He is not only the prelude winner of a Formula 1 season, but also a proud KTM Motocross World Championship Team Owner (ICE1Racing) – Kimi Raikkonen comes to KINI full gas at 01 May 2013 to Schlitters the Zillertal, Austria. The Finn will possibly from the huge array of unique entertainment acts and originals from various motorsport disciplines can thereby also be carried away into a smile, all for the charity Wings For Life.
Video: Kimi at the event
Between 10 and 18 clock offers Heinz Kinigadners extraordinary exhibition Motorsport Motorsport up close in the usual manner. The warm-up party on the eve of a 20 clock begins.
Also this year fulfills Motorcycle legend Heinz Kinigadner with the range of issued racers all desires. The pits in Schlitters offers enough space for noble Formula 1 racing cars, rally trucks and lightning-fast MotoGP bikes. Besides KTM prototypes and e-motorcycles, Moto 3 – and motocross bikes, originals from the Dakar Rally and Nascar series will be admired up close with the motor sports show. New in the show program is the demonstration of the former Supermoto World Champion Bernd Hiemer and its industry peers, as well as the “KTM Zero Emission Race” with the electric freeride bike and numerous Showruns.
The KINI Fullgas day is traditionally a meeting place for motor sports fans as well as for the stars of this year and as follows for the first time Formula 1 star Kimi Raikkonen Heinz Kinigadners invitation. The absolute motocross fan and championship team owner is in the Zillertal including the Austrian ski downhill “bulls” from Oeblarn, Klaus Kroell, can meet and talk not only with Felix Baumgartner and Gregor Bloéb and Tobias Moretti on the orange bikes from Mattighofen .
A dedicated stop the Zillertal railway takes visitors directly to the arena for many thousands of horsepower, engine and freestyle shows, when “Motorsport up close” as the theme and will be opened jointly with the sports-loving celebrities the season. In less than 10 minutes to get from Jenbach half hour easily and directly to the event site, from the bus stop in Mayrhofen one needs about 40 minutes.
The evening before, there is the full gas warm-up party (admission € 5) is directly at the event site and as part of the gas KINI full day in the calendar of every motorsport fans. The total proceeds from the sale and big raffle will benefit the research Wings for Life Foundation (www.wingsforlife.com).
Special for all wheelchair users: for she and a companion applicable to the entry of an € 8 and on the other they get on the podium in a state holiday event area to get a better view of the action.
| Source: yallaf1.com |
There would be ‘no bullshit’ in the Red Bull pit garage if Sebastian Vettel was to be paired in the team with friend Kimi Raikkonen in 2014.
Amid speculation Red Bull is considering the Finn as a potential replacement for Mark Webber next year, world champion Vettel suggested he would be happy with that choice.
“I don’t care who my teammate is,” German Vettel told Sport Bild. ”If you want to win, you have to beat everyone.”
“But if Kimi was my teammate: fine! We have no problem with each other and we’re mature enough to deal with it even in a difficult situation.”
“I get along well with him,” Vettel, whose tetchy relationship with Webber fell to an all-time low with the recent ‘Multi-21′ affair, continued, still referring to Raikkonen.
“He’s just very honest. There’s no bullshit with him.”
Raikkonen has also spoken glowingly of Vettel, even though he has been careful to drop no hints about his plans beyond his Lotus contract.
“We trust each other in a duel to not do anything stupid,” said the Finn. “We’re both open and honest. If we were to crash, we would probably complain about each other, but that’s just normal.”
A set of desktops from the last Grand Prix at Bahrain, enjoy!
Download more here.
The man of few words talks. The reason why he is taking Vettel in his private jet, why he doesn’t extend his contract with Lotus at the moment and why a second world championship title wouldn’t make him happier…
Q: Mr. Räikkönen, the drummer of Guns Roses told us, that you had been drinking together. Is there a little rocker inside of you?
KR: ”In general, I like music, but not such music. The guys of guns ‘n’ roses are just cool. I don’t care if they’re famous musicians or not. I just like being together with such guys.”
Q: You were flying home from China together with Sebastian Vettel. From Munich on, in your private jet. Would you do so for every driver colleague?
KR: ”No, but not everyone lives near Zurich.”
Q: It says, Vettel has no more friends in the paddock. Is that true?
KR : ”It is basically difficult to have friends inside the Formula One, but we two are. We aren’t seeing each other as often as before because Seb moved a bit wider away, but I still would call him my friend in Formula One. I know him best of all.”
Q: He (Seb) is still being critized for ignoring team-orders in Malaysia. How would you have acted if the team told you to stay behind your slower teammate?
KR: ”Always you journalists with your would-if-questions! Team-orders are a part of Formula One. Sometimes you stick to it, sometimes it doesn’t make sense. Team-orders can be that your engineer tells you to do this or that, but you wanted to do it the other way round. Then I won’t listen to my engineer and do what I want.”
Q: Just like Vettel. Afterwards he told honestly what he’s thinking about his teammate. How did you like that?
KR: ”Seb has his opinion and he told it. He is honest and open. That’s a good thing, I like that.”
Q: How did Seb change because of his three titles?
KR: ”He didn’t change. Sure thing: He’s getting older and gets to know more about the sport. But apart from that, his personality didn’t change at all. He’s still a normal, funny and nice guy.”
Q: Now you two are fighting each other for race victories and the championship. Will you remain friends?
KR: ”Yes. We trust each other, that neither of us will do something stupid in a in fight. We’re honest and open. If it comes to a crash between us, we probably will be complaining about each other (laughs). But that should be it then. Everyone has an argument sometimes, it’s just normal.”
Q: In Bahrain, he beat you. Are you still winning against Seb in Badminton?
KR: ”We haven’t played for a long time. But the last time we did, approximately three years ago, Seb lost, that’s right.”
Q: Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez is assuming that you are staying with Lotus.
KR: ”It can be that he wants me to stay. In fact, I haven’t got a contract for next season yet. But things in Formula one can turn around fast. Honestly: I just don’t know what I will be doing next year yet. Ask me again in six months.”
Q: You told the Bild newspaper that you want to return to a top team. At RedBull Racing, Mark Webber’s spot will likely be available. And Dietrich Mateschitz wants you.
KR: ”I don’t know what you want from me! Here at Lotus, we are winning races. That’s enough. It doesn’t matter that we are spending less money than the other top teams here at Lotus as long as I am winning. But once again: I don’t know what happens next year. For now, I am trying to get the maximum out of the season. Then I will make the right decision for me. I am not wasting my thoughts on the future. And I’m not worried about finding a seat. I can live without Formula One, too.”
Q: Then why are you sitting here with us and doing an interview?
KR: ”Because Formula One is motorsport on the highest level. And according to that, there will always be days like this, when I have to do a lot of boring interviews.”
Q: Currently, you’re 2nd in the championship. Are you able to win the title against Sebastian Vettel?
KR: ”It’s true: At the moment we’re doing pretty well pretty often. But that doesn’t guarantee the championship. The second place in Bahrain was good, but it doesn’t help when Seb keeps winning all of the time. We have to find something else.”
Q: What would a second World Championship title mean to you?
KR: ”A second title would be nice, but it wouldn’t make me happier. The most important thing is to be satisfied with yourself.”
Q: What is so special about your right foot that your tires last longer?
KR: ”It isn’t just my foot. It’s a combination of the driver and the car. My Lotus is gentle with the tyres and that makes it easier for me.”
Q: It seems that you’re happier at Lotus than that Ferrari or Mclaren.
KR: ”No you can’t say that. A team from Italy is complete different to one from England. I had a good time everywhere.”
Q: You aren’t showing that at all. Are you going to laugh in the basement? (German proverb, I don’t know how to translate it properly. It means, that you won’t show your humoristic side to all people)
KR: ”I don’t show the real me in Formula One. Most of the people are behaving differently at work and in private.”
Q: While listening to your team radio, one could get the opinion that you aren’t getting along well with your engineer…..
KR: ”Yes, but you can only listen to a small piece of it. Of course, we have different opinions at some times. It seems that i’m yelling at him all the time, but that comes with the loudness. Inside the car it’s terribly loud.”
Q: You are a big James Hunt Fan. Are you going to watch the new movie about him and Niki Lauda?
KR: ”Yes, I will. In these times, Formula One was just pure racing. Motorsport how it should be. Not so much talking about it. I like that.”
Kimi Raikkonen will squeeze in a rally in between the Spanish and Monaco grands prix next month – but sadly he won’t be competing. Or will he?
The 2007 Formula One World Champion – who competed full-time in the WRC from 2010-2011 – will be attending the start of the 15th anniversary Gumball Rally, which starts from Copenhagen on May 18th. After that, we’ll have to wait and see.
The Gumball Rally isn’t quite rallying as we know it: instead it’s all about a load of supercars driving around Europe – a bit like the Carrera Panamericana, but with better parties. As one team’s motto puts it: “we don’t drive fast, we fly low.” But as it’s all on public roads, officially there is no competitive element.
And while Kimi isn’t taking part, he has some very good friends who are: car number 34’s team description is simply: “four crazy Finns.” The Finns in question are the ‘Dudeson brothers’: four Finnish stuntmen with their own TV show, which is broadly the equivalent of Jackass.
The first stage is from Copenhagen to Stockholm, followed by a stage from Stockholm to Helsinki – and rumours keep persisting that car 34 might have an unscheduled guest driver on the opening leg…
Other confirmed drivers for the Gumball include the legend that is David Hasselhoff and a car crewed by members of the band Cypress Hill, as well as professional skier Jon Olsson.
The Gumball 3000 finishes in Monaco, after going via St Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga, Warsaw and Vienna.
In the Gumball Rally entry grid list, we see Team 34 with the description “4 crazy Fins.” The car shown is a BMW but according to this link, Kimi will be driving a special 1967 Shelby G.T.500. The Dudesons are Team 06.
Can’t wait to like up on the start grid in Copenhagen next to
@Kimi_Raikkonen #gumball3000 @bavmajithia @MRGUMBALL3000 @gumball3000
Last year Kimi Räikkönen came 3rd in the WDC-serie and Lotus came 4th in the WC-serie. Immediately after that Lopez said that the goal is to do even better in 2013.
Lopez leaned on Lotus-premise’s wall in his laidback style shining with satisfaction after Bahrain GP.
“I’m now even happier than I was a year ago here when the endresult was exactly the same. We have now proved that we have a strong car for every track. I strongly believe that we can renew these positions in the future also with performances of the same level,” Lopez smiled to Turun Sanomat.
“Kimi is – as usual – a fantastic racing driver in every race and for Romain Grosjean the 3rd position was an even bigger victory.”
“Kimi also had a difficult weekend. I rank him really high also in the sense of how he always bounces back in races after difficulties. Kimi is an unbelievable driver, he is equally good every weekend and it’s guaranteed that he is in stitch in every race – despite his starting positions,” Lopez praised.
What kind of chances do Räikkönen and Lotus have in challenging Vettel and Red Bull for the championship?
“I believe they are good. It’s up to us to give Kimi the best chances. As long as the car is the way he wants every weekend his chances to drive for victory are good.”
“We all know that in order for Kimi to win Vettel he needs races where he can score more points than him. It’s a tough challenge but we are up for it and hopefully we get help from above in the form of hot weathers, since they suit our car so well,” Lopez said.
Kimi speaks up in drivers’ meeting about Perez
| Source: Heikki Kulta’s Blog from Bahrain |
Lotus-team’s radio traffic in Bahrain GP was very two-folded. You could hear blabbering in the radio all the time from car number 8, whereas they could have played the song ‘Sound of silence’ in car number 7′s radio.
Romain Grosjean was extremely nervous in the cockpit. The endresult rewarded the man’s spectacular battle – and hopefully brings back some patience in his mind.
Kimi Räikkönen’s performance compensated once again for everything that has been said. When they put new tires in Kimi’s car, Kimi snapped after getting back to the track that it’s sliding a bit – and banged at once the fastest lap so far in the race.
The weekend as a whole was just as difficult for Räikkönen as China was. Now the car wasn’t damaged but the quali-speed disappeared and on the racing day he got an annoying allergic reaction which fortunately didn’t disturb his actual race performance.
Räikkönen clashed with Sergio Perez in China. It bugged the Finn so much that Räikkönen talked for the first time during his whole F1-career in Bahrain’s driver-meeting .
Räikkönen asked Charlie Whiting if a penalty would be handed for the crash. Based upon what I heard, three drivers were of the opinion that Perez should be penalized, but the rest were silent. Whiting replied that the jury did the right thing in China when they didn’t hand out penalties for that incident.
That’s that then – and I’m sure that the silence will continue in the following races also. Räikkönen can now focus on what he does best – drive for the championship with his killing consistency, which so far has produced 21 races with scored points in a row and four podiums from the last seven races.
| Source: autosport.com |
Lotus believes that unlocking a better understanding of Pirelli’s medium compound tyre is key to helping Kimi Raikkonen deliver the grid positions he needs to win more races and maintain his title shot.
The Finn is just 10 points adrift of leader Sebastian Vettel in the 2013 Formula 1 standings, but his chances of building on his Australian Grand Prix victory have been compromised by not starting near enough to the front of the grid.
The only race where he has been able to produce a front row performance was in China, and his race chances there were badly hit by a slow getaway.
Lotus team principal Eric Boullier thinks his team’s situation is different to the difficulties it faced with the tyres at times last year, as the qualifying issues this season are more specifically related to one type of tyre.
“It is more a balance issue when we go to the medium tyre,” Boullier told AUTOSPORT.
“In China, that problem did not help our drivers deliver, and the car was difficult to drive.
“So we need to maybe pay more attention to what the medium tyres are doing and know better how to handle them in both cool conditions and hot.”
The medium compound was the qualifying tyre of choice in both Malaysia and Bahrain, whereas the super-soft was best in Australia and the soft in China.
Boullier believes the fact that Lotus made progress with its general qualifying issues last year – and delivered on the soft tyre in China – gives him cause for optimism over its medium compound troubles.
“We know we can do it,” he said. “It is just a matter of doing it regularly.
“We are definitely in a stronger position than last year. We have built up from 2012, plus we have some stability with the drivers.
“So it is clear we can be stronger than last year.”
Pirelli has used all of its four compounds in the first four races of the year, but it is clear that Kimi Raikkonen has performed better at the events where the medium tyre has not been crucial to qualifying.
Sky Sports F1 aired this feature during the Bahrain GP weekend, where they go behind the scenes with the legendary team’s members and drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean:
| Source: yallaf1.com |
In the end he finished second, but Kimi Raikkonen was almost not well enough to start Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Finnish sources MTV3 and Turun Sanomat report that the Lotus driver was late for the pre-race driver parade because he was suffering from an allergic reaction.
“He gets it 3 or 4 times a year,” the 2007 world champion’s trainer Mark Arnall admitted.
“We have no idea where it came from just before the race, but it affects mainly his skin, and not so much his eyes.”
Arnall said Raikkonen was treated with antihistamines.
Lotus engineer Alan Permane said: “Considering he (Raikkonen) was suffering before he started the race, it was a very impressive performance indeed.”
| Source: lotusf1team.com |
Four races, three podiums and some classy drives for the Iceman so far in 2013. As always though, he’s wanting more…
Q: After a difficult day yesterday, are you satisfied with today’s result?
KR: You’re never really happy if you don’t win, but I suppose second place is as close as you can get. We could maybe have been a few places higher in in qualifying which would have made things easier, but I drove to the maximum and luckily we found the pace in the car that was missing yesterday. We didn’t have the speed to challenge Sebastian [Vettel] today, but we did have the pace to get both cars on the podium so I’m happy for the team.
Q: After a tough start, did you believe this result was on the cards?
KR: I got off the line ok but then got a bit caught in the traffic so it wasn’t an easy start for sure. After the first stop I thought we had a good chance to make the podium, but we were on a different strategy to most of the others so it was difficult to tell where we were. In the end it worked out pretty well.
Q: There seemed to be a bit of contention over your first stop…
KR: We stopped pretty early the first time and you don’t want to run a set of tyres too long as you then have to look after them a bit more and they start to get more tricky with every lap. It was a bit of a change from our initial plan but that’s pretty normal and I wasn’t worried; our tyre wear was never a problem and they still felt fine at the end.
Q: Yourself and the team currently occupy P2 in both Championships; are you pleased with how things are going?
KR: For sure it’s an ok start and we’re in a better position that this time last year, but there’s a long season ahead and it’s too early to say if we can fight for the Championship right to the end. It’s going to be hard to catch Sebastian [Vettel] if he keeps taking good results so we need to start taking more points from him, but you never know what can happen. We’ll keep pushing to improve the car and see where we end up.
| Source: autosport.com |
PODIUM INTERVIEWS (Conducted by David Coulthard)
It was a great race. If I could come to our second-placed finisher here: they call him the Iceman but they should really call you Mr Consistency. Another podium. Tell us about your strategy today. On reflection do you think that was the right one? Was second place the best you could hope for?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, I think yesterday wasn’t ideal. We planned to… I wanted to already, Friday, try to do a two-stop because it felt OK and today it worked well so we gained a lot of places. I didn’t have a very strong first or second lap, so I lost two places. After that the car started to come to me and I could start pushing more and more, and in the end it was OK.
Q: Speaking of strategy, Kimi, you said you wanted to make a two-stop strategy work. You felt that was the right way forward. But did you need to be five, six places further up on the grid? Was it qualifying that cost you a chance of the win today?
KR: I think it didn’t help but I think overall we would not have had the speed for beating Red Bull in here this weekend. And even if yesterday we could have been a few places better but still we couldn’t have challenged on speed whatever we would have done to the front. So, I mean, I don’t think on the speedwise we could really have challenged for the win. But I would say then second was the best that we could achieve and also third for the team so a good result.
Press Conference - QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Kimi, you have been on the podium six times here in Bahrain; which has been the best of these six races?
KR: I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter. Second is obviously better than third place but we haven’t won and that’s what we try to do. Today we got good points, we didn’t lose too many to Sebastian but obviously it doesn’t help to finish second if he’s winning all the time. So we try to find something but all of them have been improved, in a way.
Q: Kimi, how much different is it to seven, maybe eight years ago?
KR: First of all, I don’t think Pirelli could please everybody, whatever they would do. There’s always somebody who will complain, even if they changed and made them happy then I’m sure there will be people who want something different and not happy so I don’t think it’s their job to try to always change things if somebody’s complaining or doesn’t like it. Even in the past, if we would have put the same amount of fuel in the cars, we couldn’t have run at full speed all the time, because the tyres would have gone off so I don’t really think it’s all that different now. We just made more stops and ran less fuel in those days. I would say that’s really the biggest difference. I’m sure the tyres wouldn’t have lasted long in those days.
Sebastian Vettel breezed to his second victory of the 2013 Formula 1 season in the Bahrain Grand Prix. The world champion thrust his Red Bull to the front amid spectacular early dicing, then left the action behind. In a repeat of the 2012 Sakhir podium, Lotus duo Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean made it through the field to second and third, the latter denying Paul di Resta a maiden F1 podium with just six laps to go.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 57 laps 2. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 9.1s 3. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 19.5s 4. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 21.7s 5. Hamilton Mercedes + 35.2s 6. Perez McLaren-Mercedes + 35.9s 7. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 37.2s 8. Alonso Ferrari + 37.5s 9. Rosberg Mercedes + 41.1s 10. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 46.6s 11. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 1m06.4s 12. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari + 1m12.9s 13. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1m16.7s 14. Bottas Williams-Renault + 1m21.5s 15. Massa Ferrari + 1m26.3s 16. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 17. Pic Caterham-Renault + 1 lap 18. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 19. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 20. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 21. van der Garde Caterham-Renault + 2 laps Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 16 Fastest lap: Vettel, 1m36.961s World Championship standings, round 4: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 77 1. Red Bull-Renault 109 2. Raikkonen 67 2. Lotus-Renault 93 3. Hamilton 50 3. Ferrari 77 4. Alonso 47 4. Mercedes 64 5. Webber 32 5. Force India-Mercedes 26 6. Massa 30 6. McLaren-Mercedes 23 7. Grosjean 26 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 7 8. Di Resta 20 8. Sauber-Ferrari 5 9. Rosberg 14 10. Button 13 11. Perez 10 12. Ricciardo 6 13. Sutil 6 14. Hulkenberg 5 15. Vergne 1
News & Quotes:
“I think overall we did not have the speed to beat Red Bull this weekend. Yesterday we could have been a few places higher but we could not have challenged their speed at the front. So it was a good result. Today we got good points and didn’t lose too many to Seb. Yesterday wasn’t ideal, but we already planned on Friday to try to do two stops because it felt OK. Today it worked well. We gained a lot of places. I didn’t have a great start or first or second lap. But after that, the car started to come to me and I could start pushing more and more.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 2nd: “You’re never really happy if you don’t win, but I suppose second place is as close as you can get. I drove to the maximum and the car had the pace that we missed in qualifying yesterday so it was a pretty good result. We didn’t have the speed to challenge Sebastian [Vettel] today but we did have the pace to get both cars on the podium so I’m happy for the team.”
Romain Grosjean – 3rd: “It’s great to be back on the podium and it’s a fantastic result for the team. It hasn’t been an easy start to the season for me, but we made good progress through the weekend and are now back to where we should be. I felt much more comfortable in the car and the result today is a deserved reward for everyone after all our hard work. It was a really enjoyable race with a lot of overtaking and a couple of tense moments along the way, so to come from P11 through to the podium is really satisfying. We’ve had consistency already, finishing every race in the points, but now it’s the big results we’re chasing and this is a very good start to that challenge.”
Eric Boullier, team principal: “Here we are again, just like in 2012! This time around though it was much more difficult – especially after a qualifying performance which fell below our expectations – but we’ve shown flashes of pace throughout the weekend and confirmed that speed when it mattered today. The win was not quite within our reach after the start we made, but to come away with a double podium when the top six would maybe have been a more realistic pre-race target was a great performance from everybody involved. I’m delighted for the whole team here in Bahrain and back at Enstone; it’s a well-deserved result.”
Alan Permane, trackside operations director: “Both drivers did a fantastic job today. We know our car is kind on tyres so we were able to play to those strengths and rectify the disappointment of qualifying yesterday. We chose an aggressive strategy with Romain, opting for a three-stop race from eleventh on the grid, and it worked perfectly. He was able to drive aggressively when asked and conserve his tyres when needed, so we are very happy as he delivered everything we wanted from him. With Kimi we used a two-stop strategy and relied on our long run pace. Considering he was suffering from an allergic reaction before he started the race it’s a very impressive performance indeed.”
Video: Team radios, Sky Sports interview
With less than a second covering the top twelve drivers in this morning’s practice session, qualifying looks set to be tighter than ever…
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m33.247s 12 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m33.348s + 0.101s 15 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m33.380s + 0.133s 19 4. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m33.446s + 0.199s 21 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m33.455s + 0.208s 19 6. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m33.464s + 0.217s 19 7. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m33.596s + 0.349s 17 8. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m33.700s + 0.453s 15 9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m33.764s + 0.517s 19 10. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m33.922s + 0.675s 17 11. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m33.949s + 0.702s 20 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m34.117s + 0.870s 17 13. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m34.282s + 1.035s 18 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m34.577s + 1.330s 16 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m34.611s + 1.364s 17 16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m34.678s + 1.431s 16 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m34.833s + 1.586s 17 18. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m35.816s + 2.569s 16 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m36.731s + 3.484s 17 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m36.939s + 3.692s 16 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m37.630s + 4.383s 7 22. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.592s + 6.345s 28
| Source: formula1.com |
Q: Eric, Kimi proved again today that he is worth every penny. So how are you going to keep him in the future if, as has been rumoured, he’s now on Red Bull’s radar?
Eric Boullier: It is not the question of how I am going to keep him – it is a question of does he want to stay? This is really the question. I am sure he is on the radar of a number of teams. One thing is clear: Kimi is not back in Formula One because he needs money – he is here because he wants to win races. Moreover he wants to win races in the conditions he likes. Maybe Mr Mateschitz is dreaming of getting him on board – and maybe he will get him on board – but in the end it is Kimi who will decide what he wants to do. At Lotus he’s got a team around him, he’s got what he likes in F1 – and he’s got a car that is capable of winning. So why should he want to race against Vettel at Red Bull Racing?
Q: What would happen if Kimi went to race with Sebastian in one team? How would you picture that going?
EB: I think that one of them would not be happy.
Q: Any guess who that would be?
EB: Well, from what I understand from Red Bull Racing, maybe Kimi.
Q: There have been rumours that Mark Webber could make a switch somewhere else midseason. Could you imagine a driver swap?
EB: No, that is not a plan. My whole focus is to give the drivers everything – particularly Kimi – to make sure that we can fight for the world championship. Kimi has proven in the past that he can pull it off – he finished third in the standings last year, despite a two-year absence – and he is in fantastic shape this season. He is a fantastic racer, a great driver and an excellent finisher. (more…)
| Source: lotusf1team.com |
Topping the times on day one here at Bahrain International Circuit, Kimi is pleased with his day’s work, but knows there is still plenty of work to do…
Q: You’ve ended the day top of the times; does that send out a message to the competition?
KR: It’s nice to be fastest but you never know what the others are doing; we just stick to our programme and don’t take too much notice of what else is happening. I actually made a mistake through the final corners on my fastest lap, so there’s still more time to be found.
Q: How are you feeling with the car so far this weekend?
KR: It wasn’t a bad start today; things aren’t exactly where we want them and there’s always improvements you can make, but we’re reasonably fast. It’s tricky to get the setup right here and the wind can make a big difference; it might work for you one way but make things more tricky the other. It’s all in the small details; if you get it right or wrong you might see a second per lap difference either way and things can change very quickly. We tried a few new things and they seem to be working ok so we’ll see how that develops over the weekend.
Q: You’ve had some great results from slightly more modest grid positions; how important is qualifying here?
KR: It’s the same as always; you want to be as close to the front as possible. The fewer cars there are in front of you the less chance you have of getting caught in traffic which helps you stay with the leaders and also save your tyres. Of course it’s possible to get good results from further back, but a strong qualifying and clean start make things a lot easier.
Q: China produced your best qualifying result for the team; can you match that here?
KR: You never know on Friday if you’ll be fast enough to fight for pole and there’s no point comparing one race to another; it’s a different track and different conditions so we just have to take one weekend at a time. Tomorrow is a new day, we still have one more practice session before qualifying and things can change very quickly. We should be ok but you never know. Let’s see what we can do from here.
Video: Sky Sports interview
Q: We have a debate in Formula One, as F1 fans, what’s more important: good car or a good driver. At the moment you’ve got a good car and in Kimi Räikkönen a very good driver – how important is Kimi Räikkönen to the long-term success of the Lotus team?
EB: I think he’s part of the success, or sort of success, that we’ve had since a couple of years, or let’s say at least last year. It’s true that Kimi does help the team stepping up but behind Kimi there are a lot of people – and good people – working hard and actually working well. I think as usual it’s to get the full package really working all together. Then you can see some results.
Kimi Raikkonen edged out the Red Bulls for the fastest time in second Friday practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir.
Raikkonen’s pacesetting lap of 1m34.154s in his Lotus came just after the halfway point.
It could have been faster still, as the Finn ran wide at the final corner on the way to the flag. Yet even with that slip, Raikkonen’s pace was sufficient to edge him 0.030 seconds of Mark Webber, who had been in front for the preceding 20 minutes.
Raikkonen then set an encouraging pace on his later long run, although he was keen to come in earlier than Lotus wanted him to as his tyres faded.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m34.154s 31 2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m34.184s + 0.030s 26 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m34.282s + 0.128s 29 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m34.310s + 0.156s 28 5. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m34.543s + 0.389s 35 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m34.552s + 0.398s 34 7. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m34.631s + 0.477s 33 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m34.666s + 0.512s 37 9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m34.932s + 0.778s 33 10. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.976s + 0.822s 29 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.356s + 1.202s 32 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m35.506s + 1.352s 36 13. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.5$9s + 1.435s 36 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m35.761s + 1.607s 33 15. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.133s + 1.979s 36 16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m36.279s + 2.125s 33 17. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m36.579s + 2.425s 28 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.616s + 2.462s 34 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m37.061s + 2.907s 32 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m37.313s + 3.159s 33 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m37.363s + 3.209s 29 22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m37.970s + 3.816s 34
Kimi Raikkonen – 9th/1st: “It’s nice to be fastest but you never know what the others are doing; we just stick to our programme and don’t take too much notice of what else is happening. I actually made a mistake through the final corners on my fastest lap, so there’s still more time to be found. It’s tricky to get the setup right here and the wind can make a big difference; it might work for you one way but make things more tricky the other. It wasn’t a bad start today; things aren’t exactly where we want them but we’re reasonably fast, so let’s see what we can do from here.”
Romain Grosjean – 10th/7th: “The new chassis feels good. Today we’ve been working on getting the right correlation between chassis, setup and tyres to extract everything we want from it. It’s easy to know what you want, the difficult bit is getting the little details sorted, but we’re getting there and it’s been a positive day. We’ve seen that Kimi was fastest today so that gives us a great target for tomorrow.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It was a fairly standard Friday for us, which is a nice way to start the weekend. We looked at setup work in the morning before moving to longer runs, higher fuel race pace and degradation analysis on both tyre compounds in the afternoon, with no problems or interruptions to the programme. We were able to push both allocated compounds of tyres pretty well in the hot conditions today and generally the cars are well balanced. Romain’s running a new chassis and overall is happy with the car so we’re looking forward to an exciting qualifying session tomorrow.”
Video: Slow motion
Setup tweaks, upgrade analysis and rafts of data logging dominated the opening session for Kimi & Romain here in Bahrain. P9 / P10 was the result; here’s how it happened…
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m34.487s 11 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m34.564s + 0.077s 19 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m34.621s + 0.134s 22 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m34.790s + 0.303s 20 5. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m34.949s + 0.462s 17 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.069s + 0.582s 22 7. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m35.101s + 0.614s 19 8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m35.119s + 0.632s 19 9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m35.345s + 0.858s 17 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m35.611s + 1.124s 14 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.640s + 1.153s 23 12. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m35.783s + 1.296s 16 13. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m35.792s + 1.305s 16 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m36.014s + 1.527s 19 15. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m36.485s + 1.998s 20 16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m36.498s + 2.011s 17 17. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.755s + 2.268s 20 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.214s + 2.727s 21 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m37.850s + 3.363s 20 20. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m38.401s + 3.914s 20 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m39.445s + 4.958s 12 22. Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1m40.215s + 5.728s 7
Asked if money will factor into Raikkonen’s decision, Boullier said: “Kimi doesn’t race for the money.
“For him it’s very important that he feels at home and has the freedom to be who he is. So I really see no reason why he should leave. I don’t know if other teams would treat him as well as we do. We can definitely afford him,” he insisted.
“We have more money than last year,” added Boullier.
| Source: autosport.com |
Kimi Raikkonen sees no reason for Pirelli to rethink its approach to Formula 1 tyres, as he dismissed the criticism the Italian firm has received following the degradation issues that characterised the opening rounds of the 2013 season.
Red Bull had already been pushing Pirelli to change its compounds even before a Chinese Grand Prix weekend in which the soft tyre proved particularly short-lasting. Leading drivers have also complained that having to conserve tyres is stifling them and forcing them to allow rivals past without a fight.
But Raikkonen, who won the Australian Grand Prix by making two tyre stops compared to his main rivals’ three, does not think 2013 is that different to any other season for tyre management.
The Finn is adamant the onus is on teams to adapt rather than pushing for rule changes.
“I don’t think the racing at the front is any different to what it has been in the past,” he said.
“F1 hasn’t really changed a lot in the 10-odd years that I’ve been here.
“Of course some years you’ve been able to go faster but then you do more stops, and shorter runs with less fuel.
“In those years if you’d put 50 kilos more fuel in you’d have had to look after the tyres. It hasn’t really changed.
“Sometimes now you have to look after the tyres, but if you did six stops you wouldn’t have to look after your tyres.
“It’s your option. Whatever is the fastest way for you to do the race, you try to do it.”
Raikkonen thinks Pirelli as in a no-win situation and would be criticised whatever approach it took.
“You can never please everybody so for Pirelli it’s not an easy job,” he said.
“Whatever they do, there will be teams, drivers and people who will not be happy.
“In the past we had different tyres but some teams were not as happy with those tyres as other teams were.
“Sometimes you have some issues and you pay the price for it. But that’s OK because otherwise it would be easy.”
“In some ways yes [I have a better chance] because we started better. I know the team and I kind of know what to expect and what’s going to come.
“I think we did pretty OK last year so hopefully we can do a bit better this year but obviously it’s a long season and we have some bad races and we might be out. So when we have a bad race we have to try to minimise those and make the most out of it.”
Fernando Alonso says Kimi Raikkonen has had a strong start to the season with Lotus.
Alonso, who trails Raikkonen by six points after three races, said: “Kimi is having a fantastic start to the season and driving maybe better than anyone.”
Sebastian Vettel leads the drivers’ championship at the moment but Alonso believes “championship positions are not really important” at this stage.
“But at the same time, it’s not a big surprise to see Lewis where he is,” said Alonso. “He is one of the best drivers on the grid right now and last year he put McLaren in a competitive position and this year he is doing it with Mercedes.”
| Source: lotusf1team.com |
After taking his second podium finish of the year in China our Iceman heads to the desert heat of Bahrain cool, calm and collected…
Q: You must be in good spirits following your podium in Shanghai?
KR: It was a pretty okay weekend, but it wasn’t the win and it’s still early in the season so we’re not celebrating too much yet.
Q: What are your thoughts on the next race in Bahrain?
KR: Obviously, it was a good race for us as a team last year. It was my first podium for Enstone, and we had a good fight all the way. We took a gamble during qualifying, and it didn’t work out well for us. This meant we missed out on the top ten, but we managed to use our tyres pretty well in the race and we ended up fighting for the top step of the podium, which is always a good thing.
Q: You fought for the win with Sebastian Vettel last year; with the benefit of retrospect, was there anything different you could have done to get past him?
KR: I could have tried to overtake him on the other side! I only had one shot and I picked the wrong side. After that I was unable to fight back and second was still a pretty good result, but it’s always better to finish on the top step of the podium.
Q: How do you rate the Sakir circuit?
KR: I like it. I’ve had some nice races there and picked up some good points although I’ve never won. It’s a little bit different from others we visit and it’s quite nice to be out there in the sand! Wherever you look around the track you can just see sand in the distance and you notice it in the paddock too. It’s a circuit where I’ve never won before, so maybe this year I’ll change that.
Q: How difficult is it to get the car as you want it in Bahrain?
KR: It is not easy to find a good set-up as you do experience the track surface changing over the weekend and sometimes the wind can affect the balance of the car too. It’s one of the more tricky places to get the car exactly right, but at least you don’t often have to worry about rain!
Q: Is there potential for another good result?
KR: Apart from Malaysia we’ve had good races this year, but that said there have only been three races so it’s too early to say anything. Just because we had a good result there last year, it doesn’t mean Bahrain will be good for us again this year. We have to try and do the best we can in every race and try to score some points to keep us in the fight. If everything goes our way, it will be a good result again. However, it is useless to promise anything beforehand. This is motor racing and whatever can happen, will happen.
Q: How was it to get second place in China?
KR: Second wasn’t quite what we wanted, but in the circumstances it was the best that we could manage. I wasn’t 100% happy because we didn’t win, but it is what it is and second place was a good result after a bad start and the incident with Sergio [Perez].
Q: Do you think you will start modifying the bodywork of your car in the future?
KR: It’s unfortunate when a slower car gets in your way like that and you never know if it could happen again. Obviously the car is not designed like that otherwise we would use it all the time, but I was surprised how good it was still. Obviously we had some trouble with understeer and some other handling issues, but we had to try to live with that and the pace was still pretty okay.
Q: Tyres seem to be quite a talking point again; what does Kimi Räikkönen think?
KR: I think you can push on these tyres, but it’s never perfect. You cannot always push 100%. I think they are very good in qualifying and have good grip, so it’s up to you and you have to look after them a bit more in the race. It’s not really any different from last year – at least for us anyway – so I don’t really understand why people are complaining.
Boullier: Kimi one of most ‘gifted’ drivers around
| Source: f1zone.net |
Team principal Eric Boullier defended Grosjean’s start to the season, citing comparisons with the ‘gifted’ Kimi Raikkonen.
“Romain faces the very tough challenge of driving the same car as one of the most gifted driver around in Kimi; a driver with tremendous experience who returned to the sport last year and was very good straight away,” he said.
“Kimi’s been excellent from the start of 2013. He gives everything you want from a driver at every moment on track. This will be frustrating for Romain at times as it’s very, very difficult to beat the Kimi who arrives at the track this season, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity as he’s learning from the very best. If he can learn these lessons whilst bringing home points for the team, then he’s doing the job we want from him.”
| Source: kimiraikkonen.com |
Every point counts
I’m a racing driver, and being one, I always want to win. When we talk about the races in China last week and in Bahrain last year, well, obviously, we finished second in both occasions. So something was missed, but, to be honest, I can live with that.
We have a competitive car. But it’s not easy to get everything right with it in the set-ups. While it works, it is ok. So we got it going ok in China, and hopefully we manage to get it good in Bahrain, too.
This is a very tight championship. Every point counts. For sure, there will be more not that good weekends like we had in Malaysia, so it’s important to minimize the losses then, likewise to maximize the result, while the car is going well.
The race at Shanghai started badly, then I know now, how it felt going close range to McLaren. We lost some parts of the nose, but, surprisingly, not that much the speed after all.
To finish second was propably the best possible result with all the happenings we experienced, but still I was not that happy, while I knew, we could have fought stronger for P1 as well.
After the race I went back home, rested a little bit and recharge the batteries to keep on fighting in Bahrain this weekend. I have some very good memories from there, but, unfortunately, some not that good, too. Last year we gambled on qualifying, but didn’t loose the chance to fight for the victory.
Obviously, it doesn’t help a single bit this time, how we did last year. It¹s a brand new ball game every time were start a new race weekend. We expect to be competitive, but we have to wait until Friday morning, to learn, how the car goes in Sakhir circuit this time.