Just ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Kimi was dragged into a lengthy (by Kimi standards) interview by F1.com! And a good one:
Q: Kimi, Ferrari has changed significantly since 2014. What is the biggest change?
Kimi Raikkonen: I think the team is working well together now. Some people have left and there is a new team boss and now the atmosphere and the way people are working together is much better.
Q: Ferrari’s performance is clearly running north, but at the moment you seem to be mainly fighting for P3 in races. When will that change?
KR: I expect us to get stronger in the course of the season. Yes, we are not happy about where we are right now as we want to challenge for wins, but we have to be realistic when looking of where we finished last year. We have made a good step forward and now as a team are we have to work in the same direction – then I am sure that we get where we want to be. Hopefully in the near future?
Q: Will you still be in F1 racing when Ferrari return to being the benchmark? Your contract runs out at the end of the season…
KR: That is up to the team to decide. They have an option on my services – so go and ask them!
Q: But you also have to like it, don’t you?
KR: (laughs) I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t like it!
Q: What’s still motivates Kimi Raikkonen, the driver? When you took your rallying sabbatical you were through with F1 racing…
KR: Things can change! I want to do well here. That is the main reason why I am still around.
Q: In Malaysia Ferrari caught Mercedes out with a smarter strategy. Will that prove to be your main weapon against them or can you close the gap?
KR: A smart strategy can help, of course. You can gain or lose positions depending on your strategy – but it is not our aim to do it that way. We want to improve our situation as a whole: improve our speed to challenge Mercedes in every single race. Right now we are pretty close to them in the race – not in qualifying, but in the race. We know now where we have to improve and we are working on that.
KR: No different to any other team mate!
Q: The two of you together in the same team – that sounded like a match made in heaven. Is that how it is in reality?
KR: I think we are a good pair – leave heaven out of it! (laughs) We can talk things over, and that is a lot. We both want to put the team in a position to improve.
Q: Is your situation, working together in the same team, helping you to bond more privately?
KR: Not really, no more than before. We just work in the same team – and it is easy together. We talk easily together.
Q: Does it help that neither of you is overly political?
KR: I would say so, yes. The good thing is that if there is something (that comes up) we can talk to each other – we can talk to each other directly and not have to use mediators. But we don’t have any issues and I don’t expect us to have issues. But who can look into the future? Who knows?
Q: Sebastian has had the edge in terms of results so far. Why is he doing better than you?
KR: He has done better races. We had some issues in the first three races and obviously made some mistakes in qualifying, but that is part of the game, so no big deal.
Q: 2014 was a tricky year for you – does it feel much better now or are you beyond such emotions?
KR: The feeling in the team is much better, but the results are still not what we want. Yes, compared to last year finishing third or fourth is a step forward, but we want to win – win all the time. As a team we’ve done well so far, true. (We’ve got) the maximum that we could right now. But are we happy or satisfied? Not really. We want more. We are here to win – and yes – that is still pretty emotional.
Q: There is the saying that only fools are satisfied…
KR: …that is not completely true. If you had a good fight and pulled the maximum out, you are happy. First and foremost you have to be realistic. We have come a long way from last year – and yes, there are still many steps to make.
Q: If you could make one wish, what would that be?
KR: Some good races? Sounds boring, I know…
Q: Niki Lauda said to succeed in F1 racing you ‘have to be a b*st*rd’. Were you one, the year you won the championship?
KR: I have been the same all along. Maybe he felt that he had to be. Everybody feels differently – and he likes to talk…
KR: We are racing in the evening so the temperatures are lower, so no help in that respect. I think that we will race at the level where we realistically are.
Q: You have a little baby boy. What values do you want to give him for his journey through life?
KR: Life – that is a long time. Right now I hope that he is healthy and stays healthy – and that he grows into a happy little boy.
Q: How would you rate yourself as a dad?
KR: I don’t know. You’d have to ask his mum. But he is a calm baby – so we are doing something right!
| Source: formula1.com |
Kimi Raikkonen started talking about the Shanghai race on his Thursday press meeting, that took place at the Sakhir circuit. “In the last race in China we did our maximum. It was the first race with no problems, but obvioulsly we want more and we’ll keep working to improve in every single area.The team is working very well, it’s a solid group of people that go in the same direction.
“Every track is different, but the behavior of the car has been good in every place we’ve been and I don’t see reason why it shouldn’t be the same here. From tomorrow, we’ll go through our programme and we’ll see. Now it’s too early to make prediction about the weekend. Every year on the same track it’s slightly different and every car behaves in a different way.”
“The Bahrain track is nice, the layout allows you to overtake and this can make a big difference in the race. The second practice is much later than the first one and that’s when you can understand the situation a bit more. We have to do our best to have a clear weekend. We still have a lot of work to do if we want to do always better and fight for wins.”
| Source: ferrari.com |
Kimi: current Ferrari atmosphere the best I’ve ever had
From autosport.com – Kimi: “I must say, in the past when I was here at Ferrari they were good times and it was a good atmosphere. But this year is the best that I have had in any team; how the team works together, how people work together, how the atmosphere is and how things are being run. That tells you a lot. I’m very happy.”
Raikkonen indicated last summer that he would probably retire from F1 after his current contract expires at the end of this year. Asked if his improved form this year and his happiness with the current Ferrari regime might make him stay longer, Raikkonen said that choice was not up to him.
“The team has to decide that. You will have to talk to them. Time will tell what will happen. I’m happy with how things are running.”
Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel reckons the Finn would have plenty of alternatives if he wanted to change teams.
“I think he’s doing a very, very good job,” said Vettel of Raikkonen. “He was in the past. Probably last year it wasn’t noticed so much, but inside the team it definitely was. I don’t know the details of his contract. I think it’s in his hands if he wants to carry on in Formula 1. There would be plenty of interest in a fast driver like him, with the experience that he has, if he wants to carry on in Formula 1. If he doesn’t want to then he will quit.”
Kimi Raikkonen is on track to securing a deal to stay at Ferrari beyond the 2015 season.
When he rejoined Maranello from Lotus for 2014, the Finn signed a two-year contract [with an option for 2016]
Raikkonen, 35, struggled last year but is happier with this year’s car alongside his new teammate and friend Sebastian Vettel.
“I could not imagine a better driver pairing,” team boss Maurizio Arrivabene said in China last weekend.
It is believed Raikkonen’s current Ferrari contract includes an ‘option’ for 2016 that must be triggered by Ferrari.
According to the Ferrari insider and blogger Leo Turrini, the Maranello team is currently considering doing just that.
And the F1 broadcaster Sky Italia is reporting similarly, adding that “the final decision will be taken on the basis of the next few races”.
| Source: grandprix247.com |
Kimi runs towards confirmation at Ferrari
If Kimi continues as he has, he will stay at Ferrari in 2016. I know that even Marchionne jumped on the chair, watching the first lap ‘made in China’.
In Maranello, they are seriously thinking of proposing to the blond an extension of the contract, which expires at the end of this season. They’re just awaiting little confirmations.
The Holy Drinker, as seen on the slopes of Melbourne, Sepang and Shanghai, is very determined. He’s also very fast, at least in the race (in qualifying, honestly, a little less). And it is a shame that you can not know the full extent of dialogues via radio during the races. I assure you that they are not only fun, but also very instructive.
Raikkonen wants to stay and you realize that, given the events of 2014, the results now are the best … it’s a deposit. If he can still let the stopwatches talk for him, he will get what he wants: to end his career with the team that he so very strongly wanted to win back, recreating what in modern times had been accomplished only by Clay Regazzoni and Gerardone Berger.
It would do a favor to Maurizio Arrivabene, who would have more time to think about the medium-term prospects, notwithstanding the undeniable presence of Seb Vettel.
Ok, everything is in the hands (and feet) of the last world champion with the Red Army.
Give to Kimi what makes him
When I was a boy, Diego Armando Maradona came to play in Italy. A colleague, after having seen him for the first time playing with a Napoli jersey (shirt), wrote a sentence that went something like this: a dribble of Pibe is worth the ticket price.
Now, I don’t proclaim that Raikkonen is the Maradona of Formula One: I have the sense of proportion. However, considering just the first round of the blonde in Shanghai, it was worth, in fact, the price of the ticket. The rapid double overtake on Williams was a bit of a way to respond: to himself, after the uncertainty of Saturday.
When I say that Kimi should give more in qualifying, I say an obvious thing. Because, in the races, even in the disaster of a season ago, who wanted to know and could understand that talent had not gone away…. that talent still lives in the head and lay at the feet of the Holy Drinker. Of course, Vettel finished third and I am very happy. The key thing is that we have two great drivers in Ferrari.
Two. After that … The Mercedes was ahead and remained ahead. Hamilton is in a state of grace. But for Ferrari, there are now three podiums in three races. Last year there were two throughout the whole season. I also add (in my considerations) the final gap: having Rosberg not so far away, it’s not that The Black (Ham) has led with his elbow outside. So, the Red is not far away and there is still space for development (for all, eh: even for the Silver Arrows).
In short: dreaming, they can do it. Dreaming. Do not forget that early in the season the first goal of Ferrari was to climb over the Williams. In China, it was clear that this mission is accomplished. I do not know what Alonso thought when Ferrari lapped him. But I know that it would be in the interest of Fernando to simply stop commenting on the current performance of the Red Army. It’s not useful to him. McLaren Honda, in fact, is embarrassing. And here I stop.
Too bad for Verstappen, who has been really good. But in general the situation of Team Renault is disastrous. This still does not justify the rise of the bibitari (*Leo would say that they speak with no brain). And as I always write, you have to know how to lose. I would like to reassure my friend Luisa. I would love to interact with you during the Grand Prix, I did it only twice in my life (Belgium 2010 and Brazil in 2012) and I enjoyed it very much. But I just do not have time.
Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has ruled out using team orders to boost his drivers’ chances of fighting for this year’s Formula 1 title.
Although Ferrari has been known for having no qualms about using team orders in the past, Arrivabene says that policy changed when he arrived at the team last year.
He insists that, despite Sebastian Vettel having had a better start to the season than teammate Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari will continue to give the Finn all the support he needs.
“We will give him all of the necessary support, and I do not want to hear about team orders,” Arrivabene told Autosprint.
“When I arrived at Maranello I saw the old rules of engagement, and I made some changes in the presence of both drivers and their race engineers – so that everybody is informed.
“The only rule in force is that of mathematics.”
Vettel has finished on the podium three times in three races, including a race victory in Malaysia, and is currently second in the standings.
Raikkonen is fifth, with two fourth places as his best results.
| Source: motorsport.com |