Speaking for the first time about the matter in Abu Dhabi on Friday, Raikkonen confirmed that he did come close to not racing this weekend, and has not ruled out skipping either of the final races in the United States or Brazil.
“I came here only because hopefully we found an understanding on the certain issues we have been having,” said Raikkonen.
“Hopefully it will be fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can.”
When asked by AUTOSPORT if he would contemplate not taking part in the final races if the outstanding matters are not resolved, Raikkonen said: “For sure. I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving – but a big part of it is business.
“Sometimes when that is not dealt with like it should we end up in an unfortunate situation.
“You have to put the line somewhere, and if it goes over that… it is not really my fault any more.”
RADIO EXCHANGE NOT MAIN ISSUE
Raikkonen’s relations with the team were strained by the radio exchange in India, when he was ordered to move aside for Romain Grosjean, but his main frustration is relating to outstanding wages – which are believed to be in excess of $15 million.
Speaking about the radio discussion with trackside operations director Alan Permane, Raikkonen said: “It is a part of it. It is true those things should not happen but they have happened. That is not really the issue.
“It is all the other stuff, and all the things come together in the end. Like I said, it is easy to say that is the reason but it is not that.”
The 2007 world champion also expressed frustration at the fact that his loyalty to the team has been questioned at a time when he has not been paid.
“Sometimes it is not very nice when you hear that you are not really a team player, and you don’t have the interests of the team [at heart] – but you have been paid zero Euro the whole year,” said Raikkonen.
“It doesn’t put you in the best place, but that is how it goes and hopefully, like I said, we found an understanding on both sides on how we should deal with the situation right now and fix the issues, and try to finish as well as we can.”
When asked by AUTOSPORT if he was confident a deal could be reached with Raikkonen to ensure he races in Austin and Brazil, Boullier said: “Part of it I cannot answer you.
“There is discussion between Gerard and Kimi and it obviously involves our shareholders and parent companies.”
Although the Raikkonen situation has come just as Lotus is knuckling down for a tough fight for second in the constructors’ championship, Boullier said he was hopeful the matter would not affect its chances on track.
“We have an exceptional group of people in Enstone and they produce a car, with the last aero package based on the long wheelbase, that is delivering,” he said.
“We just do our best to be delivering on track. There is obviously some issues which we know already for a long time and we are waiting, as Gerard said, for the new investment company to close the deal with.
“And if that does not happen we will have to think about other scenarios.”
Today is the 6th anniversary of Kimi’s first and only world championship winning. On 21st October 2007, Kimi became one of the very few drivers to win the title on their debut season with Ferrari, beating McLaren rivals Hamilton and Alonso by a single point in the final race at Brazil. It was an unforgettable season for the fans and the most special day in Raikkonen’s career.
Download the full photo gallery here, enjoy!
For videos about the special ocassion, (more…)
| Source: fia.com |
Q: I’ll start with Kimi if I may. Congratulations on the move for next season. First time we’ve seen you since the announcement. If we’d have said to you at the start of the season that you’d be a confirmed Ferrari driver by September, what would have said then: no chance, no way or is it something you always thought might be possible?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I just have to say things change in Formula One a lot. I never had a bad feeling with them really. But I mean I still have a lot friends and good memories from there. I knew that my contract will end at the end of this year so obviously I had to make some kind of decision what to do for next year and now it’s been done.
Q: Was there anything that Lotus could have done to keep you with the team or was the attraction of a return to Ferrari just to strong for you?
KR: Yeah, there was a lot of things and for sure they know what it is. It’s hard to say which way it would have gone if that would have had happened but the deal’s done now and I’m very happy with the new deal.
Q: What would you say is the biggest challenge for you then next season at Ferrari?
KR: I know the team and I know the people. Obviously there are some new people and some more have left since I was there but most are the same. I don’t think this will be too difficult to go there and do well. The car’s will be obviously different so I think that will be the most difficult thing, to get the cars right and get them running reliable and whoever makes the best car will probably make the best out of it.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, you said last year that when you left Ferrari you felt liberated. So what made you decide to go back and lose your – in brackets – freedom?
KR: I always had freedom there also. There are a lot of stories from my past, from different teams but it’s all from you guys and I don’t think that you guys work in the team so you don’t really know what’s happening and you write a lot of stuff which can sometimes be true and sometimes not. I had a good time, like I said, and I’m sure we will have a good time together again.
Q: (Jacob Polychronis – F1Plus.com) Kimi, some other drivers have been quite quick to already suggest that your partnership with Fernando Alonso may not work out, namely Jenson and Sebastian. Do you care to weigh in on the issue?
KR: I don’t see the reason why it wouldn’t work. We are all old enough to know what we are doing and for sure the team is working for the right things to make sure. If there is something, I’m sure we can talk it through. It’s not like we are 20-year old guys any more. I might be wrong, but time will tell, but I’m pretty sure everything will be good. For sure there will be hard fights on the race circuits but sometimes things go wrong… like I said, I’m pretty sure it will all be OK.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, Mr Montezemolo said in an interview in our newspaper that he expected victories and poles from you, but also that you can help Alonso to develop the car. Are you ready to spend more time in Maranello, like Fernando, to stay there even more than in the past?
KR: It’s a pretty similar answer to before. There are a lot of stories but I think we’ve done pretty well in this team when we started and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be able to produce a very good car for next year and keep improving it. Obviously there are new rules so it will be more challenging for all the teams but I have no worries about those things.
Q: (Luc Domenjoz – Le Matin) Kimi, it seems that Lotus owes you a lot of money, so the question is simple: why, if the team doesn’t fulfil its part of the contract, why do you respect yours and why don’t you simply stay at home?
KR: I like to race and then obviously that’s the only reason why I’m here; it doesn’t matter which team it is and obviously the reasons why they ask from the team but the reasons why I left from the team is purely on the money side, that they haven’t got my salary so it’s an unfortunate thing but like I said, I want to try and help the team as much as I can and I like to race.
Q: (Fulvio Solms – Corriere dello Sport) Kimi, referring to your next teammate, what do you think will be possible to learn from him next year and can he learn from you?
KR: For sure, you always learn from different teammates; everyone does different things. Maybe they do something better than you but often there are a lot of things that only suit one guy and it doesn’t work if you try to do the same thing for yourself, it’s not going to work. I know the team, I know the people. Like I said, I have no worries to go there and have something that wouldn’t work. I don’t really worry about it, I’ve never worked with Alonso. I obviously know him from racing but I’m sure it will be fine.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, in your choice of Ferrari, is there also a technical reason? I’m thinking about the turbo era; do you think that Ferrari building both engine and chassis could be a better chance of being a competitive car than Red Bull or Lotus next year?
KR: Obviously I hope so. They built very good cars and engines in the past, they’ve won a lot of championships as a team and then you have to look on the other side at teams like Red Bull or Lotus with Renault who have done very well. It’s very hard to say which way it’s going to go with the new rules and who’s going to have the best package. There are a lot of stories about certain engines that will be much stronger than others but there are so many different things that you have to look at and go through and make sure that it works that I have no idea which team will be strongest and which team will come out on top. We have to wait and see, really, for the first few tests.
Other quotes from the paddock:
“Maybe they have fear because we are strong,” said Domenicali on Thursday. “It’s part of the psychological war that is part of this game. It’s not really interesting for me because I don’t listen. Everyone can say what they want, but that’s it.
“It is paddock life,” he said. “I am happy that two years ago we gambled on Kimi, and it was a nice honeymoon story for two years.
“Now he is moving up to Ferrari. That is life. The combination of Lotus F1 and Kimi worked well in terms of popularity and also sporting-wise, on track.
“It is in some ways disappointing but it is not a blow. Let’s turn the page and start a new story.”
“I don’t think anyone will push me more than what I push now. Two world champions, I don’t think it makes any difference,” said Alonso ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.
“Kimi will give him a good run for his money, I’m sure,” Hamilton told Sky Sports News. “It will be an incredibly strong line-up. They talk about me and Nico being the strongest package, but I think they will now have it.
“We already know that this [an all-World Champion line-up] isn’t their normal way of running things, but Stefano [Domenicali, the Ferrari team boss] is a great guy and I’n sure he will manage them very well.”
Videos: Full press conference, BBC interview Kimi, Boullier disappointed to lose Kimi
Kimi Raikkonen will return to Ferrari to join Fernando Alonso from 2014, the team has confirmed.
Ferrari’s official announcement of a two-year deal confirms a move that had seemed increasingly inevitable in recent days.
Raikkonen was in the running for the second Red Bull seat alongside Sebastian Vettel, but the champion squad chose its protege Daniel Ricciardo as Mark Webber’s replacement instead.
It then seemed most likely that Raikkonen would remain at current squad Lotus for a third season.
But assurances from the team about its future investment and technical packages were crucial to that deal, and Lotus was not yet in a position to provide those.
With Felipe Massa announcing on Tuesday night that he would leave Ferrari at the end of this season after eight years, and Raikkonen’s rival candidate Nico Hulkenberg informed on Wednesday morning that he would not be required, the 2007 world champion’s return to the Scuderia was sealed.
Raikkonen previously drove for Ferrari from 2007-09.
He came from behind to deny McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso the title in his first season in red, but had to play second fiddle to team-mate Massa’s championship push in 2008.
After a disappointing 2009 campaign, Raikkonen left Ferrari and Formula 1 for a career in the World Rally Championship.
This proved unsuccessful, and having dabbled with NASCAR Truck racing and tested Peugeot’s Le Mans car, he headed back to F1 with Lotus last year.
An immediate frontrunner back in single-seaters, Raikkonen has been among Vettel’s main opposition since his return.
RAIKKONEN’S FERRARI STATS
2007 2008 2009 Wins 6 2 1 Poles 3 2 0 Champ pos 1st 3rd 6th Points 110 75 48
Kimi Raikkonen: “I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years. I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years, first and foremost, winning the World Championship title in 2007, which was really unforgettable. I can’t wait to be driving a Prancing Horse car again and to reacquaint myself with so many people with whom I had such close links, as well as working with Fernando, whom I consider a great driver, in order to bring the team the success it deserves.”
New wallpapers – Return of the King desktops!
Video: Sky News round-up
| Source: lotusf1team.com |
For the first time in his Lotus F1 Team career, Kimi failed to finish a Grand Prix after brake failure in today’s Belgian Grand Prix. Our Finn was philosophical at the blow dealt to his championship aspirations.
Q: What happened today?
KR: I had a brake failure so there was really no point in trying to continue.
Q: How was the beginning of your race?
KR: We both got good starts off the line but there wasn’t enough space into the first corner where I went over the kerb and lost some time. After that I was pushing as hard as I could.
Q: How early did the brake issue manifest itself?
KR: There were some brake issues at the beginning of the race but we were managing them and it was going okay until we had to retire.
Q: Your consecutive run of Grand Prix and points finishes comes to an end…
KR: We’ve finished a lot of races and had some good reliability so far. One day your luck has to run out and today was that day.
Video: Kimi retires from the race
On a happier note…
Video: 60seconds with Kimi (Italian SkySports)
Sebastian Vettel took a routine victory for Red Bull in a totally dry Belgian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso was able to tiger through from ninth on the grid to second ahead of polesitter Lewis Hamilton, but fellow title contender Kimi Raikkonen’s long finishing streak ended with a brake problem.
- Visor tear-off caused Raikkonen problem – Lotus suspects that a blocked brake cooling duct caused by a loose visor tear-off led to Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement from the Belgian Grand Prix. Raikkonen suffered from an overheating left front brake duct shortly after the start of the race at Spa-Francorchamps. At the first pitstop, the team discovered the visor tear-off lodged in the cooling channels of the brake duct. Although Lotus was able to remove it, the brake disc was already too hot and could not be cooled enough. Eventually it failed completely. Investigations by the team after the race discovered no other explanation for the brake issues, which led it to believe that the visor strip was the cause.
Classified: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h23m42.196s 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +16.869s 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +27.734s 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +29.872s 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault +33.845s 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +40.794s 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari +53.922s 8. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +55.846s 9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes +1m09.547s 10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m13.470s 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes +1m21.936s 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m26.740s 13. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +1m28.258s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1m40.436s 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault +1m47.456s 16. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 lap 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault +1 lap 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps Fastest lap: Vettel, 1m50.756 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 26 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 25 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 8 World Championship standings, round 11: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 197 1. Red Bull-Renault 312 2. Alonso 151 2. Mercedes 235 3. Hamilton 139 3. Ferrari 218 4. Raikkonen 134 4. Lotus-Renault 187 5. Webber 115 5. McLaren-Mercedes 65 6. Rosberg 96 6. Force India-Mercedes 61 7. Massa 67 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 25 8. Grosjean 53 8. Sauber-Ferrari 7 9. Button 47 9. Williams-Renault 1 10. Di Resta 36 11. Sutil 25 12. Perez 18 13. Vergne 13 14. Ricciardo 12 15. Hulkenberg 7 16. Maldonado 1
Videos: Kimi’s brake failure, Kimi post-race interview with SkySports
Kimi Raikkonen – DNF: “I had a brake failure so there was really no point in trying to continue. We both got good starts off the line but there wasn’t enough space into the first corner where I went over the kerb and lost some time, but after that I was pushing as hard as I could. There were some brake issues at the beginning of the race but we were managing them and it was going okay until we had to retire. We’ve finished a lot of races and had some good reliability; one day your luck has to run out and today was that day.”
Romain Grosjean – 8th: “We had a difficult first lap where we lost a few positions and then dropped back a couple more places in the incident with Sergio [Perez]. We decided on a one stop strategy today and with the new tyres I felt that the grip was much higher than before but I knew that it would be difficult to get the time back. We tried something different and you never know; had it rained in the middle of the race we could have been well-placed to take advantage. It is good to finish the race without any mistakes, even if eighth place isn’t what we were hoping for this weekend; it’s also a shame that Kimi didn’t finish the race, but we go to Monza hopeful of better things.”
Eric Boullier, team principal: “It was a disappointing weekend, with qualifying not as good as we had expected and then a difficult first lap in the race. Kimi suffered from a brake failure which, of course, is a concern. We already believe we know why it happened and we will investigate this in detail to prevent the situation arising again. Romain finished eighth which clearly isn’t the sort of position we hope for at the end of a race weekend. Today we lost some pace and part of that might be due to the low temperatures. We must now look ahead, learn from this weekend and make sure that next year we can deliver on a medium downforce track.”
Alan Permane, trackside operations director: “It was a difficult race for us. We didn’t have the pace in qualifying yesterday and didn’t seem to have the pace today. We had a difficult first lap where we lost a few places and found ourselves sat behind slower cars. After that it was difficult to make up any ground. Unfortunately Kimi retired from the race with a front brake failure which we are now investigating. Romain was on a one stop strategy which was the right thing to do today. We look forward to starting again in Monza where we will bring new developments to the car can hopefully have a better weekend.”
A clip of Kimi’s manager Steve Robertson speaking to the Iceman in the Hungarian paddock. Judging by the clear body language, it seems strong words of advice are still being passed to Kimi. Best of luck to Kimi for 2014 – whatever he chooses to do!
Lewis Hamilton claimed his first victory for Mercedes with an imperious drive in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Briton pulled himself clear of a fraught race behind, in which Kimi Raikkonen ultimately beat Sebastian Vettel to second, Mark Webber salvaged fourth and Romain Grosjean’s chances were spoiled by a penalty.
Raikkonen worked his way forward on a two-stop strategy, spending the early part of the race trapped behind Massa before bringing himself into contention.
Pos Driver Team 1. Hamilton Mercedes 2. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 4. Webber Red Bull-Renault 5. Alonso Ferrari 6. Grosjean Lotus-Renault 7. Button McLaren-Mercedes 8. Massa Ferrari 9. Perez McLaren-Mercedes 10. Maldonado Williams-Renault 11. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 13. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 14. van der Garde Caterham-Renault 15. Pic Caterham-Renault 16. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 17. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth DNF Di Resta Force India-Mercedes DNF Rosberg Mercedes DNF Bottas Williams-Renault DNF Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari DNF Sutil Force India-Mercedes World Championship standings, round 10: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 172 1. Red Bull-Renault 277 2. Raikkonen 136 2. Mercedes 206 3. Alonso 133 3. Ferrari 194 4. Hamilton 122 4. Lotus-Renault 185 5. Webber 105 5. Force India-Mercedes 59 6. Rosberg 84 6. McLaren-Mercedes 57 7. Massa 61 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 24 8. Grosjean 49 8. Sauber-Ferrari 7 9. Button 39 9. Williams-Renault 1 10. Di Resta 36 11. Sutil 23 12. Perez 18 13. Vergne 13 14. Ricciardo 11 15. Hulkenberg 7 16. Maldonado 1
Kimi Raikkonen – 2nd: “It was a good race and a good result for the team. The strategy worked well. We did two long stints on the tyres but they weren’t too bad and the car felt strong so it allowed us to make one less stop. In the last few laps the rears were a bit on edge, but apart from that it was OK. Sebastian [Vettel] got the run on me a couple of times but luckily it was in places that you can’t really overtake. The main positive is that we gained a few points to Seb in the championship. For sure we could have maybe closed the gap a little more with a win, but anything we can get back will help. We’re only halfway through the season and it will be hard to catch up, but anything can still happen so we’ll keep fighting until the end.”
Romain Grosjean – 6th: “For sure this is one that got away, but I’m very happy with my race and I honestly don’t think I could have done much more. Maybe the strategy didn’t quite work how we wanted, but the car felt really good and it was the traffic that cost us. Without this maybe there would never have been a drive-through penalty which for sure didn’t help. I haven’t seen the footage yet and I thought it was a good move, but unfortunately the stewards took a different view. I’ve no problem with the time-added for the incident with Jenson and I apologised to him afterwards. This could have been the one for me, but we will just have to wait a little bit longer and keep improving like we have been recently to make it happen.”
Eric Boullier, team principal: “Another good result for Kimi today. He drove very well and was backed up by a strong strategy to help him make the podium. Romain was very unfortunate in that we couldn’t quite jump Fernando [Alonso] in the pits which cost him a lot of time, plus the drive-through penalty cost him a far better result. He made a great move at a circuit where overtaking is difficult and he had no room to do anything else. For us the Stewards’ decision was harsh. The most important thing to take from the weekend has been the pace of the car; this circuit is a bit special, and I think there will be some circuits where we have to work a bit harder, but I’m confident we’ll be consistently fighting for podiums at every race weekend in the second half of the season. Red Bull are a long way ahead, but we’ve shown today that they can be beaten so we want to keep pushing them all the way.”
Alan Permane, trackside operations director: “It was a great race today from Kimi – as always. We started the race intending a three-stop strategy, but as the race played out it became clear that a two-stop would give us better possibilities so we switched over to that strategy. Kimi drove superbly to look after his tyres but deliver exactly the pace we needed at the appropriate time. He was rewarded by returning to second in the drivers’ championship. I feel really sorry for Romain for what appears to be a very harsh penalty for a fantastic overtaking move on Felipe Massa. Yes, he ran off the track, but he had nowhere else to go. It certainly seemed like good racing to me; were it not for the drive-through penalty, we would have had two cars on the podium again.”
Videos: SkySports post-race interview, drivers’ parade interview
Q: Kimi, like Lewis you’ve had plenty of success in Hungary. I think one more podium and you equal the record for the most about of podiums for a driver here. With the high temperatures, does that play into your hands a little bit on Sunday? If we go on the form of Germany, we assume it should do.
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: I think we’ve always been a bit more happy when it’s more warm. Now it’s a bit difficult to say with the new – or different – tyres than we raced at the beginning of the year but last year helped us and the tyres should be a mix of this year and last year so let’s hope that it works well for us.
Q: You didn’t go to Silverstone. Did you think twice that maybe you should?
KR: No. The decision was made with the team that there was not really so much… it was better for the team to put a young driver in it because we were not allowed to do any changes as a race driver, so with that sort of rules you don’t really learn much. We would only have had one set of tyres or so, and so it was overall better for the team to use our test drivers.
Q: Red Bull? Lotus? Maybe somewhere else? It’s silly season and you seem to be, you appear to be if the stories are true, very much a man in demand. When you look at next season and where you may or may not be driving, what are the factors that go through your mind in helping you make that decision?
KR: There’s not really one thing. I think there is going to be an overall package and whatever feels right for me. Whatever the decision will be it might feel stupid to somebody else but then it might feel right for me. I have no idea what will happen. We have to wait and see what will come but hopefully whatever it will be, it will be the right choice.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Gerhard Potochnik – Kleine Zeitung) We are talking about the future; a few days ago Red Bull and Bernie Ecclestone announced that there would be an Austrian Grand Prix next July. Can you tell us your thoughts about this?
KR: I was there maybe two years ago or something the last time. It looks slightly different. The circuit is exactly the same, I think. It’s a nice place to go, I think. It’s not a very difficult circuit because it hasn’t got many corners, but it usually produces very good racing because of the layout of the straights and the tight corners. I’m more than happy to go back there.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Kimi, if it’s really going to be 40 degrees for the race, is that really going to be too hot for you and your car? Is it a big risk for your record of finishing races?
KR: It’s the same for everybody, obviously. It will be a bit more tricky for cars and everything, brakes, everything for the drivers, but it’s not the first time that it will be hot when we are racing. If it’s going to be that hot we will see what happens. It was meant to be hot today and it was raining. Things change quickly.
Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action/National Speedsport News) Kimi, following on from the earlier question about Red Bull; you don’t like to do PR, Red Bull likes its drivers to do a lot of PR. How much PR work would you put up with if it means you have a winning car?
KR: Obviously you can’t have a guarantee what will happen next year with any team or any cars. There are a lot of rumours about PR days but we have ten and some other teams have a hundred. I’ve been in most of the top teams and I know exactly how it goes and if you count things that you do during the week and during a weekend and you put everything together, everybody has a different way of counting the days. I’m sure it’s not – at least in my knowledge – the difference between the teams is in days and it’s not a deciding factor.
Q: (Michael Noir Trawniczek – Rally and More) Kimi, when you are chosing the package and the right team, what sort of questions do you ask, how technical is it, do you visit the factory, things like that? How do you make your choice?
KR: I think it’s like I said earlier, it’s a combination of things and it has to be right on racing and outside of racing. Basically everything just has to feel right and I think in the end it comes down to whatever I think is the right choice and there will be no guarantee that the choice will be the good one in the long run but I’m fine with it, whatever the outcome will be; you live with the choices.
Q: Is any choice for next year complicated by the fact that the engine regulations, the rule regulations have changed quite drastically?
KR: Obviously it would be much easier for everybody to more or less get an idea what will happen next year without those big changes but that’s how it is. It really depends on whether one engine manufacturer gets it right and one wrong, then it might be a long season for some teams and an easier one for others but I don’t know. You hear rumours but that’s all I know about it.
Q: (Ian Parkes – Press Association) Gentlemen, you may have seen the story last week that Sauber are due to fast track a young Russian by the name of Sergey Sirotkin into Formula One. If he is on the grid at the start of next season, and he gains the necessary super licence, he will be 18-years old. Is 18 too young to be racing a Formula One car?
PM: It’s a difficult one because I don’t know the driver very well. It’s difficult to say. I think it’s more up to the team and not to us.
VB: Yeah, I don’t really know the background of this driver so it’s difficult to say.
PdiR: It’s unfair to say anything. I don’t think anybody knows too much about him because he’s not been in racing cars too long.
Q: But is 18 too young to be a Formula One driver, if you take away the individual concerned?
PdiR: You can never say never, can you? People surprise you with what they’re doing. If that’s a decision I’m sure there’s a reason behind it.
LH: I wasn’t ready at 18. I was pretty good at 18, so…
KR: I’m sure there will be and has also been an 18-year old, I guess. For sure they will take him if they feel it’s the right thing, so I don’t see that age will be the problem. It’s about experience and that. He might be ready, he might not. Time will tell.
Q: (Gergely Denes – F1-Live.hu) Kimi, last week there was some Twitter chat between Lewis and your team, a photo postcard of you and Roscoe, Lewis’s dog. Are you aware of that and what is your opinion of it?
KR: It’s the first I’ve heard of it. I don’t have a Twitter account, I don’t have any other things. I don’t really have a comment.
Q: You weren’t the man putting #where’sRoscoe on the side of the car?
KR: (Sighs and points to the team’s PR man)
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Lewis, if Kimi goes to Red Bull, would he be an even harder competitor for you than he is now?
LH: I think Kimi will always be one of the hardest competitors here. He’s a fantastic driver, he’s got great experience and he’s constantly proving his abilities and I think whatever car you put him in he’s going to be a fighting force in the field and of course he’s doing a great job at Lotus, they’ve done a great job this year and over the last couple of years. I think whatever he decides either way, he will have a strong car and I just hope that we’re competing with them.
Q: (Joo Gabor – Index) Kimi, we can divide your Formula One career into two; which one have you enjoyed most, the first one to 2009 or the second one now?
KR: I don’t really count it as two. I did something else that I wanted to do between them and then obviously I wanted to race again. It hasn’t really changed much. Obviously the team’s different but I’ve been in different teams in the past and every team has a good side and some things that you are probably finding not that much fun. Obviously when you have decent results you have more fun that if you have bad years. I would say that is very similar, more or less the same people, same stuff. I have no real difference between earlier teams and how it is now.
Video: Kimi in the press conference, everyone laughs
Talking about Raikkonen, Horner said: “Kimi’s qualities speak for themselves. He has a proven track record so you cannot question Kimi’s credentials. We want the two fastest and strongest drivers we can put in the car next year and both Daniel and Kimi would represent extremely good options.
“Both drivers get the same opportunity and then it is down to them on the track that decides who is the lead driver and the lead driver has the most points.
“Sebastian [Vettel] has no concerns about going up against any driver. He hasn’t voiced a preference any way. He knows them both, he knows they are quick and both would represent a challenge but he is not looking to influence the team in any way.”
“Of course, finances are always a factor but you can also contrast that with the difference between first and second or second and third or fourth is a significant amount in the constructors’ world championship so the financial element of it, if you don’t make the right decision, it’s going to impact you anyway if you are not scoring points,” he said.
Sebastian Vettel finally won his home grand prix in Germany as he resisted big pressure from Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean at the Nurburgring.
As the Lotus duo took turns to hound Vettel for most of the race, it looked unlikely that the Red Bull driver would be able to cling on for victory, but he ultimately managed to after a dogged drive.
“I could run longer and we had to think about if we should try to run until the end. But I had massive problem with the radio. I could hear the team but they couldn’t hear me, apart from at two corners. I wonder if we should have gone to the end as the tyres were OK. It’s hard to know what would have happened in the next two laps. We had good speed. I think we would have had a big fight anyhow and probably passed him. We tried everything we had and failed to win, but I think for the team we had a good race. We’ll keep trying.”
Pos Driver Team 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 3. Grosjean Lotus-Renault 4. Alonso Ferrari 5. Hamilton Mercedes 6. Button McLaren-Mercedes 7. Webber Red Bull-Renault 8. Perez McLaren-Mercedes 9. Rosberg Mercedes 10. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 11. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes 12. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 13. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 14. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 15. Maldonado Williams-Renault 16. Bottas Williams-Renault 17. Pic Caterham-Renault 18. van der Garde Caterham-Renault 19. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth DNF. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari DNF. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth DNF. Massa Ferrari World Championship standings, round 9: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 157 1. Red Bull-Renault 250 2. Alonso 123 2. Mercedes 181 3. Raikkonen 116 3. Ferrari 180 4. Hamilton 99 4. Lotus-Renault 159 5. Webber 93 5. Force India-Mercedes 59 6. Rosberg 84 6. McLaren-Mercedes 49 7. Massa 57 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 24 8. Grosjean 41 8. Sauber-Ferrari 7 9. Di Resta 36 10. Button 33 11. Sutil 23 12. Perez 16 13. Vergne 13 14. Ricciardo 11 15. Hulkenberg 7
Kimi Raikkonen – 2nd: “We had a pretty good last stint of the race, but the cars are close on performance so it’s difficult to overtake. Maybe some more laps would have helped us, but the race is only 60 laps so you have to do your best with that. After my first stop I was stuck behind a Mercedes for a while, but once I was past the car was pretty good. After the safety car three of us were able to pull away, but we were too close on speed to change the order. It was a good day for the team. Of course, we wanted to win; we couldn’t, but we did score the most points here. The warmer temperatures definitely helped us, so let’s hope for some more hot weather in Budapest.”
Romain Grosjean – 3rd: “After some difficult races, everything went right today and it was pretty special when I was leading the race and returning to the podium is naturally a good thing. My car felt great on the first stint with the soft tyres and it’s clear that the summer weather really suits us. Hopefully we’ll have a long summer now in Europe! Letting Kimi past at the end of the race was the sensible thing to do as we were on different strategies and he had more of a chance of going for the win than I did at that point. We didn’t know which tyre would be the best at the end of the race, so we didn’t put all our eggs in one basket.”
Eric Boullier, team principal: “That was a very good race from the team which validates all the hard work which has been going on back at Enstone, so we thank everyone at the factory for their efforts. After three difficult weekends, being on the podium was exactly what we needed. We need to continue like this to make up for lost ground in both championships. The E21 worked very well today and both Kimi and Romain drove superbly. We had a good strategy from the pit wall, some fantastic pit stops, and were it not for losing some time behind both Mercedes, it’s possible that we could have won today. I think we’ll have to ask Pirelli to keep this weekend’s specification of tyres for the rest of the season.”
Alan Permane, trackside operations director: “We’re very happy to be back on the podium again after a short spell of bleak races. Both cars ran faultlessly from start to finish and it did look like we could be able to take the fight to Sebastian [Vettel] but ultimately we didn’t quite manage it. Kimi was held up by Lewis [Hamilton] after his first pit stop but came back fighting at the end of the race. Romain did a fantastic job managing his first set of tyres which enabled him to make some great gains. We did consider running Kimi on a two-stop strategy but we could see the tyre performance dropping. We expected slightly more performance from his final set of soft tyres, but he was right with Seb at the end.”
Video: post-race Sky Sports interview, NBCSport’s interview, BBC interview
Nico Rosberg fended off Mark Webber to win a thrilling British Grand Prix littered with tyre blow-outs and featuring a late retirement for championship leader Sebastian Vettel. Rosberg’s Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was leading until he became the first man to suffer a tyre blow, with Vettel then controlling the race until his Red Bull lost drive in the closing stages.
That set up a thrilling finale as Vettel’s team-mate Webber, who had fallen to 15th on lap one, hunted down Rosberg, while Fernando Alonso and the recovering Hamilton charged past Kimi Raikkonen into third and fourth.
Interesting comments from Kimi just now. “Absolutely wrong call not to pit behind the second safety car, not my fault” Clearly unhappy
The team screwed up (translated by Nicole)
KR: I asked the team during the SC if I can come to the pitstop. We had over half a lap to make a decision about it. There are ten people sitting and staring at all kinds of monitors. I can’t understand how they could make such a wrong decision. I lost an easy 2nd position right there. I have to ask the team why they did it. That’s why it bugs me so much. I would had come in earlier myself, but somehow you still believe that people who’s work it is to make these decisions would do right decisions. But what can you do. It bugs to lose so many important points because of something like this.”
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Rosberg Mercedes 1h32:59.456 2. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 0.765 3. Alonso Ferrari + 7.124 4. Hamilton Mercedes + 7.756 5. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 11.257 6. Massa Ferrari + 14.573 7. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 16.335 8. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 16.500 9. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 17.993 10. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari + 19.700 11. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 21.100 12. Bottas Williams-Renault + 25.000 13. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 25.900 14. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari + 26.200 15. Pic Caterham-Renault + 31.600 16. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth + 36.000 17. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth + 1:07.600 18. van der Garde Caterham-Renault + 1:07.700 19. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 1 lap Fastest lap: Webber, 1:33.401 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Perez McLaren-Mercedes 47 Vettel Red Bull-Renault 42 Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 36 World Championship standings, round 8: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 132 1. Red Bull-Renault 219 2. Alonso 111 2. Mercedes 169 3. Raikkonen 98 3. Ferrari 168 4. Hamilton 89 4. Lotus-Renault 126 5. Webber 87 5. Force India-Mercedes 59 6. Rosberg 82 6. McLaren-Mercedes 37 7. Massa 57 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 24 8. Di Resta 36 8. Sauber-Ferrari 6 9. Grosjean 26 10. Button 25 11. Sutil 23 12. Vergne 13 13. Perez 12 14. Ricciardo 11 15. Hulkenberg 6
Kimi Raikkonen – 5th: “I tried to hold on at the end of the race, but with tyres that were maybe twenty laps older than the others’ it was impossible to keep them behind. It’s a shame as the race went pretty well until then; we had good pace and looked set for a pretty easy P2, but this is racing sometimes. It’s three races now where we haven’t had the result we maybe expect, but hopefully if we can have a bit more luck and also get rid of some of the mistakes we’ll be able to get back to the front.”
Romain Grosjean – 19th: “Towards the end of the race we lost quite a big part of the front wing meaning it became really difficult to drive, so in the end it was best to retire because of safety considerations. We don’t know if it was caused by some debris or something to do with the fact that it was a new part; we will be working to find out the root of the problem. Before that my race wasn’t going quite to plan and we were suffering with tyre performance. This was related to the front wing issue which started earlier in the race. The safety cars didn’t really go our way either so it’s a race I’d rather forget. Let’s go to Germany and have a better weekend.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “The outcome of the race isn’t rewarding with the amount of work that has been done by the team recently. Most of the upgrades we brought here seem to be working which is a positive sign, although we did struggle a bit in qualifying to generate good grip from the tyres. Our strategy was great today until the last safety car when we should have called Kimi in to save at least one position and make the podium. Unfortunately, we made the wrong call for which we apologise to Kimi and to the team. This sometimes happens and it isn’t easy to manage when you have so many safety car periods. We will be in Germany in a few days’ time where we’re confident we will be competitive and aiming to make amends.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We have mixed feelings today. We made some good places up during the race but in hindsight, we should have pitted Kimi at the final safety car. It wasn’t obvious at the time, but the benefit of hindsight is always enlightening. Romain had a front wing failure near the end of the race, the cause of which we don’t know yet. We weren’t affected by the tyres issues that we have seen today but warned our drivers to stay clear of the kerb at Turn 4 as there was a suspicion it might be the cause. Despite not being as good as it could have been, it was a better weekend for us than the last two. Further upgrades we have coming for Germany mean we fight on.”
Videos: Kimi on the drivers’ parade – Sky Sports interview, Team radio after second safety car, Post-race interview “not my fault”, BBC interview
Suremen, official partner of the Lotus F1 Team release an exclusive behind-the-scenes interactive video that delves into the secrets, meticulous planning, rigorous physical training and cutting edge technology that combine to produce the perfect lap of the track.
Narrated by Suremen ambassador and former Sky Sports F1 presenter, Georgie Thompson, the unique video, which allows viewers to control what they watch, tells the story of how every member of the Lotus F1 Team plays a crucial role in delivering the perfect lap – from the pit crew who practice thousands of pit stops to save vital tenths-of-a-second, to the incredible five-days-a-week fitness regime, the mind blowing reaction times of Kimi and Romain and how the drivers communicate with the pit wall at speeds in excess of 200kph.
Viewers hear the secrets of the success behind the Lotus F1 Team’s incredible start to the season, which sees the team sitting third in the Constructors’ World Championship and drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, placed second and seventh respectively in the Drivers’ World Championship.
The video follows the Lotus F1 Team E21 car racing around the circuit. At key points during the lap, viewers are invited to click on links, which allow them to access additional interview features with team members and the drivers themselves.
During these features, team members reveal exclusive details of the fitness trainers who prepare the drivers to handle incredible g-forces and have the reactions of a fighter pilot, to the huge financial investment in state-of-the-art technology to achieve victory. There is also a glimpse of how the team comes together in celebration when the perfect lap is performed and Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean find themselves on the podium.
Viewers hear from a range of key Lotus F1 Team personnel, including star driver Romain Grosjean, the man behind Romain’s vigorous training regime, David Thompson, and Race Team Manager Paul Seaby, who spends thousands of man hours looking to save priceless tenths-of-a-seconds during pit stops.
Win A Chance to Drive an Lotus F1 Team Car!
Suremen, official partner of the Lotus F1 Team is giving fans the chance to attempt their own perfect lap through its Formula Win competition – which will see people flying to the South of France to drive a Lotus F1 Team car. For information visit http://formulawin.suredeodorant.co.uk/
Enjoy these unique pictures and video of music artists Daft Punk at the Monaco Grand Prix with Lotus F1 Team. Including a bizarre catwalk with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean just before the race.
Nico Rosberg finally secured Mercedes’ first Formula 1 win of the 2013 season as he maintained the lead throughout a Monaco Grand Prix interrupted by two safety cars and a red flag. Mercedes was unable to repeat its qualifying one-two, as Lewis Hamilton fell to fourth behind the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
Force India’s Adrian Sutil pulled off brave passes on Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso into Loews. He then benefited when contact between Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez at the chicane late on left the Lotus with a puncture and caused damage that would ultimately force Perez to park.
Button came through to sixth, having earlier had a spat with his McLaren team-mate Perez when the Mexican cut the chicane to hold him off. Perez was ordered to let Button past, but overtook him cleanly at the same spot later on. He then had another chicane incident with Alonso, and this time it was the Ferrari asked to move aside having cut the corner.
Raikkonen was next on Perez’s list, but on that occasion the chicane move ended in contact. Raikkonen’s recovery drive ultimately earned him a point, as he overtook Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber on the final lap.
Pos Driver Team 1. Rosberg Mercedes 2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 3. Webber Red Bull-Renault 4. Hamilton Mercedes 5. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 6. Button McLaren-Mercedes 7. Alonso Ferrari 8. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 9. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes 10. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 11. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 12. Bottas Williams-Renault 13. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 14. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 15. van der Garde Caterham-Renault DNF. Perez McLaren-Mercedes DNF. Grosjean Lotus-Renault DNF. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari DNF. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth DNF. Maldonado Williams-Renault DNF. Massa Ferrari DNF. Pic Caterham-Renault World Championship standings, round 6: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 107 1. Red Bull-Renault 164 2. Raikkonen 86 2. Ferrari 123 3. Alonso 78 3. Lotus-Renault 112 4. Hamilton 62 4. Mercedes 109 5. Webber 57 5. Force India-Mercedes 44 6. Rosberg 47 6. McLaren-Mercedes 37 7. Massa 45 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 12 8. Di Resta 28 8. Sauber-Ferrari 5 9. Grosjean 26 10. Button 25 11. Sutil 16 12. Perez 12 13. Ricciardo 7 14. Hulkenberg 5 15. Vergne 5
News & Quotes:
Grosjean penalised for Ricciardo clash: Grosjean’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was also called to the Monte Carlo stewards having been caught exceeding the prescribed speed during a safety car period. The Finn escaped with a reprimand. Raikkonen finished 10th in the race, having run fifth until a collision with Sergio Perez’s McLaren resulted in a puncture.
Perez: Raikkonen at fault in collision: “Kimi didn’t give me any room, there was nothing I could do to avoid it. If someone could avoid the accident it was Kimi.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 10th: “It was a really disappointing day. Because of one stupid move from Sergio [Perez] we’ve lost a lot of points to Sebastian [Vettel] in the Championship and you can’t afford to lose ground like that. He hit me from behind and that’s about all there is to it. If he thinks it’s my fault that he came into the corner too fast then he obviously has no idea what he’s talking about. It’s not the first time he’s hit someone in the race; he seems to expect people to be always looking at what he might do, then move over or go straight on if he comes into the corner too quick and isn’t going to make it without running into someone. Not the ideal weekend but there’s nothing we can do about it. At least we got one point back at the end.”
Romain Grosjean – DNF: “Daniel [Ricciardo] seemed to be really struggling with his rear tyres and they looked to have a lot of graining. I’d been following him for almost all of the 61 laps but I was caught out by him braking early in the middle of the circuit and there was nowhere for me to go. It’s a frustrating end to the weekend, but the real damage was done in qualifying when I didn’t get through to Q3. That was Daniel again who I was held up by, but it certainly wasn’t my intention to end my race in the back of his car! Now we just press the reset button and head to Canada hopeful of a better weekend all round.”
Eric Boullier, team principal: “This is certainly not the weekend we wanted. Kimi was impeccable all weekend once more and his race was ruined by another driver making unnecessary contact with his car. This caused a puncture and basically ruined his race. Romain had a difficult weekend, but showed fantastic pace when he had a clear track in front of him. We’ve lost ground in both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships this weekend so we’ll be pushing twice as hard when we get to Canada to make amends. On a more positive note, we were extremely proud to have Daft Punk – making only their third public appearance in twenty years – join the team for the race, and would like to express our gratitude to Columbia Records for helping make this concept a reality. The team has a truly unique brand image, and we’re keen to continue this unorthodox approach moving forwards.”
Alan Permane, trackside operations director:“A very frustrating race for us. Both of our cars were bottled up in traffic almost all of today, which is what you can expect in Monaco if you’re not leading. Romain was unfortunate to get caught out by the car in front, but he has received a ten-place penalty for Canada which will compound today’s woes. Kimi was running strongly in fifth position, but his race was completely compromised by the late pit stop we were forced to make. That he was able to make back three places in the last two laps shows just how hungry he is. We head to Canada wanted to return to business as usual.”
Videos: Kimi’s team radio after Perez’s first attempt at the chicane, Kimi swears on team radio after crash, Kimi’s last few laps onboard, overtaking moves, interview with MTV3
Speaking to RTL above – Kimi: “He tried to pass me once and I looked in the mirror. He was way too fast and he could have hit me there already, when I would not have avoided it. He has no clue of what would have happened. Driving aggressively is ok, but driving silly not. He cannot even make the corner by himself. He should have realise that people in front of him trying to avoid because he would have hit them otherwise. He relies on people infront to avoid. That is not the first time that it happened and it is very disappointing when there is someone like that, who hits you all the time.
Reporter: Yes, he was responsible for many of such situations. Is that maybe something that all drivers should discuss together with him?
Kimi: It is just… I don´t know. Maybe we should hit him in the face then he’ll understand.”
| 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