Verstappen a danger, fumes Raikkonen

FIRST CORNER CLASH: Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari (from right) tangles with teammate Raikkonen's car and Verstappen's Red Bull on the first corner of the opening lap of the Belgian Grand Prix. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


    Aug 30, 2016

    Verstappen a danger, fumes Raikkonen


    DUTCH teenager Max Verstappen's aggressive racing style is dangerous and may have caused a big accident during the Belgian Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen claimed after Sunday's race.

    The Finn, who finished ninth for Ferrari, clashed frequently throughout the 44-lap contest with the local hero, who seemed to be inspired by the atmosphere created by a sell-out crowd packed with his supporters.

    Raikkonen criticised Verstappen - who finished 11th - for his abrasive defensive driving at the Hungarian race and their strained relations were stretched again when the pair collided at the first corner.

    "My start wasn't great," said the Dutchman. "But then I dived up the inside and didn't lock a wheel and was easily making the corner, but they just kept squeezing me.

    "I was on the inside, Kimi was squeezing me and then Sebastian just turned in on both of us. He turned into the corner, where there were already two cars."

    In turn, Raikkonen took issue with Verstappen's defensive move on the Kemmel Straight during their scrap.

    "I'm all up for fair battles and close racing," said Raikkonen. "But when I have to back off after Eau Rouge, on the straight, where I made my move... I had to brake not to hit him because he turns after I make my move the first time.

    "That, I think, is not correct.

    "We were fortunate there wasn't a big accident because of that."

    Verstappen escaped any penalty from the stewards but Raikkonen added: "If I have to brake from full speed, I haven't had that with any other driver.

    "If I hadn't braked, I would have hit him at the rear at full throttle. Something is not correct but it doesn't seem to matter (to him)."

    During their wheel-banging battle, Raikkonen told his Ferrari team: "Clearly his only interest is in pushing me off the circuit completely."

    Verstappen responded later by telling reporters that the Finn's claims were "a big lie".

    "To be honest, I think that's a big lie," he said.

    "I'm just defending my position. If somebody doesn't like it, that's his own problem."