Raikkonen hits out at Verstappen and stewards


In all honesty, it was the only real action of the afternoon, Kimi Raikkonen's hunting down of Max Verstappen as the two battled for fifth in the closing stages of the race.

Earlier, the wily old fox had successfully held off the precocious young cub, the Red Bull driver eventually pitting for fresh rubber. And when the tables were turned, in the final stages of the race, as he attempted to keep the (faster) Ferrari at bay, the youngster used every trick in the book, and then some.

At one point the pair clashed, Raikkonen losing a front wing endplate as he tried a move in Turn 2. However, the Finn was able to continue and was soon snapping at the heels of the Dutch teenager again.

As the Red Bull driver continued to frustrate him, Raikkonen called on his team to act, claiming that Verstappen was waiting until he made a move and then moving across the track more than once in order to block him.

"I tried to miss him and I just managed to miss him but it was two times that, in my feeling, he wasn't correct," said the Finn after the race.

"For me you move once right and then I decided to go left but the other car moved back," he continued. "I did everything I could do to avoid any contact but once I decided to go somewhere you can't just come there. It was good that I managed to somehow half miss him."

However, Raikkonen's criticism wasn't purely for Verstappen, rather the stewards, the Finn feeling that, like so many other recent decisions, there is no consistency.

"The stewards, or the people who decide how things go here, the stewards and some other guys, in many ways, it's a joke with the rules, you know?" said the Finn.

"There's rules," he continued, "but obviously this weekend it's been... I'm not just talking about the incidents between me and Max but in many ways, and yesterday.

"Why do we have rules if stewards can decide 'it's okay here, it's not okay here'? It's pointless to have any rules if they don't apply all the time, for all the people.

"A good example was yesterday in qualifying, you have the 107 percent rule and the people who didn't go through first qualifying, they apply it for those cars but not for the rest.

"How can you suddenly have the same rule in same qualifying applied two different ways?" he asked "If somebody can explain how that works.

"But that's F1 these days, and something must change. It just looks bad to people outside, to you guys, and it's not fair. There's a rule, it should apply exactly the same way every time to everybody."

Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene was supportive, saying: "The rules talk about one move but we all got the impression we saw two moves," he said. We called Charlie (Whiting)and they said they were looking carefully at the images and in their opinion it was only one move."

Verstappen, proving he is just as sharp out of the cockpit as in it, smiled when asked about his 'defending', and replied: "I think it's good, you finally hear Kimi talking on the radio. I think it's good.

"As a driver you always try to find excuses," he added. "But I think I only moved once all the time so for me there was no issue."

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Published: 25/07/2016
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