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Valtteri Bottas has copped the wrath of both Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen, who believe that they would not have crashed at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix had the Mercedes driver not tagged the Ferrari at the first corner.

Verstappen and Raikkonen, who finished first and second respectively in last year’s Spain race, dropped out on the first lap on Sunday when they came off worse from a three-car tangle over third place at Turn One.

Raikkonen and Verstappen collided with each other and suffered what ended up being a race-stopping suspension damage.

“It’s just unfortunate,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1. “I tried around the outside and I think if Valtteri didn’t touch Kimi we would have given each other space.

“Kimi couldn’t control the car and slammed into me.”

Stewards investigated the incident, but ruled that no driver was wholly to blame. But, Raikkonen was also of the view that Bottas had triggered the chain reaction. He said that the situation meant that neither him nor Verstappen could’ve done anything to avoid it and even went as far as to say that Bottas had a good chance to avoid the collision in the first place.

“There was nothing me or Max could have done, when you get hit from behind in that way there’s no way to avoid the collision,” he said. “I’m pretty sure Valtteri had enough space.”

Bottas, who later retired with a mechanical failure on his car, also described the incident as unfortunate.

“I was inside for Turn One, Kimi came from outside and tried to overtake from there,” said the Mercedes driver.

“There was nowhere to go. It was unlucky. It was all a little too close and tight. There was no more space.”

Speaking to Sky F1, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said, “His race was pretty much gone after contact in Turn One.”

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