Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that an unfortunate mistake on his final Q3 run was behind him giving a tow to team-mate Sebastian Vettel, rather than being instructed to do so. The 2007 Formula One world champions went “sideways” at Liege at the end of the pole position shootout and backed off to help Sebastian Vettel on the long run from Stavelot to the Bus Stop chicane.
Sebastian Vettel thanked the Finnish driver at the end of the qualifying session, adding that the gesture earned him a couple of tenths of a second, as he split Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas ahead of the race on Sunday. The German driver heads Lewis Hamilton by 14 points in the Formula One title race, raising suspicions that his team-mate was asked to play the team game, but the Finn slammed such suggestions, making clear that it was his decision, after an error:
“Don’t try to make a f**king stupid story about this.” – Kimi quickly replied, when asked if there were any messages from the Scuderia Ferrari pit wall to help Sebastian Vettel: “I had a mistake, I was coming back, and obviously if I can help our team I will do it. There are not any other stories behind it.” – the Finnish driver said, as reported by the Italian media at the end of the qualifying which took place earlier today at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Kimi Raikkonen’s qualifying session was already compromised by unexplained vibrations, before his off at Turn 9, and he lamented failing to capitalise on strong practice form, as he wound up fourth: “I don’t know what it is.” – he said of the vibrations issue – “At first it was worse, then a little bit less, then it disappeared and then it came back. Apart from that it was going pretty okay… on the last run there were some small things that were not ideal, and we went a bit sideways at one place. I was struggling a bit with the tyre temperatures, for whatever reason, on the last lap, so I got sideways and I couldn’t finish the lap.” – Kimi Raikkonen concluded.