Raikkonen: Both McLarens hit me

Kimi Raikkonen claimed after the Japanese Grand Prix that he was hit by both McLaren drivers in a controversial first corner incident which cost world championship leader Lewis Hamilton a drive-through penalty in Fuji on Sunday

Raikkonen: Both McLarens hit me

The Ferrari driver got a better start from the front row than poleman Hamilton but was forced to run wide by the late-braking McLaren driver, who along with his teammate Heikki Kovalainen failed to exit Turn One on-track. This allowed Robert Kubica and Fernando Alonso to sneak through ahead of all three.

Raikkonen recovered to finish third, but the Finn felt that damage sustained in the first corner incident cost him any chance of a win on Sunday.

"I got a pretty good start but then braking into Turn 1 I was trying to turn and there was first one McLaren and then a second," he said. "Both hit me and I had nowhere to go other than straight. I lost many places and had some damage on the front, I got back on circuit but was behind people.

"I was catching up and getting past some people, then at the pitstop I was behind Robert [Kubica], I was fighting against him. In the last stint I had a few tries to get past him, but always caught him in the last part of the circuit and the main straight.

"He went to the inside and I didn't have anywhere to go, we got side-by-side but I knew that if nobody lifted in Turn 3 I had no option but to run-off the circuit.

"Then my tyres started to grain a bit so I eased off. It was a bit disappointing what happened in the first corner but at least I got to the finish this time."

This was Raikkonen's first finish since the Hungarian Grand Prix five races ago, and while he was relieved to have finally registered a result, the 28-year-old clearly believed he should have achieved more in the race.

"I lost straightaway the front [after the incident], it didn't feel the same any more," he explained. "Heikki [Kovalainen] hit me harder, the front felt quite light, I didn't know I didn't ask if we had damaged something.

"It was okay, but we were missing something to not be fast enough to catch up with the cars in front. Before the second stop I got stuck behind Rubens Barrichello and lost a second. In the end it was quite a difficult race so we got third place and hopefully now we can score better from here."

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