Raikkonen says he had no room to avoid Alonso

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Suzuka, 2012Fernando Alonso questioned Kimi Raikkonen’s driving after the pair tangled at the first corner of the Japanese Grand Prix, putting Alonso out.

“Well I had no space,” said Alonso about the collision. “On the right I have Button, I think, on the left I have Kimi. And I don’t understand why Kimi didn’t lift off or anything because it was not any room.

“I don’t know what Kimi’s idea was for the first corner but it’s the way it is and this time it was bad luck for us.”

Raikkonen said he didn’t have any room to avoid a clash with Alonso: “I was on the left-hand side all the way since the very beginning of the start. And he kept coming left more and more.

“I tried to go more left but I have nowhere to go they all came on my side, touched my front wing and I couldn’t go anywhere else.”

Alonso’s retirement allowed Sebastian Vettel to reduce the gap between them at the top of the championship table to four points.

Asked what effect his retirement has one the championship Alonso said: “Nothing really. I think one time I will retire. Maybe next time Vettel will retire, you never know, this is motor sport.

“It’s five races to go, it will be like a mini-championship let’s say because we start with the same points and we need to score one more point in five races than the others so we will try to do.”

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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70 comments on Raikkonen says he had no room to avoid Alonso

  1. Calback said on 7th October 2012, 11:43

    Alonsos comment is typical of his arrogance. Why did he not lift off himself? Kimi has shown over and over that he is one of the least accident prone drivers in the field. He did his outmost to keep out of trouble this time as well, which is very obvious from the videos of the incident.

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 7th October 2012, 12:00

      I don’t see how arrogance has anything to do with this. At that point, Kimi was already behind Fernando, he basically most likely lifted for Turn 1 a fraction later than Fernando, that’s why he clipped the Ferrari.

      For what Alonso could be slammed a bit is the way he forced Raikkonen behind: earlier they were wheel-to-wheel, and Alonso obviously did not let a car width between himself and the edge of the track, else Raikkonen would not have backed off. It was this ‘backed-off state’ in which they arrived to the braking zone to Turn 1. It is also controversial, because when Alonso arrived to the left side of the track, there clearly was enough room for a car, he was obviously keen to leave enough space. But the track narrows down on that part towards Turn 1, so Kimi literally run out of space.

      I’d say Alonso was at fault for now giving him enough room on the straight earlier, not when they were actually in the braking zone for Turn 1. In the zone, it was Raikkonen’s fault for lifting too late compared with Alonso. That’s all.

      Besides, Fernando is also not prone to first lap incidents. It is only his second time this year, and he was not in any kind of controversial position in the first instance in Spa.

      • OOliver said on 7th October 2012, 12:18

        Alonso was actually moving in a straight line so can’t be blamed really, as there was a car on his inside.
        Secondly this is the start of the race, Kimi was behind, and considering it was the tip of kimi’s wing that made contact with Alonso’s rear tyre, it shows, Kimi was more to blame even if it was a racing accident.

        • sorin (@) said on 7th October 2012, 14:27

          Alonso&Raikk accident was the same as Gro&Ham accident, at Spa. After Spa accident, Alonso said: “today, drivers has no respect for others”, regarding Grosjean’s maneuver. After Suzuka accident I say: “Yes, Alonso, you don’t have respect for others”. The same logic. :|

          • Psi (@psi) said on 7th October 2012, 16:52

            Not exactly the same. There was no interlock. Hamilton couldn’t do anything because if was hit the brakes, his front left would touch Grosjean’s rear right. In Suzuka, Raikkonen had enough space to brake, not untill the inevitable. He some kind of “forced” him self into that situtation. All he could just do, brake early and try again. We all know that braking is equally important to throttle.

          • sorin (@) said on 7th October 2012, 18:51

            Hamilton couldn’t do anything because he had no time to react at Grosjean manouvre. Same on here. I saw the footage from Alonso on-board, and before the chicane he turn left the wheel very fast. There he touched Raikkonen. So, it’s clear who hit whom. Alonso, was NOT forced by Button to do that, he had plenty of space(sure, not to do “S”). Plus, before that, he pushed Raikkonen outside the track, and if Raikkonen would have been out of the race, because of that, Alonso would have been penalised, for sure. Alonso: “all the time you have to leave space”, “respect for others”…are just BLA, BLA, BLA.

          • Andy rus said on 7th October 2012, 19:14

            The difference between this and the ham-gro incident is Rai regained control when he hit the grass ham did not. If he hadn’t they may well have had a similar airborne incident (although they were on the outside of the track for turn one and therefore may not have taken out others) alos manoeuvre was similar to gros IMHO.

          • OOliver said on 7th October 2012, 20:23

            Very different accidents, Grosjean and Hamilton locked wheels, and they there was no way for Hamilton to get out of the locked wheels.
            Here, Kimi was able to lift slightly, but he was chasing a gap that wasn’t there to be honest. Alonso didn’t really have much fault as he was almost completely caged by the vehicles in front of and behind him.

          • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 8th October 2012, 7:44

            @psi
            The general rule at the start is to keep on the power, because these cars decelerate so quickly, it’s very likely that the cars behind you will ram into the back of you, particurlarly in close-quarters fighting.

      • sorin (@) said on 7th October 2012, 13:07

        When you turn left VERY FAST, at high speed(like Alonso did, before the chicane), and knowing that someone might be there, you RISK a lot. Raikkonnen was the victim, of the stupidity of Alonso. He deserved to be penalised, because he broke something at Raikkonen car.

        • sorin (@) said on 7th October 2012, 13:08

          Alonso: “Well I had no space”. Well, you had space in front, WHY YOU TURNED LEFT???

          • Santiago Ontanon (@santiontanon) said on 8th October 2012, 1:03

            I can’t believe what you just wrote. Do you really think he was not going for that space in front? man…

          • erix said on 8th October 2012, 7:39

            Yes, he did. But blocking Raikkonen is more important than going to the front at that stage. God himself punished Alonso for his cruel intention.

    • FD (@fd) said on 7th October 2012, 12:01

      Well said. Alonso’s arrogance knows no bounds. He runs Kimi off the road even after he looked in his let mirror and saw him there.
      Alonso FAILED to leave a car’s width yet he expects everyone to roll out the red carpet!

      • FD (@fd) said on 7th October 2012, 12:04

        The arrogance is more about his comments; blaming Kimi for what is at best a racing incident

      • shade said on 7th October 2012, 13:04

        Alonso FAILED to leave a car’s width yet he expects everyone to roll out the red carpet!

        Didn’t Raikkonen few laps later FAILED to leave a car’s width for Perez?

        • sorin (@) said on 7th October 2012, 13:11

          No he didn’t fail. Do you saw them TOUCHING?

          • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 7th October 2012, 13:47

            No, because PĂ©rez opted to left the track instead of slamming into Raikkonen. Raikkonen did not do so at the start. Obviously because he haven’t had asphalt run-off there as opposed to PĂ©rez, so stating that Raikkonen left enough room for PĂ©rez simply because they did not touch seems quite pointless for me.

          • sorin (@) said on 7th October 2012, 15:21

            I’m not trying to say that Raikkonen left space, I’m trying to say that, whatever his maneuvers are, he won’t produce an accident, like others do. If he left no space, stewerds are there to decide this. So far, nothing happen with this “to leave space”. Are more important things to judge, like “to make accidents”. Perez was never put in this situation by Raikkonen.

          • RAMBO said on 8th October 2012, 2:54

            Wich was again the exact same we saw Vettel do at Monza with Alonso. This time you could even see it as a braking zone as that corner is actually the brakingzone of the next corner. If it was still gravel on the outside, Perez would have been out of the race, now it is all fine.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 7th October 2012, 14:58

      Why did he not lift off himself?

      Because Kimi was entire car length behind him. There isn’t a driver in motor racing who would lift off when a driver is on the outside nearly a car length behind.

    • truep1 (@truep1) said on 7th October 2012, 20:39

      I don’t see how it would have help if Alonso had lifted. If anything, he should have left more room on his left. He probably could have also stayed on the throttle a bit longer.

  2. racing incident. move on.

  3. OOliver said on 7th October 2012, 12:15

    Seems the Lotus are responsible for both of Alonso’s retirements.
    Kimi could have eased himself out of that situation as that section of track had no room.

    • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 7th October 2012, 12:50

      Alonso is responsible for this one all by himself

    • Jani Karusalmi said on 7th October 2012, 13:23

      Yeah he could have, but why would he? Last I checked they were racing for position and Alonso was Kimi’s main rival in title chase. Why is it always others who should lift when the almighty Fernando says so. Kimi is allowed to drive around the outside if he wants to, its not his fault if someone’s runs into him and retires.

  4. Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 7th October 2012, 12:19

    I wonder if opinions would be different if it was Grosjean and Alonso that touched? I bet people would be quick to blame GRO, but because it’s Kimi we feel a need to defend him. Indeed, I believe that had it been Massa that crashed out, this wouldn’t even be an issue right now.

    • Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 7th October 2012, 12:24

      @tmcs88 – Actually people are being overly defensive with Alonso specifically because they want Vettel to lose. It’s almost funny to look at.

      The incident was well and truly Alonso’s fault. Saying that it was even remotely Raikkonen’s fault is like saying the incident at Spa was Hamilton’s fault, or that the starting incident in Monaco was Schumacher’s fault.

      Alonso pushed Raikkonen onto the grass and the Finn lost control. Simple as that. You can’t expect a driver to maintain full control of his car after stepping onto the grass. ‘nando knows that all too well – it’s what knocked him out in Q2 in Australia.

  5. caci99 (@caci99) said on 7th October 2012, 12:42

    It was a pure first lap racing incident. If any one is to blame, I think it is slightly more on Alonso rather than on Raikkonen.

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 7th October 2012, 13:50

      I agree. Though above I argued both are equally to blame, I tend to accept @pamphlet‘s argument on Kimi not able to lift for Turn 1 properly, because he haven’t had time to re-settle after that brief moment on the grass – which stemmed from Fernando not giving him enough space in the first place.

      • Kimi4WDC said on 8th October 2012, 2:00

        As he was on the edge of the track, anything else than committing to the corner would have easily caused under steer and off the track he goes.

      • erix said on 8th October 2012, 7:32

        Yes, and dont forget that Ferrari might have brakes superiority over Lotus..dont expect they will have the same braking point and timing.

  6. de Hooch said on 7th October 2012, 12:44

    Kimi, why don’t you lift off? You know I want to beat you in this race so you should lift off and let me get ahead !

    I think Alo is losing it.

  7. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 7th October 2012, 14:16

    At Monza Alonso said something like “you must always leave racing room.” Apparently it only applies when he is being squeezed?

    As Grosjean got a penalty for a similar move at Spa, I think Alonso should get at least a reprimand, as the rules state quite clearly that if a significant part of the other car is along side, it must be left enough room. Thankfully Alonso’s mistake only took out himself and not Kimi…

    • Rubbish,alonso was ahead….at the very best,it was a racing incident….

      • KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 7th October 2012, 19:46

        If Alonso was (fully) ahead, how did they touch each other then?

      • Flying Finn said on 10th February 2013, 15:11

        Alonso was ahead, though not completely after Kimi’s detour in the grass which was caused by Alonso – thus the wing was able to clip Alonso’s tires. So before the detour they must have been more neck to neck as you can see from the video. So, Alonso can only blame himself.
        The point is at no point of time during the incident was Alonso fully ahead. He thought it is more important to cover off Kimi or he could have thought the Lotus will yield more easily than the McLaren. Either way what transpired was JUST PERFECT. If I were kimi’s team boss i would strongly advise him to not change a thing – but then again he knows what he’s doing….

  8. infernojim (@infernojim) said on 7th October 2012, 14:34

    This was just an unfortunate first corner incident. Alonso didn’t give kimi room and though kimi tried to avoid him they had the tiniest of contact. it was unlucky to puncture Alonso and only the puncture caused the spin….. hey ho.

  9. he was trying to bully Kimi cuz he was mad about the Raikkonen yellows from quali. it was nobody’s fault and nobody deserves blame.

    but Lotus should drop Grosjean. he isnt helping the team at all!

    Webber should shut up. he isnt in championship contention anyway and wouldn’t wanna help Vettel

  10. beninlux (@beninlux) said on 7th October 2012, 15:59

    I see little difference between what Alonso did at T1 Suzuka and what Grosjean did at T1 Spa. Grosjean squeezed and hit Hamilton, Alonso squeezed and hit Kimi. If Alonso and Raikonnen had been on the inside, rather than the outside of the track, they would have skittled into several cars. Alonso should be punished for causing an avoidable accident, and thank his lucky stars that he didn’t collect anyone else in the process. The Stewards were supposed to crack down hard on this sort of aggressive driving – squeezing another car off the track endangers lives of drivers and marshals. Alonso’s reaction makes the whole incident all the more disgraceful

  11. Psi (@psi) said on 7th October 2012, 16:55

    Why there was no replay of Raikkonen’s start? What are they trying to hide.. I smell consiracy!! :D
    First the qualify and then the race.

  12. gasf1 (@gasf1) said on 7th October 2012, 17:20

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZoESZe0mCs

    Räikkönen should had lift off, there was no room to go in. It was Alonsos line, Räikkönen was clearly behind, so Alonso didn´t push Kimi off the track…………………………….

    • Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 7th October 2012, 20:59

      That video just confirms that the incident was more of Fernando’s fault then Kimi’s. Look at 0:37 on that video. There is an ENTIRE car’s width to the right of Fernando, yet he continues to push to the right side, full well knowing that a car is out there.

    • erix said on 8th October 2012, 7:27

      Yup..you are right, the entire track is belong to Alonso, no matter he started on the right line..the left line is also belong to Alonso..go ask your mommy.

  13. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 7th October 2012, 18:23

    I could hardly believe that these two had hit each other – usually, they’re the least likely to have a crash.

    They were both pretty stupid – you won’t beat Vettel to the championship like that. I have to agree with Alonso’s questioning what Raikkonen was hoping to achieve round the outside of turn 1. But with a big championship lead to throw away, he could have just left Kimi to run out of road by himself.

    • bartoszcze said on 7th October 2012, 20:23

      That’s interesting what Alonso was trying to do on the outside of T1, then. After he came a long way from the inside and pushed the Raikkonnen who was alongside him, making him go on the grass.

  14. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 7th October 2012, 18:54

    To me this was more foolish than Grosjean’s incident…they were travelling in a straight line!

  15. Mariano (@mariano) said on 7th October 2012, 19:33

    Just a typical racing incident that doesn’t deserve much analysis at all.

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