MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Finnish Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas turned the tables on compatriot Kimi Raikkonen at the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday and ended up on the podium after the pair collided for the second time in three races.
“That is what you call payback,” former F1 driver David Coulthard commented on the BBC after Ferrari’s Raikkonen retired with shattered suspension while Bottas raced on to finish third for Williams.
In last month’s Russian Grand Prix, Raikkonen shunted Bottas into the barriers on the last lap while trying to pass to secure third place.
The time penalty Raikkonen collected for that move demoted him to eighth after the race and allowed Mercedes to retain their constructor’s title. It also handed Mexican Sergio Perez his first podium finish of the year with Force India.
In Mexico, it was Bottas who was trying to overtake Raikkonen on the inside at turn four on lap 22 when his front left tire and Raikkonen’s rear right tangled. The Ferrari driver was bounced out with suspension damage.
The stewards investigated and decided to take no further action.
“All OK with the car?” asked Bottas over the team radio as he continued on his way. “Looks good. He just cut you up and left you no space,” was the reply.
Raikkonen’s race had been troubled before the start, when he was demoted to the back row with a 35-place penalty for a change of gearbox and power unit elements.
The Finn seemed relaxed enough after what he recognized had been a bad weekend all round.
“Not much to talk about. I lost a wheel and retired and that’s about it,” he said.
”It was tight. If you ask him, for sure he’s going to blame me. But I‘m sure if he’d gone over the kerb there would have been space. But obviously it was quite slippery there so he locked a bit the front wheel.
“Maybe he feels better now about what happened in Russia ... if he has a better feeling now, it’s good for him,” added the 2007 champion.
Bottas said it was just a racing incident.
“We were racing hard, obviously,” he said. “And of course I’m not going to back off, I’m fighting for the positions. I was calculating the risk, I think there was a decent possibility to get through. But, hey, it ended up like this.”
Editing by Ed Osmond/Andrew Both