“Tried to Play Games” – Kimi Raikkonen Reacts to Near Miss With Sainz in F1 Testing

March 15, 2021 1:24 pm

Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen has been known to be an ice-cool operator on the track during his F1 career. But, on the final day of pre-season testing on March 14, he was involved in a tense and fiery incident with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

This happened towards the end of the pre-season regimen. The Spanish driver pulled himself parallel to Raikkonen at Turn 10 of the Bahrain International Circuit. This resulted in them having a close shave and fortunately, they only ran off the track limits.

After they pulled onto the track, the Spaniard again showed aggression as he stuck himself dangerously close to Raikkonen’s rear.

Kimi Raikkonen feels Sainz was trying to lay a marker early on in the Ferrari

In an interview after the end of testing, Kimi Raikkonen was nonplussed over the close shave. He said, “I don’t think we touched, I don’t know. I had zero idea that he was there and I saw it at the last minute, I pulled right.”

He also said, “I don’t know, I guess he was pissed off and tried to play games but anyway. I doubt we even touched, I didn’t feel it.”

In the same interview, the Finn also gave his verdict on Alfa Romeo’s C41 and thought it was a definite improvement on the 2020 car. He said, “Obviously it’s only testing, you never know what the others are doing but initial feeling, it was better than what it was last year.

“More fast against others than we were at the end of the year but like I said it’s testing. The feeling with the car is a bit better. We’ll see in a few weeks’ time where we will end up.”

Alfa Romeo’s preseason performance

The Alfa Romeo C41 saw a very good run over three days of testing. Their car proved to be very reliable and clocked in the joint-most laps along with AlphaTauri.

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – Kimi Raikkonen speaks on stage at the Richard Mille – RM 50-04 Kimi Raikkonen in Singapore. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images for Richard Mille)

The car seems like it’s gotten a better handle around corners and has been competitive with the rest of the field. This will also come as good news over at Maranello. Ferrari have looked to redress the problems that plagued them last season.

It’s only testing but, the early signs are that the Ferrari-powered teams will be much more competitive in 2021 than in 2020.

Ashish Thomas

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided. His passion for the sport ignited after watching Michael Schumacher near the end of his prime in the 2005 season. Since then, he has been a self-proclaimed Tifosi of Ferrari. He expects Charles Leclerc to be multiple-time world champion with Ferrari and thinks the Monesgasque has certain aspects of Schumi in him.

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