Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen is not blaming Alfa Romeo Racing’s Kimi Raikkonen for their F1 Belgian GP clash.
The F1 Belgian GP for Verstappen ended in the first corner of Spa-Francorchamps itself after his collision with Raikkonen at La Source. The Dutchman got another hit before going off at Eau Rouge.
Raikkonen, meanwhile, pitted twice for tyre/front wing change but had floor damage still. He continued on as the team were hoping for some dramatic events, which could have helped him.
Both had a slow launch off the line but Raikkonen was slightly ahead into Turn 1, which is why he turned in to take his normal line but Verstappen went for the gap, which wasn’t there and paid the price.
It was a racing incident but probably the Dutchman was a bit too optimistic. The radio messages from either had colourful language, with either blaming each other but post race, Verstappen’s tune changed.
Having watched the video – naturally – Verstappen understood that no was to be blamed as his run of 21 races in points and that too inside Top 5 came to an end, while teammate Alexander Albon shone on Red Bull debut.
“It was of course not a great end to the weekend but it’s not the worst thing that can happen in life as we have seen on Saturday, so I cannot really call this frustration,” reflected Verstappen, after the race.
“I got a poor start, the reaction was not great and then I got wheel spin when I released the clutch. I tried to stay on the inside into Turn 1 but I think Kimi expected to be fully ahead of me and just followed his line.
“I don’t think you can blame anyone and I guess he just didn’t see me, once I was next to him and he was turning then we couldn’t back out. We touched, my track rod was broken so I went straight on into the barrier at Eau Rouge.
“These things happen, it’s very unfortunate for the team.” At the same time, Raikkonen did not take names but felt pointless to continue in the grand prix, but the team convinced him to go until the end in 16th.
“Unfortunately my race was already over in Turn 1. I had to slow down as Bottas was at the outside and the next thing I know I get hit and I’m on two wheels,” said Raikkonen.
“Afterwards it was nearly pointless to stay out as there was a lot of damage to the floor but you never know what’s gonna happen so we did the whole distance. Really a shame as we had a strong car.”
His teammate Antonio Giovinazzi looked good to score points but the Italian lost the car on the final lap and crashed into the barrier to end a disappointing weekend for the whole team – which races in F2 and F3 too.
Team boss Frederic Vasseur wasn’t too pleased with Verstappen’s quick move as he felt, the Dutchman had time even if he made a bad start. Christian Horner, meanwhile, spoke in the tunes of his driver.
Here’s how the F1 Belgian GP panned out