Lewis Hamilton apologizes to Kimi Raikkonen 

Written by David on October 20th, 2007 at 9:55 pmLast Update: October 20th, 2007 at 9:55 pm

Lewis Hamilton apologizes to Kimi RaikkonenChampionship leader Lewis Hamilton has apologized to his title rival Kimi Raikkonen for accidentally impeding the Finn during qualifying for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix. Raikkonen will now need to produce a special performance if he is to win the all important final race of the season after his fastest lap could only earn him third place on the starting grid.

Hamilton, who is seven points ahead of the Ferrari driver and second on the Interlagos grid, obstructed Raikkonen as he left the pits for the last time in Saturday’s qualifying session. Afterwards the young British rookie apologized to Raikkonen but also maintained that after his McLaren team warned him of the danger as he exited the pits, he had done his utmost not to affect the Finn’s all important final quick lap.

Hamilton said: “I came out of the pitlane and the team said ‘you will be coming close to Kimi, at that speed your mirrors are vibrating and you can’t see’. “I apologize if I got in his way, but I didn’t think he was that close to me. I stayed where I was and braked. I didn’t feel I hindered his lap, and I did get out of the way. I did the best job I could do,” added Hamilton. “And I did apologise to him.”

The hectic nature of qualifying means that cars are often impeded, though penalties can be handed out if the slower driver does not do everything in his power to avoid obstructing the other driver. Hamilton was criticized by several drivers for his conduct behind the safety car in the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month and whilst this latest incident appeared to be quite innocent, Raikkonen hinted that Hamilton again might have handled things slightly differently. “For sure it didn’t help,” Raikkonen said. “I ran wide after I went beside him and lost some time. I don’t know exactly how much time we lost – I haven’t seen the data – but for sure there could have been a slightly easier way to let me past. But it is what it is now. I would rather be in the front, but third is an okay place to start the race from. We should have a good car and see what we can do in the race.”

source: GMM

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