Belgian Grand Prix – Kimi Raikkonen’s luckless Belgian Grand Prix weekend ended early due to excessive damage from the opening lap contact.
Despite not being directly involved in the opening lap collision between Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc, the Ferrari driver was the recipient of a knock-on effect of the crash.
Alonso’s airborne McLaren struck the rear wing of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, which in turn was a factor in Ricciardo’s tangle with Raikkonen.
The impact from Alonso’s car sent the Red Bull into the rear of Raikkonen’s car, meaning the Finn suffered a right-rear puncture and was forced to pit.
Rejoining the race down the order, Raikkonen struggled for pace as a result of the damage. He pitted again in an attempt to rectify a permanently-open drag reduction system, but stopped just one lap later when the team decided to retire the heavily-damaged car.
“I don’t know what happened at the start: the only thing I know is that somebody hit me from behind and straight after that I got a puncture,” said Raikkonen.
“I had a lot of damage to the rear wing endplate and the floor; at that point I could not go fast and the DRS stayed open all the times, it was hard to remain on track.
“It was pointless to continue, the damage was too big, so we decided to go back to the garage.”
Raikkonen was competing for his sixth podium in a row, but his first retirement since the Spanish Grand Prix has resulted in him falling to 85 points away from championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
His third place position in the drivers’ championship is now under threat from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, who is just two points behind.