Raikkonen rues late race mistake
|Sunday, July 21st 2002, 14:29 GMT|
Kimi Raikkonen says that losing what appeared to be a sure-fire maiden grand prix victory was "the most disappointing race of my life".
The 22-year-old Finn was just five laps from the chequered flag when he slid wide on oil dropped by Allan McNish's expiring Toyota at the Adelaide hairpin. Despite making a quick recovery after locking up and running straight on, Michael Schumacher muscled his way ahead to grab the victory and his fifth world title.
"The car was great and everything was working fine," said Raikkonen. "There was a yellow flag [for McNish's spun car] but there was no slippery surface flag. The Toyota must have blown up because there was oil. I locked a wheel, went wide and Michael went past.
"It was my mistake and it lost the race. It was the most disappointing race of my life, but that's how it goes."
His McLaren team-mate David Coulthard finished third, despite a drive-thru penalty and a problem in the late stages that caused him to back off: "I was told to short shift, so I guess I must have had an oil or fuel pressure problem."