A final-lap clash between Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas in Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix means Mercedes will clinch the constructors’ championship.
Raikkonen had finished fifth in the Russian Grand Prix won by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton but picked up a 30-second penalty that dropped him to eighth place and meant Mercedes had mathematically clinched the title with four races to spare.
The Finns were fighting over third place on the final lap, having both just passed Sergio Perez, when Raikkonen attacked Bottas’s Williams into Turn 4 and they collided.
While Raikkonen’s Ferrari hobbled round to finish fifth, Bottas was out on the spot, and Perez came through to retake third place.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 11, 2015
This means Raikkonen can no longer prevent Mercedes, represented by championship leaders Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, from being named the best team of the 2015 season.
Raikkonen was still unsure of what exactly happened in the incident when interviewed after the race.
“I don’t know, for me it was racing,” said the 2007 world champion.
“I tried to pass and unfortunately it ended up like this, but I’m not the stewards.
“I overtook him there once before and I wasn’t too far back so I thought I would try again.
“Once I decided to try I can’t back off. I don’t know if he didn’t see me at all or didn’t expect me to go there.
“I tried to turn as much inside as I could but there was nowhere to go and we collided.”
Bottas disputed his countryman’s opinion on the clash, having said on the radio: “What the f**k did he do?”
The Williams driver added: “I don’t think it was a racing incident.
“I didn’t see anyone there and I was in front, and then suddenly someone hits me.
“I should be on the podium, but I’m here with zero points instead. That’s just disappointing.
“It doesn’t really matter for me [if Raikkonen gets a penalty] because I’m not getting those points back.
“I would guess [he will] – I could look in the mirror and see it was not my fault.”