Kimi Räikkönen was left dumbfounded as to the cause of his frightening first-lap collision with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso during Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Alonso’s McLaren was left perilously wedged on top of the Finn’s Ferrari in the Armco along the straight between Turns 2 and 3 after Räikkönen suffered what appeared to be a major tankslapper while putting down the power in his SF15-T.
“I had some wheelspin and then suddenly I went left and I spun,” Räikkönen recalled later.
“I don’t know exactly why it [the wheelspin] was so aggressive and what caused it. It was a pretty odd place [for it to happen]. Usually you get [wheelspin] when you come out of the corner, but obviously it was very far away [from the corner exit].”
The team was unable to ascertain the cause of the accident – be it a technical glitch or driver error – after a lengthy post-race debrief, despite the incident bearing some similarities to Räikkönen’s spin at the Canadian Grand Prix a fortnight ago, where he looped his car at the hairpin on his out-lap following a tyre change.
“Obviously it is not normal. We didn’t expect it to happen, we don’t know exactly the reason. Something obviously happened. Was it me or was it something else? I don’t know. Whatever caused it made me spin,” Räikkönen shrugged.
“It was a pretty shit weekend all in all. That is it.”
Alonso, the innocent bystander in the accident, tempered his disappointment over chalking up a fourth successive failure to finish with the relief that no one was injured. The impact measured 34G, according to the FIA’s onboard safety telemtry.
“I saw I had a Ferrari below me in the mirrors, but I didn’t know where he was,” Alonso recalled.
“I tried to get out as quickly as possible to see if he was okay. I saw him removing the steering wheel so I was relieved,” the two-time champion said of his former teammate.”
Images via FOM and Sutton Images