| Source: autosport.com |
Lotus thinks it would be unfair if Pirelli makes changes to the tyres later this season just because some teams are struggling to make the rubber last.
After a number of outfits were forced to make four-stops during the Spanish Grand Prix due to the high degradation, Pirelli has conceded that it may have to tweak its tyres to limit a repeat in the future. Such changes could hamper the Lotus outfit, which appears perfectly suited to the high degrading rubber with its E21.
Kimi Raikkonen was able to execute a three-stop strategy at the Circuit de Catalunya to finish second and move to within four points of the lead of the world championship.
Well aware that there is a push from some quarters for Pirelli to make changes, Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has admitted tweaks could be a negative for the Enstone-based squad.
“I think it is not in some ways fair, but we have to deal with it like we always did,” he said. “Everyone has the same tyres.”
Boullier reckons that complaints about the tyres are being focused in the wrong area, and he feels that rival teams have simply not dealt with the situation very well.
“People need to get the right question,” he said. “The question is not the tyres: it is because we did something that allowed our car to [look after the tyres].
“It is the same for everybody. There was some slight change for here [to the hard compound] which was to please the most complaining team.
“But I don’t think Pirelli is going to change anything. They were asked to build tyres lasting 20 laps and they did it. So that is it.”
Pirelli says it will help bring back boring processions to Formula 1 if that is what teams and fans want.
In the wake of a fresh debate about the impact the tyres are having on the sport – and Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz claiming F1 “has nothing to do with racing anymore” – Pirelli has reiterated it is only doing what it has been asked to.
When Pirelli returned to F1 for the 2011 season, it was asked to spice up the show and deliver multiple stop races with high degrading rubber, just like the famous 2010 Canadian Grand Prix.
Paul Hembery, its motorsport boss, is aware his company is facing criticism for what is happening on track right now, but he has made it clear that those calling for a radical overhaul need to be sure about exactly what they are hoping for.
“What do you want?” he said. “We were asked to provide two to three stops and replicate Canada .
“I know some of you would like us to do a one stop race where tyres are not a factor, and you can go back to processional racing where the qualifying position is the end position, if that is what you want in racing.
“What do you want us to do? You tell us, we will do it.”
Hembery suggested that his company was baffled about why the tyre situation was being viewed as so extreme this year, when it has been no different ever since it returned to F1 in 2011.
“It is rather bizarre because we are only doing what we did in the last two years,” he said.
“We don’t understand why you [the media] are all so excited.
“It is a bit bizarre – unless you all want us to give tyres to Red Bull to help them win the championship, which appears to be the case.
“I think it is pretty clear. There is one team who will benefit from a change and that is them.”
Red Bull’s RB9 is widely believed to be the car that produces the most downforce in Formula 1 this year, but it cannot make use of all that peak performance because it puts the tyres under too much stress.
The nature of the challenge of looking after tyres means cars that are more mechanically sympathetic like the Lotus and Ferrari are better equipped when it comes to being consistent in the races.
Kravitz: ”Kimi’s middle stint was too good. Kimi’s middle stint was absolutely fantastic and that was the thing that got that position.”
Video: Ted’s notebook from Spain GP (1:40mins) + Grid Walk with Martin Brundle, talking to Pirelli manager Paul Hembery about Lotus (3:05mins)
Kimi Raikkonen proved that driving is not his only talent on Thursday, when he tried his hand at spray painting as part of a Lotus team sponsor event in Barcelona. True, Raikkonen’s work may not yet make the Tate Modern, but for an amateur his skills were surprisingly impressive.
As part of the inaugural ‘burn yard live’, the Finn helped to ‘re-livery’ a Lotus race car under the guidance of world-renowned street artist, M-City. It was the first of a series of such workshops designed to bring together leading innovators from the worlds of youth art, music and sport.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It looks cool. And it fits perfectly with the team’s philosophy of being that extra bit creative. Would I like to race a car designed like this? To be honest, the livery or the colour is the least of my concerns. It has to be fast – that is all that matters.”
The location for Raikkonen’s master class was the regenerated Astilleros shipyards on the shores of Barcelona’s Mediterranean coast. But his artistic education will not stop there – future burn yard live events are planned for locations including Hungary, Korea and Brazil, with the former champion getting a lesson in a new field at each.
Is Kimi Raikkonen Banksy’s real identity?
Lotus F1 Team Official Partner Burn to introduce exciting new event to the Formula 1 calendar by the name of ‘burn yard live’. On 9th May 2013, the event – the first in a series – will be taking place at the Astilleros shipyards on the shores of Barcelona’s Mediterranean coast. The event will see burn bring together a collective of leading innovators from the worlds of art, music and sport to create a groundbreaking fusion of youth culture. One of the key highlights of the event will see M-City – a street artist renowned globally for his giant monochrome murals – take an unusual canvas in the form of a Lotus F1 Team show car and apply a series of bespoke artwork live in front of an audience.
Q: How long is it going to take to create this artwork?
M-City: It will take me two and a half days to complete the car. At the end of the process, I’ve got a very special guest from Lotus F1 Team – driver Kimi Räikkönen – coming along to help me put the final piece of the design to the car. It will be really cool to collaborate with him.
Kimi Raikkonen thinks Lotus has enough strength in depth to shrug off the loss of technical director James Allison. Raikkonen said only time would tell if the highly-rated Allison’s exit would harm Lotus, but that he suspected the team was well prepared.
“For me it doesn’t really make a difference. I cannot tell if it will make a difference in one week or in one year, or if it won’t make a difference at all.
“It’s not like it suddenly happened one day. People have discussed it and the team will have known it was coming for a while.
“So it’s not like we woke up it’s different to what it was when we went to sleep.
“I think there are a lot of strong people and we should be fine.”
He added that the Allison announcement had no bearing on his 2014 plans, as he was not spending any time considering whether to stay with Lotus or move on at present.
“My decision will be purely on what I think is best for me overall,” Raikkonen said.
“I have no idea what will happen and right now I’m not even putting much thought into it because we have only done four races and we have a long season to go.
“It’s a long time until next year. Everybody always talks about it, but I’m not in any hurry.”
“Not really,” he said when asked if he was worried. “We don’t know if it’s going to change anything, or what it’s going to change. Obviously there are people who will replace him already. We’ll see if it has any effect on what the future brings. I don’t really have any idea.”
Meanwhile Kimi refused to be drawn on what his plans for 2014 might be.
“My decision will be purely on what I think is the best overall for me, and we’ll see what happens in the future. I have no idea what will happen and right now I don’t put much thought into it because we only have done four races. There’s a long season to go and there’s a long time until next year. So now we put effort for this race and this season.”
Asked if he had a time frame he said: “I have to know before next year… You keep asking me the same question, I have nothing to tell, I don’t know. I purely put my effort for this race and this year, and when things happen, people will know. There’s nothing to tell and I don’t really put much thought about it. Everyone always talks about it, but I’m not in a hurry.”
He also refused to be drawn on whether the change to Pirelli’s hard tyre might affect Lotus.
“We’ll see on Sunday, I cannot predict anything. There’s no point to try to guess what will happen. We’ll get some idea tomorrow and we’ll see if it’s good or not good.”
Whenever he is asked a question, the infamously reticent Raikkonen looks rather put out, as if you have just trespassed on his spiritual retreat, so his response to the speculation is hardly a surprise. “You keep asking me the same question but I have nothing to tell. I don’t know,” he says with a shrug. “Right now I’m purely putting my effort into this race and this year and when things happen, people will know. I have no idea what will happen and right now I’m not putting much thought into it because we have only had four races.
“There’s a long season to go and there’s a long time until next year. I have no contract for next year. There is talk about this and that. In the end I will make the decision at the right time. Things change quickly in Formula One. There might be a few options. I want to get the things right for me and get the things right for myself. I’ve been long enough in Formula One to know how important it is to get things as I want.
“I never make a plan. When you are in Formula One there is a point in your life when you want to do other stuff. There is not much time to do anything else. Just normal life, normal things.”
This looks very much like the longest speech ever made by Raikkonen; in fact it is a sort of montage, a splicing together of his responses when inevitably asked questions about his future here this weekend.
The Finn, to put it mildly, does not like being interviewed. And it was largely understood to be the demands of media and sponsors that led him to leave F1 under something of a cloud in 2009. He appeared to have lost his hunger for the sport two years after his world championship success with Ferrari. However, he has another explanation. “I thought I drove very well in the Ferrari in 2009. The car was pretty shit. It was just a bad car, a bad year for making a really good result and fighting for the championship.”
But in a sport well known for its lack of connection between stars and supporters does he still dislike media work and indulging sponsors? “I’m doing an interview right now,” he says. “I’ve always said that I enjoy racing. That’s the only reason I’m here. Nothing has changed in me. But I know how it comes. It comes with other things.
“That’s the way it has always been in Formula One. You will never get the perfect thing without some other stuff coming with it. If you get what you want you always have to pay some price for it.”
Journalist: “Did you watch the last race?” Kimi Raikkonen: “I was in it…”
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.
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:
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
Fernando Alonso gave Ferrari its first victory of the 2013 Formula 1 season as his tactic of starting on soft tyres proved the right one in a strategy-defined Chinese Grand Prix.
Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton used the same strategy to fill the podium, as Sebastian Vettel’s tactics could only give him fourth place, just inches behind Hamilton in a thrilling finish.
And as for that Finnish guy who was as quick in a damaged E21 as he was in a clean one: just superb.
Kimi: “For sure without the damage we could have been faster but good points. Pretty okay result. Good points and we try to do better next time.”
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Alonso Ferrari 1h36:26.945 2. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 10.100s 3. Hamilton Mercedes + 12.300s 4. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 12.500s 5. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 35.200s 6. Massa Ferrari + 40.800s 7. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 42.600s 8. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 51.000s 9. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 53.400s 10. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari + 56.500s 11. Perez McLaren-Mercedes + 1m03.800s 12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1m12.600s 13. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 1m33.800s 14. Bottas Williams-Renault + 1m35.400s 15. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 16. Pic Caterham-Renault + 1 lap 17. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 18. van der Garde Caterham-Renault + 1 lap Fastest lap: Vettel, 1m36.808s Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Rosberg Mercedes 22 Webber Red Bull-Renault 16 Sutil Force India-Mercedes 6 Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 5 World Championship standings, round 3: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 52 1. Red Bull-Renault 78 2. Raikkonen 49 2. Ferrari 73 3. Alonso 43 3. Lotus-Renault 60 4. Hamilton 40 4. Mercedes 52 5. Massa 30 5. Force India-Mercedes 14 6. Webber 26 6. McLaren-Mercedes 14 7. Button 12 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 7 8. Rosberg 12 8. Sauber-Ferrari 5 9. Grosjean 11 10. Di Resta 8 11. Ricciardo 6 12. Sutil 6 13. Hulkenberg 5 14. Perez 2 15. Vergne 1
News & Quotes:
All 8 drivers under DRS investigation summoned to the stewards at 18:15 local time
Still awaiting ruling on DRS usage. Vettel, Webber, Button, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Bottas, Ricciardo, Chilton are the drivers involved
Official confirmation: no further action for all drivers alleged to have used DRS under yellow flags
“I got a better run out of corner three and thought he would leave me enough space but he pushed me off the circuit. I tried to avoid him but then was on the grass and kerb. The kerb saved me as I had grip. I couldn’t slow down and hit him in the rear. I don’t know if he could see me or how it happened, but there was no way for me to avoid it anymore as I was there next to him and ran out of road.”
“I wanted to change it,” he admitted. “I think they looked at the wing at the first pitstop and probably thought it would take too long. I don’t know. The car was still OK.”
“I was surprised there was not much damage as I hit him quite hard. I was also a bit surprised that we didn’t have more problems, just a bit too much understeer and destroying front tyres because of that.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 2nd: “Second wasn’t quite what we wanted, but in the circumstances it was the best that we could manage today. I’m not 100% happy because we didn’t win, but it is what it is and second place is a good result after a bad start and the incident with Sergio [Perez]. It was quite difficult out there; 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. Of course there were some handling issues which was not ideal, but we just had to try to live with it and we still had pretty okay speed.”
Romain Grosjean – 9th: “It was a long, tough race and again we not able to make it work quite as well as we wanted. I’m definitely not happy with ninth place; we started P6 and thought we had a good chance to end up within the top five, but unfortunately we could not manage it. I did as much as I could, but I couldn’t get the performance I wanted and being in traffic of course affects this. It was good to score some points for the team, but I want more in Bahrain for sure.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “It’s a good result for the team today. Kimi showed once more why he’s one of the very best drivers in the world by being one of the fastest on track despite sustaining damage to his car. As a team we were able to give him a good strategy allowing us to beat Lewis [Hamilton] and Mercedes in a close battle. Romain had a more difficult day, but he scored points in another race which is positive and we feel he’s reached a turning point now where things will start coming together. Without the poor start and without the incident for Kimi then we definitely would have fought for a win today.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director (full interview): “It was an eventful race and good fun too. We had an interesting start with Kimi dropping back, but once we got onto the prime tyres things went pretty smoothly. There was no way we could get past Lewis on track; even though we had very similar pace and were even perhaps quicker than him. This meant we had to achieve it during the pit stops which worked perfectly. Kimi lost quite a bit of downforce with his front wing damage, otherwise he should have been able to challenge Fernando [Alonso] for the lead. We lost around 0.25 seconds per lap due to the damage to Kimi’s car. It was a more difficult day for Romain who was struggling a little bit with his tyres, but overall for the team we had both cars in the points which is great.”
Videos: Onboard start, team radio on incident with Perez, SkySports interview
Kimi Räikkönen, also known as “Iceman” is a tremendous driver. Ice-blue eyes and angelic blond hair hide a very particular temper, experienced by his fans, his peers and his rivals.
Absent from the main competition during two years spent in rally racing, Kimi stunned everyone by finishing in third place of the world F1 driver’s championship as soon as he returned. Renault TV profiles this most unusual of F1 drivers, a man who has dedicated himself to his passion for driving.
Whether it’s for the Moscow Race of Stars – a race on ice co-organized by Renault in Russia – or for the shooting of a Megane commercial, as long as you put him behind a wheel and don’t ask a lot of questions “Iceman” might not reply with his famous “Leave me alone!”.
Sebastian Vettel defeated Mark Webber in a ferocious Red Bull intra-team battle to secure Malaysian Grand Prix victory.
Just behind them, a similar scenario was playing out between the Mercedes team-mates, before Lewis Hamilton – who had been a lead threat for a spell – led home Nico Rosberg.
Fernando Alonso’s bid for victory ended early, when he crashed out having sustained wing damage nudging Vettel.
Lotus claimed sixth and seventh with Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen, the latter having an uneventful afternoon that included trips off the road and a bitter battle with Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg, who took eighth.
Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 4.298 3. Hamilton Mercedes + 12.1 4. Rosberg Mercedes + 12.640 5. Massa Ferrari + 25.6 6. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 35.5 7. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 48.4 8. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari + 53.0 9. Perez McLaren-Mercedes + 72.3 10. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 87.1 11. Bottas Williams-Renault + 88.6 12. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 13. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 14. Pic Caterham-Renault + 1 lap 15. van der Garde Caterham-Renault + 1 lap 16. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth + 2 laps 17. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 18. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 19. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 20. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 21. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 22. Alonso Ferrari + Fastest lap: Perez, 1m39.199 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap World Championship standings, round 2: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 40 1. Red Bull-Renault 66 2. Raikkonen 31 2. Lotus-Renault 40 3. Webber 26 3. Ferrari 40 4. Hamilton 25 4. Mercedes 37 5. Massa 22 5. Force India-Mercedes 10 6. Alonso 18 6. McLaren-Mercedes 4 7. Rosberg 12 7. Sauber-Ferrari 4 8. Grosjean 9 8. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1 9. Sutil 6 10. Di Resta 4 11. Hulkenberg 4 12. Button 2 13. Perez 2 14. Vergne 1
Video: Onboard start with Kimi
Kimi Raikkonen – 7th: “Although the car felt very good on Friday, yesterday and today have been pretty difficult. Since Saturday morning it has not been behaving as we expected for some reason, especially in the wet where we really struggled for grip. It was a tough race and I lost part of my front wing at the start which didn’t help, but at least we scored a few points which is better than coming away with nothing. If we can get the car back to how it was in Australia then I’m sure we’ll be at the front again.”
Romain Grosjean – 6th: “I think we can be quite happy with the result today. It was a tough race, starting wet and finishing dry, but that’s what you expect in Malaysia. I spent a lot of time stuck behind Felipe [Massa] in the middle phase of the race and I’m sure if I could have passed him earlier then I would have stayed ahead, but by the end my tyres were finished so it was best just to let him through. It’s not the result we would have wanted at the beginning of the weekend, but at the end of the day it’s more points for the team and we’ll try to come back stronger in Shanghai.”
Eric Boullier, team principal: “It’s not been the best day for us, but when you take into account our qualifying positions and the difficult start for both drivers I think the points we take for sixth and seventh is a solid result. Unfortunately with the conditions today we didn’t see the full potential of the car, and the time we lost at the start was always going to be difficult to catch up. To finish within a reasonable distance of the leaders was a good effort from both drivers and also the team in terms of our strategy. With a normal weekend I’m sure we can expect some stronger results.”
James Allison, Technical Director: “This weekend feels like a case of what might have been. We had a car on Friday which looked extremely promising, but unfortunately that didn’t translate into the sort of result we’d expect. Qualifying 10th and 11th – particularly in the wet – was not an ideal start, with the consequence that within seven laps we were around thirty seconds from the front. Our progress thereafter was actually quite respectable so it’s frustrating to have lost touch with the race at such an early stage, but I’m confident we’ll be delivering some stronger results in the coming races.”
Sky Sports F1 aired this feature before the Malaysian Grand Prix today. Natalie Pinkham goes ice racing with Kimi in Moscow:
Kimi Raikkonen played a two-stop strategy to perfection to beat Fernando Alonso to victory in an enthralling Australian Grand Prix.
All predictions of tedious Red Bull domination proved way off the mark, as Sebastian Vettel finished third, overshadowed by the Lotus and Ferrari.
Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1h30:03.225 2. Alonso Ferrari + 12.451 3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 22.346 4. Massa Ferrari + 33.577 5. Hamilton Mercedes + 45.561 6. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 46.800 7. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:05.068 8. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:08.449 9. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1:21.630 10. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 1:22.759 11. Perez McLaren-Mercedes + 1:23.367 12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:23.857 13. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 14. Bottas Williams-Renault + 1 lap 15. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 16. Pic Caterham-Renault + 2 laps 17. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth + 2 laps 18. van der Garde Caterham-Renault + 2 laps Fastest lap: Raikkonen, 1:29.274 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 40 Rosberg Mercedes 26 Maldonado Williams-Renault 25 Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1 World Championship standings, round 1: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Raikkonen 25 1. Ferrari 30 2. Alonso 18 2. Lotus-Renault 26 3. Vettel 15 3. Red Bull-Renault 23 4. Massa 12 4. Mercedes 10 5. Hamilton 10 5. Force India-Mercedes 10 6. Webber 8 6. McLaren-Mercedes 2 7. Sutil 6 8. Di Resta 4 9. Button 2 10. Grosjean 1
Videos: Winning, overtakes, interview
“Our plan was to do two stops and though it’s always difficult in the first races to know when to stop and not go too early, we got it exactly right. We followed the plan and it worked out perfectly for us. I could save the tyres and go fast if I needed. It was one of the easiest races I have done to win. Hopefully we can have many more of these races.”
“Fernando was catching me at some points when I was taking it a bit more easy and I had some traffic, so I just wanted to make sure that if the rain came or anything I had a bit more of a gap. It was a pretty nice race, not so difficult. It feels good but it’s only one race so it doesn’t really change our aim or our work.”
“We’re happy with the win and there’s a lot still to do to try to win the championship.”
Mark Slade on the radio after the race ”absolutely superb, well done mate.’
Fernando Alonso: “Obviously at the end it was a little bit sad not to be able to win the race, but Kimi was fantastic today, the Lotus car as well. We need to congratulate them for a fantastic race. Kimi was driving fantastically all through the race and he managed two stops.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Congratulations to Lotus and especially to Kimi, I think they did the best job today.”
Paul Hembery: “Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus understood the tyres perfectly, making a two-stop strategy work when many of their rivals couldn’t. It was a true masterclass in tyre management… It’s also worth pointing out that Raikkonen drove the fastest lap of the race on lap 56: the penultimate lap, on medium tyres that were 22 laps old.”
Martin Whitmarsh: “Kimi deserves this, he’s done a real great job.”
Eric Boullier : “Kimi drove impeccably all weekend and gave the team his all.”
Jeremy Clarkson: “I am extremely happy that Kimi and his Chipping Norton car won. Really extremely happy.”
David Coulthard: “His victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday was Kimi at his very best.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 1st: “I’m happy for the team and for myself also. We’ve had a quick car all weekend and there were no issues with it either, so we could just focus on trying different things and getting the setup how we wanted. I had a good feeling that we would be ok with the tyres after practice and the team got the strategy perfect. I made a few places at the start and then had a good battle with Lewis [Hamilton] but after that it was quite simple; probably one of my easiest wins. You can’t start the season much better than winning the first race and of course we hope we can be fighting at the front of the Championship, but there’s a long way to go still and we need to keep pushing hard all the way.”
Romain Grosjean – 10th: “Something felt wrong with my car, so I have to sit down with the team and analyse where the issue came from. It felt so good all weekend until the race itself, but in the end the race was long and quite difficult for me. We know that Albert Park can be a tricky circuit and the weather has certainly not helped today. It’s been a great weekend for the team with Kimi’s win so it’s clear there’s pace in the car. Let’s hope I can unlock that pace too next weekend in Sepang.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “I’m very happy. After Kimi’s great start we were hoping that we could achieve a podium finish, then as the race unfolded and we saw the other teams pitting – showing that they were on three-stop strategies – our position became stronger and stronger. It’s a fantastic feeling to open the season in this way. Kimi drove impeccably all weekend and gave the team his all. Romain had a difficult race and we have to analyse what went wrong for him. This win is a further testament to all the hard work which goes on at Enstone and we owe tremendous thanks to each and every employee. We head to Malaysia in the best position we could be. “
James Allison, Technical Director: “It was a splendid thing we saw today. It’s a day like this which make everything about this job worthwhile and that will be true for everyone involved with the team. It’s great. We were a little deflated after qualifying, as we knew the car had better pace than our grid positions suggested. Nevertheless we were confident from the long run pace we’d seen on Friday that we could make a two-stop strategy work. It was lovely to see the lap times ticking off metronomically without any real fear that the tyres weren’t going to go the distance. Hopefully we can repeat Kimi’s fantastic performance again next weekend with both cars.”
Solid progress from the morning session saw Kimi and Romain improve to sit side-by-side in P4 / P5 at the Albert Park circuit this afternoon; a positive start as all eyes now turn to tomorrow’s qualifying session
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m25.908 33 2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m26.172s + 0.264 31 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.322s + 0.414 26 4. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m26.361s + 0.453 37 5. Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 1m26.680s + 0.772 30 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.748s + 0.840 35 7. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m26.772s + 0.864 28 8. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m26.855s + 0.947 32 9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m27.435s + 1.527 34 10. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.187s + 2.279 34 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m28.294s + 2.386 30 12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m28.311s + 2.403 37 13. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m28.566s + 2.658 32 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m28.627s + 2.719 31 15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.772s + 2.864 33 16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m28.852s + 2.944 36 17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m28.968s + 3.060 35 18. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m29.386s + 3.478 38 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m29.696s + 3.788 30 20. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m30.165s + 4.257 37 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m30.600s + 4.692 34 22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m32.450s + 6.542 11
Kimi Raikkonen – 6th/4th: “It’s good for the season to start and the car felt pretty strong out there. I don’t think we’re the fastest but it’s a good start. It was nice to have a reliable day after spending some time in the garage during testing. The track was as I remembered it and there were no surprises from it or the car. We’ll have to see what happens tomorrow with qualifying as maybe it will be a bit cooler. I’m happy so far this weekend.”
Romain Grosjean – 10th/5th: “It feels great to be out on circuit and on such a lovely day too. The track felt good and the car felt better. It took a while for the grip to come to us, but you expect that on a street circuit. We made good progress with set-up on the car over both sessions and I think there’s more to come which is promising.”
James Allison, Technical Director: “It’s been a steady start so far. The car has run reliably and reasonably quickly, but we feel there’s more to come from it. Broadly it’s been a successful day in terms of the programme we had in mind for these opening sessions, with both tyre compounds, our latest aero package and a few setup tweaks all given sufficient time for assessment. There’s still work to be done, but we’re certainly running with the leading group which bodes well for the rest of the weekend.”
Blue skies and glorious sunshine bathed the Albert Park circuit this morning as Formula 1 2013 burst into action here in Melbourne. A solid start for Kimi and Romain in P6 / P10; the weekend has only just begun…
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m27.211s 16 2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m27.289s + 0.078s 17 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m27.547s + 0.336s 16 4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m27.552s + 0.341s 18 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m27.668s + 0.457s 18 6. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m27.877s + 0.666s 17 7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m28.013s + 0.802s 17 8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m28.426s + 1.215s 19 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m28.440s + 1.229s 19 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m28.520s + 1.309s 15 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m28.597s + 1.386s 19 12. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.786s + 1.575s 19 13. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m28.910s + 1.699s 18 14. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m29.443s + 2.232s 20 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m29.928s + 2.717s 19 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m30.203s + 2.992s 17 17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m30.729s + 3.518s 17 18. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m30.969s + 3.758s 19 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m31.263s + 4.052s 24 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m32.176s + 4.965s 23 21. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m32.274s + 5.063s 21 22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m32.388s + 5.177s 18
Kimi on Natalie Pinkham’s not so good driving at the Moscow Ice Race of Stars: “That’s woman behind the wheel”.
Sky Sports new feature in 2013: Kimi’s Quote of the Week
| Source: @Lotus_F1Team |
We’re well known for doing everything just that little bit differently, and our 2013 season trailer is no exception. With help from the legendary Ridley Scott Associates, starring Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean, we’re starting our official F1 countdown to the Australian Grand Prix. Please take your seats. It’s #ShowTime.
Lotus F1 Team driver Kimi Raikkonen stopped off in Paris today to launch the new Renault Mégane advertising campaign. In front of a crowd gathered at the prestigious Renault Atelier on the Champs-Elysées, the 2007 world champion unveiled the campaign titled ‘Iceman vs Fisherman’.
In the advert, developed by Renault and its agency Publicis Conseil, Kimi is pitted against a solitary fisherman:
The campaign was shot in Spain in early January. Kimi was selected from the Renault-powered drivers for his strong identity and the qualities he demonstrates on track, which are entirely in line with the values Renault will promote with the Mégane, namely dynamism, performance, rigour and quality.
The campaign will eventually be launched worldwide across print and TV media with teasers of the advert posted on digital media channels including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and several blog sites. Two teasers will also be run on Eurosport. The first TV advert will be shown on 4 March in Belgium and the Netherlands.
In a fiercely competitive market, the Mégane draws on Renault’s strongest economic and ecological advances. The Energy dCi110 engine has an impressive fuel consumption rate of 3,5L/100km, allowing a record driving distance. In parallel Renault will also push the Mégane’s youthful, masculine looks, sharp design and driving pleasure.
Prior to his Atelier appearance, Kimi also stopped off at Renault Sport F1’s headquarters in Viry-Châtillon to meet with staff building the RS27 V8 engine that will power his Lotus F1 Team chassis in this year’s FIA Formula One World Championship.
Source: f1news.ru | Edited by KRS
Q: As far as we know your first experience of international performances in Russia – it was a long time ago when your career in motor racing was just beginning, and you were in karting competitions somewhere in St. Petersburg, which was then still called Leningrad. Do you remember those days?
KR: Yes, many years ago I did take part in winter kart race, and it was fun!
Q: Do you remember who else won, you or someone else?
KR: I do not remember. I did team competitions, and the cup of nations and individual races, but I do not remember the results…
Q: Let’s go back to the events of the more recent: How much difference is there to you between last year’s off-season and winter tests, which take place now?
KR: The difference, in fact, not so much: the team is the same, E21 can be compared with last year’s car, just that the tyres are slightly different. The only noticeable difference is that I know much better this team now.
Q: But it seems that this year, you are more confident of success?
KR: No, I have no more confidence than a year ago. I still do not know how things will develop, and what we can achieve. This will become clear only when to start the race. And it’s too early to judge.
Q: Last year your E20 was really fast on some tracks, but with others it coped worse. Now do you have a rough idea; waiting for a Lotus repetition of this situation, or the team have been able to solve last year’s weaknesses?
KR: I do not know. It is too early to say what will happen, because the tests do not run out. I hope everything will be fine, but if we are fast enough? This will become clear only during the races, but guess no special meaning. (more…)
Earlier this month after the Jerez tests, Kimi took to Costa Brava, Spain, for a new commerical photoshoot for Renault to be released on 4th March. Here is a sneak peek video at the commerical and an out-take:
Man: Why are you so far away from home?
Kimi Räikkönen concluded his second day of running at Barcelona with a gearbox problem keeping him off the track for much of the morning and part of the afternoon session at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Whilst the team ultimately diagnosed and rectified the issue, vital running time was lost. Once Kimi did get out on track, he immediately set the third fastest lap time, which is where he ended the day. Romain will take the wheel of E21 chassis 02 for the next two days
Track: Barcelona, Spain, 5.9km
Weather: Sunny, ambient 7-17°C, track 8-24°C
Programme: Systems checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, assessment of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package
Laps Completed: 43
Classification: P3, 1:22.697
Interruptions: Gearbox problem diagnosis and replacement
Kimi Räikkönen: “If yesterday wasn’t an ideal day then today was more of the same. Fortunately, once we were able to get a lap in we could see that the car has good pace. We test to find any problems so in that respect we’re doing a good job, but it’s frustrating. It’s no secret that we want to get more laps on the board and that’s the target for the rest of this test and the final sessions next week.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Our target was more laps today and we’ve missed that. We were able to diagnose a problem with the gearbox, but rectifying this took quite a lot of time. This severely affected our plans for the day but yet again we were able to show we have a quick car. On the positive side, there were no further problems with telemetry as we experienced yesterday and the second gearbox ran reliably in the afternoon. Tomorrow we will try to rack up the laps with evaluation work and a race distance simulation.”
Video: Kimi speaks to MTV3 after test
“Even if you don’t do any testing you might go to the race and be fast and have no issue,” he said.
“If you do 10,000 kilometres you still might have an issue. Whatever laps you do, you might be OK or not OK.
“That’s testing, there are problems and you learn from those.
“It’s not like if we cannot manage 150 laps [on a test day] it’s going to change our season.”
Raikkonen was also calm about the length of time it took to change the gearbox on Wednesday. He sat out most of the morning before hitting the track for the final two hours.
“Sometimes the issues take so long to fix but this is pretty normal when you are at the first tests and you don’t have so many spare parts yet and you don’t have the extra gearbox to just fit in the car,” he said.
Kimi Räikkönen conducted the first day of running for E21 chassis #2 in Barcelona, completing 44 laps at the Circuit de Catalunya. Though Kimi completed the fewest laps of any driver today, he was nevertheless the second fastest for most of the day, including at the end of the afternoon session.
Telemetry data-logging issues meant the team completed fewer laps than desired, but nevertheless concluded a productive day of assessment of the second E21. Kimi will drive tomorrow with the team targeting a greater haul of laps.
- Track: Barcelona, Spain, 5.9km
- Chassis: E21-02
- Weather: Sunny, ambient 10-16°C, track 11-22°C
- Programme: Systems checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, assessment of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package
- Laps Completed: 44
- Classification: P2, 1:22.623
- Interruptions: Red flags, data-logging diagnostics
Video: Epic Kimi interview at 5:30mins
Kimi Räikkönen: “It wasn’t an ideal day in terms of the number of laps we completed, but the car feels strong and we’ve made some good progress. After Jerez it’s nice to be at a circuit where we race and the E21 is definitely a step in the right direction. There’s lots of work yet to do this week but I’m happy with where we are at the moment.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It’s been a positive debut for the second chassis here in Barcelona. Kimi was happy with where the car started the day, and the setup changes we’ve made have been positive. We had a few issues on the electronics side with the telemetry data-logging and this has cost us track time as well as the ability to conduct longer runs. Other than that, we’ve been able to take over from where we left off in Jerez so we’re happy with that. All we need is more laps, which is our focus for tomorrow.”
James Allison, Technical Director: “It was a bit of a frustrating day as we were confined to doing two lap runs by a telemetry system which would only work sporadically. Running what is effectively a brand new car for extended periods without regular feedback as to its condition is not a risk worth taking; especially at this early stage of the season when spare parts are at a premium. Putting that to one side, the favourable impression we received from the drivers in Jerez seems to have continued here which is certainly a positive…” (read full interview with James Allison here.)
Kimi Raikkonen ended day one of Barcelona Formula 1 testing frustrated as a data issue limited Lotus’s mileage. Raikkonen was second quickest, just 0.007 seconds behind pacesetter Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes.
But the Finn’s tally of 44 laps was the lowest of the day, as problems with data-logging diagnostics interrupted Lotus’s programme.
“We only did short runs,” said Raikkonen.
“We couldn’t get any data from the car so we couldn’t run many laps because we couldn’t see if anything was wrong or not.”
Raikkonen said the disruption was minimised because Tuesday would not have been the most useful day of running.
“The circuit is not in very good condition and it’s too cold still,” he said.
Lotus will keep Raikkonen in the car for Wednesday before Romain Grosjean takes over for the remainder of the week.
Video: Kimi on-track
Kimi Raikkonen insists that his motivation to compete in Formula 1 is on a high despite his stint at Ferrari towards the end where the Finn seemed disinterested in the sport.
Raikkonen had made his exit from F1 at the end of the 2009 season, amid speculation that he wasn’t motivated enough to continue.
One such example emerged when he was seen busy enjoying an ice cream in the garage at the Malaysian Grand Prix, during his final year at the Italian team, after the race was stopped due to a heavy downpour.
“What can you do if the team tells you that your car is broken because they have an issue with it. That you cannot race even if I asked that I want to race,” Raikkonen revealed in an interview featured on the Official F1 2012 Season Review (watch here).
“People try to make a lot of bullshit for nothing. I mean there was absolutely normal thing to eat the ice-cream,” he explained.
The episode, however, became famous with his current team banking on its popularity last year, when Kimi treated journalists in the media centre at Sepang with a Magnum stick.
Kimi Räikkönen completed his second day at the wheel of the E21 by setting the fastest time to conclude an encouraging week for Lotus F1 Team at the first pre-season test in Jerez.
The Finn ran through a continued programme of aerodynamic assessments as the fine Jerez weather continued. Proceedings today were interrupted by red flag periods including a lengthy pause for track run-off repairs, meaning track running concluded 30 minutes later than billed.
The team returns to Enstone. Testing resumes in Barcelona on February 19.
Track: Jerez, Spain, 4.4km
Weather: Sunny, ambient 5-17°C, track 2-24°C
Programme: Systems checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, assessment of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package, exhaust exit evaluations.
Laps Completed: 83
Classification: P1, 1:18.148
Interruptions: Red flags and track repairs.
Kimi Räikkönen: “We continued our work from yesterday and made some good progress. We’re at the top of the timing monitors, but that means nothing in testing. Our focus has been testing parts on the car, but I’ve been able to get the set-up more to my liking. For sure there’s more work to be done in this area, but that’s what we’re here for. The car feels strong and we seem to have a good idea of where we’re going with improvements. Let’s see what happens in Barcelona.”
James Allison, Technical Director: “After the orgy of work at the factory to prepare the car over the winter months it is always a welcome relief once the testing campaign finally kicks off; not because the pressure backs off, but because we get a chance – finally – to see what we have been working on. It is tremendously exciting for the whole team, but very nerve wracking as well. We desperately want the performance to be good, but we are all aware of the thousands of potential traps in bringing a complex car to the track for the first time. We have had a good first test. The car seems competitive, and while there is always a background hubbub of problems to be solved, we are delighted with the basic reliability of the E21. With Jerez now behind us, our thoughts have already turned to Barcelona in ten days’ time. There is a mountain of work ahead, but we are looking forward to our next opportunity to run the car.”
After two days in the E21 to conclude the first pre-season test in Jerez, Kimi Räikkönen gives his initial impressions of the team’s 2013 challenger…
Q: Are you happy with your new toy for the season?
KR: The car seems pretty good. We’ve made a lot of set-up changes and worked through a lot of things in Jerez but it all seems positive. My first feeling of the car is good, so that’s the main thing. For sure, there are some areas we have to work on, but I’m happy so far.
Q: You were fastest on the final day in Jerez…
KR: We were at the top of the timing monitors, but that means nothing in testing. Our focus has been testing parts on the car, but I’ve also been able to get the set-up more to my liking. For sure, there’s more work to be done in this area, but that’s what we go testing for. The car feels strong and we seem to have a good idea of where we’re going with improvements. Let’s see what happens in Barcelona.
Q: Any particular areas where you’ve wanted improvement?
KR: Just the pretty normal areas for a new car. We’ve worked on the seating position and the seat belts so I feel comfortable in the car when it’s going, then we’ve been working on the set-up and balance so I can push harder. This has all been done whilst we’ve been looking at new parts on the car, but progress has been okay.
Q: Have there been any reliability concerns?
KR: We had some small issues over the last two days, but that’s what you expect in testing and it’s better to have the issues now rather than when you get to the Grands Prix. We’ve just done two days of testing so far and there’s plenty of work still to do before we head to Melbourne.
Q: What’s your feeling heading into the 2013 season?
KR: I’m pretty positive. I raced all of last year so it should be even better this season. I know the team and they know me so we can work together well. I know we had a good car last year and we won a race. I know that the E21 feels pretty good from what I’ve seen so far and we’ve got lots of things to come on the car for the next test. We want to do better than we did last year, that’s the aim. If we can achieve that, I don’t know, but we’re certainly going to be trying hard.
Video: Sky Sports and MTV3 Finnish Interview with Kimi – “Better than shit”
What are your thoughts heading into your second season with Lotus F1 Team?
KR: I’m feeling pretty good. Last year was my return to Formula 1 and it went pretty well. This year will be my second with Lotus F1 Team and my eleventh season overall in Formula 1 so I’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect. I’m sure it will be an exciting season and I’m sure there’ll be lots to talk about. For me, I will continue to do the best I can; let’s see how good our car is, and how good the cars of the opposition are too.
Is the continuity of going into your second season with the team beneficial to you?
KR: It helps. It’s not a massive thing which will suddenly mean you start winning all the races, but it’s nice to be at the same team as you understand how they work, and they understand how you work. We quickly developed a pretty good way of working together last year and there’s no reason to think that won’t continue this season.
Are you still learning as a driver?
KR: I don’t think you ever stop learning, but there is less to learn than if you’re a rookie. I don’t think I could say I’m a rookie. We had new tracks last year; that’s always something nice to learn and for me best learnt on the tracks themselves. There will be a new car which we’ll want to develop and get working at its best. There are always changes in the sport; some small, some big. Generally everything’s pretty similar, and the feeling of racing on track is pretty familiar. (more…)