Kimi Raikkonen’s 332nd start will be one to forget for the Finn after crashing out of the Portuguese Grand Prix following a collision with his Alfa Romeo stablemate.
From P15 on the grid using the soft compound tyre, the 2007 World Champion had a good first lap once again at Portimao to gain two places on the opening tour. However, it all went pear-shaped for the Finn at the beginning of lap two as he hit teammate Antonio Giovinazzi on the start-finish straight.
Raikkonen broke his front wing and it got dislodged under the front of his car. It meant he ended up going into the gravel at T1 and his day was done. He admitted to his error during the post-race interviews as he was looking at his steering wheel to change a switch as the crash unfolded.
"Basically it was my mistake, I was checking something on the steering wheel, changing a switch that I got wrong coming out of the last corner so I had to change it again and then I just drove into him, so clearly my mistake," the 41-year-old told Sky Sports F1.
Speaking to MotorLat and other select media after the race, Alfa Romeo’s head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar defended the Finn following the contact between the Alfa teammates.
The Spaniard explained what led to it and believes even the most experienced drivers are not immune to mistakes like Raikkonen made today.
''The problem is everything goes very quickly,’’ said Pujolar.
''When we have to do that call that we needed to change it (a switch on the steering wheel) very urgently, you just look down and suddenly with the tow you get too close to the car ahead and that’s it, it’s too late.’’
''I think even if you have experience or not, it can happen.’’