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Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Sunday, 25 May 2008 16:56 UK

'Sad' Sutil rues Raikkonen crash

Adrian Sutil's Force India during the Monaco Grand Prix
Sutil was on course for a career-best result until he was taken out

Force India driver Adrian Sutil refused to criticise Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen for crashing into him and costing him fourth place in the Monaco Grand Prix.

The German was set for a career-best result in Formula One's most prestigious race when he was hit by the world champion with six laps to go.

"It was a great race with an incredibly sad ending," Sutil said.

"It's incredible bad luck that Kimi crashed into me. He obviously didn't do it on purpose."

In only his second season the 25-year-old Sutil had driven an impressive race in the treacherous conditions caused by Monaco's changeable weather.

Starting 19th, his team had filled his car up to the brim with fuel, taking advantage of his lowly grid position to employ the most advantageous strategy at Monaco.

Adrian Sutil
It's just so disappointing that in my last three laps all my work was over

Adrian Sutil (above)
He moved up the field as others pitted in front of him while driving with admirable consistency and strong pace.

He was in fourth place on merit, and comfortably clear of Raikkonen, when a late safety car period closed up the field.

A lap after the re-start, Raikkonen almost lost control of his car while braking for the chicane. And as he fought to control it, the Finn cannoned into the back of the blameless Sutil.

"It's really a shame as we were really close [to the finish]," Sutil said.

"But Kimi destroyed my whole race and the best of my career and I can't really say anything about it.

"I knew that in the race we had a chance. I knew from my performance last year that I am really strong here and after the first lap in the race I knew I liked the conditions and I was catching cars.

"I took it easy, just to try not to go off or something then when I got the chance I really pushed. I did fastest laps in the race and it was great. I was really doing good.

"It's just so disappointing that in the last few laps all my work was over."

Raikkonen, who lost the lead in the world championship after his erroneous display, commented: "I am sorry for Sutil.

"I lost control of the car under braking coming out of the tunnel and I could do nothing to avoid him.

I just locked the rear brakes on the bump and you cannot really slow the car after that. There was nowhere to go, and not enough space to try and avoid him.

"Basically I just think my brakes were a bit too cold and I locked the rear.

"It was a very poor race for me, right from the off."

see also
Hamilton wins Monaco after crash
25 May 08 |  Formula One

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