Raikkonen''s car hits Ferrari mechanic after tire change

4/8/2018 10:47:12 AM

SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) A Ferrari team mechanic was taken to the hospital for treatment after being struck by Kimi Raikkonen"s car after a botched tire change during the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

Raikkonen came in for his second tire change of the race after 36 of 57 laps, but the left rear tire was not secured properly. Raikkonen was given the green light to go but it was an unsafe release and, as he pulled away, his car hit one of the mechanics.

Ferrari later tweeted that the mechanic, named only as Francesco, likely sustained a ""shinbone and fibula fracture.""

Raikkonen"s car came to a halt a few meters later and he took off the steering wheel and dejectedly threw it into the cockpit. As he walked back through the team garage, the Finnish driver swiped away a water bottle in frustration.

It was an astonishing error of judgment from the Ferrari team, which had also been fined 5,000 euros ($6,140) for an unsafe pit release during practice on Friday.

Raikkonen was arguably not to blame as he only had a split-second to react to the green light following the tire change, which usually takes less than three seconds.

""I don"t see what happens,"" Raikkonen said after the race. ""My job is to go when the light is green.""

Raikkonen"s teammate Sebastian Vettel made it two straight F1 wins after victory at the season-opening Australian GP two weeks ago, sealing his 49th career win on his 200th race start.

But celebrations were muted.

""A bit sad because one of our mechanics got injured,"" Vettel said. ""A mixed day overall.""


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