonen had not turned in, may be Grosjean/Hamilton in Valencia 2012, or even Alonso/Webber in Monza 2013. Although this justifies the fact that Raikkonen is at fault, there remains one thing to be reconciled.

        In both incidents, we see that there is less than one car’s width coming into the second corner. With Maldonado/Hamilton, we see that Maldonado was penalised because he had left the circuit. By applying the same principle, if Raikkonen had pushed Bottas a little wider, we could say that he was not have been at fault. Would this apply to the circumstances?

        1. @chingh Yeah, that’s what I was trying to get at. If Kimi had been a bit naughtier by going deep, claimed he had understeer, and forced Bottas to have all four wheels off the racing line, would the blame have gone to Bottas if contact was still made at the second ess?

          1. christopheraser
            2nd November 2015, 23:49

            Contact would have happened earlier in your scenario, but it still would have been kimi driving into someone else’s car. Bottas was well alongside and had a claim to that peice of track. The best thing Kimi could have done was yielded and lived to have an impact on the race (or a competitor) later.

      2. Kimi left enough room for Bottas to remain on the circuit – there was enough room for the left wheels to remain on the circuit. The problem was that Bottas wanted all four wheels (he was out by right wheels just before the corner to use to room to be along side Kimi) on the apex with the option to squeeze Kimi out. Why would any driver leave him THAT MUCH space. I would not. There was a gap, but not THAT MUCH of a gap.

      3. I still don’t get all this are we saying Raikkonen should have left the racing line? or how exactly was Bottas going to make that corner without Raikkonen going straight on?
        Also had Rosberg stood his ground at Austin the outcome would have been the same would you be blaming Hamilton as Rosberg was fully on track.

  9. Upon observation, I believe that this collision can be likened to Maldonado-Hamilton crash in Valencia, 2012, due to the natures of the corners, and the positioning of the cars. Firstly, let us examine the positioning of the cars.

    Here, we see that the attacker (Maldonado/Bottas) gets a good run off the defender (Hamilton/Raikkonen), and pulls the to the outside. Upon braking, the attacker is on the outside of the first corner, with his nose ahead of that of the defender. Both cars then turn in. We see upon reaching the apex of the corner, the defender’s nose is ahead again. Upon exiting the corner, the defender is ahead. However, there is no room for the attacker at the exit. This leaves the attacker parked on the apex of the second corner, with insufficient car space between the white line and the defender. The cars collide, with the front wheel of the attacker hitting the rear wheel of the defender.

    In the example of Maldonado-Hamilton, Maldonado was given a time penalty of 20 seconds, and Maldonado was largely condemned for the move: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2012/06/24/maldonado-vergne-penalised-schumacher/
    Whereas in the example of Bottas-Raikkonen, we see more calls for Raikkonen to retire.

    Is this an inconsistency?

    1. Great analysis. A lot of double standards here.

  10. Now that the roles are reversed its funny to see Bottas say almost the same thing Raikkonen did in Russia – that he went for a gap, and the other guy should’ve seen him. If Raikkonen was to blame in Russia, then this one’s surely on Bottas.

    1. Not at all. Bottas was legitimately alongside Raikkonen long before the pair made contact, and Raikkonen turned in regardless.

      1. If Kimi is in front and has the line going into the corner shouldn’t Bottas have backed out? Bottas put himself in a position where couldn’t make the corner unless Raikkonen went off line and gave away a position. Seems like it’s the guy overtaking who’s should be able to safely make the move stick.

  11. Kimi horrible again. As he has been for almost the entire year.
    He is behind Bottas on the championship and only 6 points ahead of Massa. This with a much better car.

    1. My thoughts exactly. Ferrari should have got Bottas, even if it was at the price of 10 million. He is a clear upgrade from Kimi who is largely a liability these days.

  12. What was interesting this time was that both drivers (at least in the Finnish interviews) seemed to be rather sorry about the contact, didn’t really blame the other, and they weren’t really angry about it.

  13. Love the comments saying that Kimi is sloppy this year (ok 4-5 races were average,nothing special) but he had to start from the back of the field several times due to the amazing reliability of his Ferrari !
    Australia: DNF due to his ferrari
    Malaysia: Puncture in the first lap and still finishing 4th
    Bahrain: 1 lap short of winning and kicking both mercs asses
    Canada:Robbed podium due to same issue with the ferrari a year ago
    Hungary and Italy: Robbed podiums again due to the car (maybe possible wins)
    Russia and Mexico: again possible podiums that were denied due to crashes with bottas (Both of the incidents are because of the stubborn nature of the 2 finns imo,50/50).

    See the whole picture before judging f1 experts …

  14. At least three drivers were on the outside approaching that turn. Bottas, Sainz, and Button.

    They respectively had a crash, cut the corner, and gave up the move and slotted in behind the leading driver.

    Not surprisingly, only the latter is a race and championship winner.

    1. Button has been in F1 for 15 seasons

      Sainz less than one season in a Torro Rosso

      Bottas less than two seasons in a competitive car which is still miles behind Mercedes

      Button’s current car is a dog

      The above explains why the drivers named have not won races or championships a lot more than your assertion

  15. I am a little surprised to see Kimi blamed for this incident once again. The positions were reversed in Russia and Kimi was blamed for the incident there. Kimi went for the open space in Russia and he was blamed that he should not have gone in there. Now When Bottas went in for the same open space in Mexico, Kimi was blamed for not giving space. WOW !!!! That looks like a ton of Double standards out there.

    On an different note this year has proven to be “Annus Horribilis” for Kimi. I hope he is back to the grove next year.

    I have heard this before : The year where the F1 drivers have a baby does not turn out to be a great year for them. Kimi, Rosberg, Vettel, Grosjean, Schumacher (1997, 1999) …are all good examples !!!!!

    1. christopheraser
      2nd November 2015, 23:59

      The scenario in Russia was totally different. When Kimi hit Bottas in Russia, Bottas was already at the apex, there was no opening for him. This week he gets out manourved by Bottas and instead of yielding he drives into him. It’s not hard to see if you open both eyes.

  16. Valteri, why on earth did you brake when your left front was already right alongside the Ferrari side pod?. If you’d just driven around the corner in unison with the Ferrari you would have had the commentators gushing about your skill. Sure you would have touched but you knew that may happen and so did Kimi. Instead you clumsily reversed your front wheel into the Ferrari rear wheel and physics took over. The Ferrari had to launch into the air and your car had to stay on the ground due to wheel rotation. Physics 101. That was an avoidable accident.

  17. Ivan Papalezov
    3rd November 2015, 14:52

    I also give them 50/50 , due to their driving style. The sad story is in Russia Kimi the faster driver , and in Mexico it was Bottas.Both accidents would have been avoided – lets be fair, it is more of an ego thing , than racing accidents. I am a Kimi fan and feel that in Russia he had the right to take the chance , as it was maybe the last one, that was the last lap of the race , and he was much much faster than Bottas , who went a bit too much to the left … In Mexico it was Bottas on better tyres ( 10 laps more fresh ) , and was way faster than Kimi, and had what ? 50 laps or so to overtake, so he could have waited. Verry sloppy driving from both of them.

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