Kimi Raikkonen believes that incidents at the start of grands prix are inevitable, even if the FIA clamps down on poor driving in Formula 1.
The 2007 World Champion's teammate Romain Grosjean was banned for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix after he triggered a huge first corner pile-up at Spa last weekend. Grosjean is the first driver to receive a ban since Jacques Villeneuve at the 1997 Japanese Grand Prix (although the Canadian raced under appeal), and the first to serve a ban for causing an accident since Mika Hakkinen in 1994. Raikkonen believes that even if the authorities start using harsher penalties to get drivers to calm down, there will still be accidents at the start of races.
"Accidents happen – that is part of the sport," Raikkonen told reporters at Monza ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. "Sometimes they could be avoided, but it is nothing you can change. Things can go wrong even if you don't go aggressively or [if you] try to avoid it."
Raikkonen added that the difficulty of overtaking in Formula 1 means that drivers will always try to make up as many places as possible at the start.
"People try to improve their position at the start because it is the easiest place to overtake," he said. "Unfortunately, in the races it is difficult to get past, so if you can get a place at the start then it will make your life easier."
The Finn has a new teammate in Jerome d'Ambrosio for this weekend, and he is confident that the changes on the other side of the Lotus garage will not have an adverse affect on the team.
"He is our test driver and he has done at least one day [in the car]," said Raikkonen. "He knows how the team works."