Raikkonen: Both McLarens hit me

Kimi Raikkonen, 2008 Japanese Grand PrixFerrari driver Kimi Raikkonen has claimed that both McLaren drivers hit his car during the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Finnish driver got off to the perfect start, easing away from the line well and taking the lead. However he was forced to run wide at the first corner after pole-sitter Hamilton out-braked himself, allowing Kubica and Alonso to pass them both.

“I got a pretty good start but then braking into Turn 1 I was trying to turn and there was first one McLaren and then a second,” Raikkonen explained to Autosport.

“Both hit me and I had nowhere to go other than straight. I lost many places and had some damage on the front, I got back on circuit but was behind people.”

Raikkonen appears slightly relieved that he managed to finish the race last weekend s result was the first time the Finnish driver has finished a race since the Hungarian Grand Prix 5 races ago.

“I was catching up and getting past some people, then at the pit-stop I was behind Robert. I was fighting against him. In the last stint I had a few tries to get past him, but always caught him in the last part of the circuit and the main straight. He went to the inside and I didn’t have anywhere to go. We got side-by-side but I knew that if nobody lifted in Turn 3 I had no option but to run-off the circuit.

“Then my tyres started to grain a bit so I eased off. It was a bit disappointing what happened in the first corner but at least I got to the finish this time.

“I lost straightaway the front – it didn’t feel the same any more. Heikki hit me harder, the front felt quite light, I didn’t know I didn’t ask if we had damaged something.

“It was okay, but we were missing something to not be fast enough to catch up with the cars in front. Before the second stop I got stuck behind Rubens Barrichello and lost a second. In the end it was quite a difficult race so we got third place and hopefully now we can score better from here.”