Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen admitted that he was fortunate to finish the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix after hitting the wall “at full speed”, before going on to take second. Kimi dropped down the order in the wake of a first-lap clash with Force India’s Esteban Ocon, but moved back into sixth at one-third distance.
The Finnish driver profited when Red Bull pair Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen clashed and took the restart in fourth, which became second when Sebastian Vettel went wide and Valtteri Bottas sustained a puncture. Kimi, though, conceded he was slightly fortunate to make it that far: “I think on the first lap, after the restart, on the little kink, coming on the last part of the straight, I hit the inside wall at full speed so I’m pretty lucky that the front wheel didn’t go. I was expecting to go quite fast but I was lucky. It felt OK, the car, honestly. I struggled a bit with the tyres sometimes but apart from that I’m sure there wasn’t big damage.” – the 2007 Formula One world champions explained.
Kimi Raikkonen added that he had “too many close calls” during the race, having almost brought his weekend to an early end when he went wide en route to the grid: “I had a good feeling sometimes but was struggling to switch the tyres on, it was kind of on and off. I had a great many close moments. Even on the way to the grid I was pretty certain that it’s in the wall already but I managed to get it away from it. Too many close calls. The feeling was there but not consistently. I thought, OK, I just try to go as fast as I can and a little bit safer and the Red Bulls, looking at what they were doing earlier in the race it was pretty certain something will happen later on when they get close to each other. Everything changed after that and once put the other tyres on and again it felt OK and it all played into our hands.” – the Finnish driver concluded.