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Kimi Raikkonen on Malaysian GP start: 'I just don't want to be hit'

Kimi Raikkonen wants to avoid a repeat of the first-lap carnage that ended his race in Singapore as he looks to challenge Lewis Hamilton for victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen, who qualified second in Sepang, was wiped out of the Singapore Grand Prix within seconds of the start as he collided with Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel after making a lightning-fast getaway. With Vettel set to start last following his engine troubles in Q1, the Finn will line-up one place ahead of Verstappen on the Malaysia grid, but is hoping for a different outcome from the one a fortnight ago.

Kimi Raikkonen was pipped to pole position by just 0.045s in Malaysia. Sutton Images
When asked how he plans to approach the start of the race, Raikkonen replied: "I just I don't want to be hit... If you made a good start you benefit quite a bit because it's a long straight.

"The first few corners are quite tight and a lot of things can happen then. We try to make it through the first few corners and go from there. I think we have a very good race car, so we'll see."

Despite missing out on what would have been his first pole position since May's Monaco Grand Prix by just 0.045s to Hamilton, Raikkonen says he was happy with his qualifying performance.

"When you get that close it's disappointing," he explained. "You are never going to make the perfect lap but it's a bit more painful when you get so close. I made the most out of it, there are always things to improve but no lap is every 100 percent perfect anywhere.

"You can always find things to improve but I'm very happy because we've been quick all weekend. You always look for more, you always want to improve and just a bit more would have been enough."

And Raikkonen insists Vettel's hopes of pulling off a recovery drive through the field on Sunday will not impact on his own race, as he targets a third Malaysian Grand Prix win.

"It was a shame for the team what happened with Sebastian [Vettel]. They worked very hard to fix the car but he obviously had some problems. It's a shame for him, for sure he'll come back strong tomorrow.

"As a team we want to get maximum points with two cars. Obviously for Seb he can make a good recovery but it won't change my race. We want to do the fastest possible race and that won't change for tomorrow."

Author: Lewis Larkam, ESPN UK
Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/20868981/kimi-raikkonen-malaysian-gp-start-just-want-hit

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