Kimi: “I’ve never won in Valencia, so it’s a good target”
After a frustrating Canadian Grand Prix where grid position and traffic hampered what could have been a good result for the Finn, Kimi Räikkonen is focused on getting a strong result on the streets of Valencia.
Q: What’s your view of the Canadian Grand Prix?
KR: It wasn’t a straightforward weekend for us, even though the result was not too bad in the end. It was cold on Friday for practice and we expected rain in the afternoon, so we ran a different programme. Then in qualifying on Saturday I had a hydraulic issue with my car meaning I qualified in twelfth position. In the race, I made up some places but we could have been a few positions higher up if things had gone differently. I got stuck behind slower cars for quite a long time and unfortunately when we made the pit stop we couldn’t quite get the jump on them. It’s a shame but that’s racing.
Q: How was the car in the race?
KR: The car was much better in the race for sure. The hydraulic issue was fixed and we didn’t see a return of that problem. Also, the race was much hotter than the days before and we have seen that the E20 works better when it’s warm. We’ve seen the car go well at another different circuit which is encouraging. Let’s hope this continues for Valencia.
Q: It looked like you were stuck in traffic at times in Montréal; how frustrating was this, and was overtaking very difficult?
KR: For sure it was frustrating; I never want to be stuck behind another car! We thought it would be okay for overtaking in Canada, but it wasn’t so easy in the end. The DRS zone wasn’t very long and it didn’t last for the whole straight, so it was hard to get a good tow from the car in front. It became even more difficult when the cars in front also had DRS available because they were racing the driver ahead of them. Ultimately, if we had done better in qualifying we wouldn’t have had these problems, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
Q: Leaving Montréal, what was your overall feeling?
KR: A bit frustrated overall as I think we could have achieved more from the weekend. Still, we gained more points for the championship which is the most important thing, especially with everything so close this season.
Q: Valencia is the third street course in a row, and the fourth so far this season: How does it compare with the others?
KR: Valencia is a street circuit, but the layout is not like Albert Park, Monaco or Montréal. It’s definitely the fastest track of these four. It’s likely to be hot and we seem to go well in warm conditions so that’s what we’ll be hoping for.
Q: You seem to have suffered in qualifying for various reasons, and this is another street course where you need to qualify well…
KR: Qualifying is going to be very, very important again here. Obviously, there will be an advantage to starting on the clean side of the track as the streets are only used as a circuit once each year. It’s not an easy place to overtake and we’ll have to see how much help the DRS will be.
Q: What’s the secret to gaining a good result on the streets of Valencia?
KR: Valencia is all about being very consistent. It’s so easy to lose time with small mistakes.
Q: We’ve had seven winners from seven races so far this season; can you make it eight from eight?
KR: I love winning and that’s what I’m always trying for. I’ve never won in Valencia, so it’s a good target. Last time I raced in Valencia I finished in third after starting from sixth on the grid which was not too bad.