Haas’ Nikita Mazepin was left fuming after being crashed into by Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in the pit lane during the Hungarian Grand Prix. But according to Raikkonen, an issue with Alfa Romeo’s traffic light release system was the ultimate cause of the crash.
Raikkonen and Mazepin, along with 12 other drivers, were pitting ahead of the Lap 4, post-red flag race restart at the Hungaroring, when Raikkonen pulled out of his pit box straight into the path of Mazepin’s Haas VF-21, causing irreparable damage to the Russian’s suspension.
Raikkonen was able to continue, however – but despite exiting the pits in a promising P8, a 10-seocnd time penalty for the unsafe release left the Finn to recover to 11th at the flag (which became 10th after Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification). And speaking after the race, Raikkonen blamed Alfa Romeo’s pit release system for the crash with Mazepin.
“The start of the race was a bit what you would expect in these conditions, with a hectic first lap and lots of things happening,” said Raikkonen.
“We looked quite okay until the penalty, which pretty much compromised our race; there was an issue with the traffic light release system and we ended up colliding with Mazepin. Up until the penalty, we were deep in the points, but making it back from the bottom was just too much.”
Kimi Räikkönen: Alfa Romeo ‘gave away’ points with Mazepin pit lane crash
Raikkonen at least fared better than team mate Antonio Giovinazzi, who also received a penalty – of the 10-second stop and go variety – having been caught speeding in the pit lane, with Giovinazzi ending up classified last of all in 14th place.
“It just wasn’t our day,” lamented the Italian. “It was a race where we had the chance to bring home a good result and we didn’t, but it is what it is. With the penalty after the restart, our race was pretty much compromised.
“It’s hard to say how much pace we really had as I spent a lot of time in traffic, but when in clean air we were pretty good so it’s disappointing not to finish in the points.”