Raikkonen calls for consistency after Verstappen incidents

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen wants more consistent rulings on driver incidents following his complaints about Max Verstappen’s driving during the Belgian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen warned his rival could cause “a big accident” with his defensive moves following their run-ins at Spa-Francorchamps.

Speaking at today’s FIA press conference at Monza Raikkonen said the rules of racing were clear but questioned whether they were always being enforced the same way.

“I think it’s quite clear what they are and obviously sometimes you feel it’s not correct what happens on circuit,” said Raikkonen. “But I think the biggest problem is that it’s not always the same. I think as drivers we always discussed it and it’s a bit up and down. I think that could be improved.”

Raikkonen added he has “nothing against” Verstappen personally. “He’s doing a good job, he’s fast. It’s just certain things, at least in my feeling was not correct, if you have to slow sown and brake in the full speed. But those things are kind of never ending discussions.”

The Ferrari driver also revealed his team mate Sebastian Vettel apologised for his role in the first-corner collision between all three drivers.

“Obviously it was an unfortunate thing,” said Raikkonen. “Not really an awful lot to discuss.”

“Seb said ‘sorry’ and I said ‘OK’ and we go forward. It wasn’t ideal for us, any of the three, to be involved, but that’s how it goes sometimes. For sure next time we try to give a bit more room but it’s done now.”

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    Keith Collantine
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    36 comments on “Raikkonen calls for consistency after Verstappen incidents”

    1. I dont really see a problem with having to slow down in full speed. Slowing down in the brakingzone is impossible obviously but on a straight you got all the grip in the world to brake with if you cant make the pass.

      1. The problem is that if Verstappen does that to someone who can’t make it on the braking (or someone who thinks “I chose the line first, so if he gets in the way I’ll just ram him off MY line”), then we have the big accident Raikkonen is talking about. Kimi is an experienced World Champion, he had the skills to avoid it. Would our good old Kobayashis and Maldonados have done the same?

        1. I dont really see the problem there either. If an driver got the mentality to ram a car that isnt moving over its on that driver not the defending one.

          1. It’s not about whose fault it is, it’s about avoiding the accident. For some people who won’t make it on the brakes and either crash into VES or lose control of the car, “it’s on the defending car” because they have been following this conduct for decades now.

            1. You will avoid it by letting drivers know that anyone that rams another car by purpose is gonna get a harsh penalty. We are talking about a 20km/h brake in over 300km/h, You have to lift the throttle slightly and you are done.

            2. Well, the defending car knows the other car is faster, if he throws himself into the line of the approaching car, it’s not really the rammer’s fault, or rather, it would be really difficult to distinguish between drivers who chose to ram him (to discourage such moves, as he is discouraging attempts on him by moving dangerously, as late as I’ve ever seen) or those who didn’t have a quick enough reaction to avoid his sudden move. If it’s “just lift the throttle slightly and you are done” I don’t think other drivers would have a problem with it (and honestly, Verstappen can’t be the first person since Schumacher who wants to do that, others didn’t because it’s part of how F1 evolved).

            3. Or rather, forget about people doing it on purpose. Just the risk of people not being able to react is enough, I think very few drivers, and only in a rage moment, would actually ram their cars into the defending car on purpose, most would just lose control, which is equally dangerous depending on the situation.

            4. If you’re on a race track, in a F1 car, tailgating at 300 km/h, you should be prepared for everything. You should be absolutely aware that you’re in an extremely hazardous situation. You should first & foremost regard your own safety and try to dcepend as little as possible on the actions of the car in front of you. I think that should be lesson nr 1 for all aspiring F1 championship drivers.

            5. @Gabriel “We are talking about a 20km/h brake in over 300km/h, You have to lift the throttle slightly and you are done.”

              and I take it you have driven a F1 car? your comments holds no value and I don’t take seriously. I love all the experts here.

            6. @MarkM I havnt but you dont need to be an expert to figure that one out.

          2. You are right. It’s just 2 racers trying bold moves to defend and overtake. If Verstappen does something bold and the attacker does something bold, then one might win big or they both lose. It happens everywhere on the track on every weekend. Take Spa, turn 1. Verstappen went up the inside, Vettel cut the corner and they all lost out. Both Verstappen and Vettel took a risk and neither risk paid off. It’s all risk and reward.

            However the problem here is what they lose if they do crash. In a slow speed corner like turn 1, they lose their wings or tyres or similar bodywork. At over 300km/h, they possibly will lose their lives. That is the problem! At those speeds, death is a real possibility. Look at how destroyed Magnassen’s car was. That happened at a lower speed part of the track and also one where there are lots of cushion on the barriers as it is a known crash point. On the straights, there are just steel barriers as no-one is likely to crash there. And the speed is even higher at that point. Add to that the real possibility of a car getting launched into the air if the wheels touch at that speed. In that case, even spectators might die.

            There is a reason that most drivers don’t defend like that and also why they frown upon it when others do. That reason is because it is really freaking dangerous to do it! For that reason, it should not be allowed.

            1. @mickharrold
              The reason there is only steel barriers on straights is because the momentum in a crash will carry the cars along the track and not into the sides.

              Every inch of the track is evaluated for crash scenarios.
              Crashes will happen in those speeds and on the straights no matter what and everyone has agreed its safe enough as it is.

        2. Since when is/was Kobayashi not a capable driver?

          Anyhow, It’s shame F1 discussion has gone from ‘amazing battle’ (Schumi-Mika 2000), to ‘this is way to dangerous’ in 2016. Fans finally got they spectacle they want, with a driver that refuses to act like a sitting duck, and now they complain. I really don’t get it.

          1. I love Kobayashi and wish he was still there. Just don’t think he’d be able to avoid it every time he fought with Max (or the other way around, actually, what a battle that would be). But you’re right, I suppose. Getting old is having me side with the safety team, but nowadays it’s safe enough even if they crash.

          2. Just because Schumacher/Hakkinen in 2000 was an amazing battle doesn’t mean it wasn’t ‘way too dangerous’ at times too. The two of them had a great to-and-fro all race long, and Hakkinen’s double pass on Schumacher and Zonta was incredible, but Schumacher’s chop on Hakkinen the previous lap was stupid and dangerous. Don’t forget that after the race Mika pulled Michael quietly to one side and essentially told him “NEVER do that to me again.”
            It was just as unacceptable in 2000 as it is in 2016 to chop across another driver’s bows at 210mph. There’s a difference between hard but fair racing, and putting yourself and other drivers in real danger

          3. It was amazing when Zonta was in the middle. Schumacher got told off for what he did the lap before too though.

        3. Kobayashi yes, Maldonado no.

      2. I think you’ve missed the point here, it’s more the reaction time required than how much grip is available. Correct me if i’m wrong, but if the speed differential between the two cars was around 20 km/h, a 5 meter gap closes in just under a second at a nearly exponential rate. Now when you break down “reaction time” into thinking time and action time, that probably leaves you, at most, 3 or 4 tenths of a second to prevent an accident with either a lift of the throttle or the brake. Personally I think Raikonnen was closer than that and the speed differential could well have been larger.
        At some point, even the best drivers in the world are going to get that wrong and you get what Martin Brundle aptly refers to as “an aeroplane accident”, that not only endangers the drivers involved, but spectators too.

        1. An accident there at 340kph would endanger spectators potentially. And then we have many deaths no more Spa race… Just because blocking at high speed is allowed in F1.

          Same goes for Monza, speeds will reach maybe 360? Why do we need huge closing speeds? DRS is a safety risk. We should remove it asap.

          1. Then they shouldnt race at 360kmph

    2. All dust from Belgium is clear, so from now on only looking forward to the monza GP.

      Hopefully they can battle hard and shine all 3 at the podium sunday afternoon.
      Nonetheless I think it will be the teams with in Merc in the back going to the podium unfortunately

      1. Hopefully they can battle hard and shine all 3 at the podium sunday afternoon.

        That would be an amazing podium; in any order.

    3. At some point F1 has to clarify the rule on running people off on the outside. Currently, it’s legal, provided you are actually taking your “line” in the corner, but this seems quite uncertain in practice. Cf. the “Rosberg”—just driving straight until the other guy has to run off the road or hit you. I think it would be better for the racing if they said, if a car is ahead at the turn-in have you have to leave room on the exit. Otherwise, passing car has to back off and is in the wrong if there is a collision.

    4. – “Sorry”
      – “OK”

      1. Vettel knows how to speak with Finns.

    5. Very good point from Kimi, and one that I fully endorse – jay for more consistency in stewarding for F1.

    6. I think they’ve been pretty consistent with verstappen, he can basically get away with anything. Can’t get much more consistent than that.

      1. agreed 100%!

      2. Give this guy the comment of the day Keith….WHAHAHAAA

      3. When Verstappen crashed in Grosjean Monaco’15 he was penalised. When Alonso crashed into Guitterez Australia’16 no penalty was given…

    7. Refreshing approach, not placing blame but objectively analyzing and asking for something that would actually do good in the long run.

      I’m going with Charlie Whiting on this one: “You know if Kimi says something it’s important, because he never says anything. But if he feels strongly enough about it, he will say something, so you need to listen to what he says, because he actually means it.”

      Consistency is pretty difficult with the stewards changing every race though. That said, it’d be appreciated by us fans if it was more consistent, and obviously even more by the drivers and teams. Consistency doesn’t have to mean the racing gets more boring.

      1. It actually was quite consistent when Rosberg and Vettel got their penalties for Austria, Silverstone and Hockenheim for pushing the other car off. All with identical penalties.

        The Spa stewards should have been able to recognize the situation Combes when Verstappen simply didn’t brake going into les Combes after Raikkonen passed him.

        But then the stewards are obviously just friendly amateurs. I remember the stuff that Hill said after they penalised Schumacher in Monaco for passing Alonso at the restart. like they had no alternat choices according to the rules besides a 25s time penalty. There is a whole list of penalties they can give. If they even don’t know basic stuff like that …

    8. For what is worth, I’m just glad it happens because it attracts attention to F1 again. I’m a Kimi fan, and some defensive driving by Max was questionable (kemmel) not T1 tho, but I like what all of this does for F1.

    9. My question

      At he end of Kemmel straight Kimi arrives at the corner first on the outside, Max goes up the inside and drives him out of space forcing him off the racetrack – and for good measure does not even keep his car on track. (Can someone compare this to what Nico did in Austria please).

      He does the same move again with Perez latter – in both incidents they pass Max but in only one of the cases (Kimi) is he told to give the position back – why?

      1. It will forever remain a mystery I fear.

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