Speaking after the race on Sunday, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen feels that Max Verstappen will have a massive accident if he doesn’t change the way he defends on track.
The pair had multiple incidents during the Belgian Grand Prix as Raikkonen attempted to pass Verstappen on the straights. But Verstappen’s aggressive defending drew heavy criticism from Raikkonen, who was furious with the teenager.
Speaking after the race, Raikkonen explained the coming together the pair had on track and suggested that Verstappen will only learn if he has a crash.
“If I had not braked we would have had a massive accident,” Raikkonen said.
“I’m sure it will happen sooner or later, if this doesn’t change but it seems to be OK [because Verstappen escaped penalty]. It will be interesting to see when something will happen who’s to blame… Like I said, I’m fine with good racing and hard battles but in that situation it was not correct in my view.
“Obviously there are always different opinions from everybody. It doesn’t change an awful lot, maybe he needs an accident before things become clearer to everybody, but hopefully not, because it can be a bit bad for somebody. And obviously nobody wants to see anybody get hurt. Like I said, I’m fine with racing and fighting hard, but something like that should not be correct, in my view.”
Just after the incident on track, Raikkonen reported over team radio: “He’s only interested in pushing me completely off the track.”
Another incident the following lap brought more anger out from the Finn.
“Come on, this is f***ing ridiculous now, he’s moving when I’m at full speed on the right”
Raikkonen’s team mate Sebastian Vettel also weighed in on Verstappen’s driving style after he also encountered the Dutchman during the race.
“I think it’s wrong to make too much of a story. I get along with him, I like him, he’s aggressive and I think that’s a strength for him, but certain movements especially under braking which I faced when I was racing with him I don’t think are correct,” Vettel said.
“It’s probably something that needs to click and he needs to understand but in that race there was a lot going on, in the end it wasn’t the smartest thing to do because I lost a lot of time, he lost a lot of time and he was about to pit. So arguably for his race whatever it was he lost three or four seconds just fighting with me which was unnecessary. I was clearly faster and got passed him anyway the lap after.”
Image via XPB Images