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Thu Apr 24 03:15:46 SAST 2014

No quarrel over Raikkonen clash, says Grosjean

Sapa-AFP | 30 July, 2012 09:050 Comments
F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Race
Romain Grosjean of France and Lotus drives during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on July 29, 2012 in Budapest, Hungary
Image by: Mark Thompson / Getty Images

Romain Grosjean said he had no bad feelings towards his Lotus team-mate Kimi Raikkonen after the pair touched wheels battling for position during Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Frenchman Grosjean, who qualified second, had been challenging eventual race-winner Lewis Hamilton of McLaren for the lead before running into traffic before his final pit-stop.

That meant the 26-year-old emerged from the pits alongside Raikkonen, who had climbed from fifth to third, running into the first turn.

The two Lotus drivers went wheel to wheel before Grosjean was forced wide conceding second position to the Finn, who went on to finish just a second behind Hamilton.

Grosjean, who finished third, said he had no quarrel with Raikkonen’s inside move and suggested he had done the same to hold off Red Bull driver German Sebastian Vettel at the start of the race.

“It was close with Kimi, he did what he had to do,” Grosjean said. “I got marbles on my tyres and struggled to recover, but it is what it is.

“It was the same story with Kimi (as with Vettel) — I was inside of Seb so it was alright.” 

However, Grosjean suggested he was disappointed not to have continued to challenge Hamilton for victory and claimed the time he had lost in traffic had been vital.

“It just happened — unfortunately I got stuck behind another car and it wouldn’t let me past and I lost 1.5 seconds... I wasn’t happy at that stage as I was fighting for win and suddenly I got stuck with something you cannot manage,” he said.

“We were close to fight for the win, so we are a little bit (disappointed) today. But I got stuck behind another car on that blue flag and it didn’t really respect it.” 

The 32-year-old Raikkonen claimed his fifth podium of the season and third in four races at the Hungaroring, but was left feeling bitter-sweet after coming so close to winning again and insisted his team must improve their qualifying pace if they are to clinch the elusive victory.

“We always try to win and sometimes you get close and it is a bit disappointing that we cannot,” he said.

“We know the reason: we are not so strong in qualifying and make it hard for ourselves on Sunday.

“We should be able to put ourselves in a good position and get good points, but it is a long season. We are improving all the time, and if it comes, great, if not we keep trying.”

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