Exclusive Interview with Kimi’s co-driver Kaj Lindstrom – “It’s all about fun!”

From WRC.com

On Thursday this week, four days after finishing second at the
Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen will
strap into his Abarth Grande Punto S2000 ready to make his World Rally
Championship debut.

Alongside Kimi on his home round of the WRC
will be experienced co-driver Kaj Lindstrom – the man who used to
partner multiple rally champion Tommi Makinen. Together, Raikkonen and
Lindstrom have tackled three rallies so far in the Abarth but this
week’s rally marks the pair’s debut on gravel.

This weekend, in between making final preparations for the rally, Lindstrom spoke to wrc.com about the challenge ahead.

How much testing have you and Kimi done for Rally Finland?
"We’ve
done two different tests – both in the same Abarth car we’ll use this
week. The first one was two weeks ago, when we did about 130kms on
roads close to Jyvaskyla. We had another test on Monday and Tuesday
last week on roads nearer to Jamsa, and on that one we did roughly
200km."

Finland will be Kimi’s first proper gravel rally, right?
"Yes,
and the first test was his first time ever on gravel with the rally
car. That was why we needed to have two separate tests; the first was
just so he could get used to driving on gravel and get used to the
tyres. He needed to get some mileage in first before he could think
about altering the car set-up on the second test."

You’ve
done two snow and one asphalt rally together so far, what was Kimi’s
reaction after driving his first proper gravel stage?

"Well,
they call him Iceman and he certainly kept his cool. There was no big
reaction as such. Perhaps the biggest surprise was how easy he seemed
to find it. For the first run we were on the same test road we had used
to prepare for the winter rally. Even though the conditions were very
different at least it was familiar to him and he could slowly build the
speed. But it didn’t take too long for him to get used to the gravel,
so I don’t know if it helped him or not – he was pretty fast right from
the start."

What car set-up changes did he made?
"With
a Super 2000 car there are only really two things you can alter;
differentials and suspension. Kimi needed to work on both areas to make
the car quicker and make the handling more predictable. It’s important
to know when you lose grip exactly what the car is going to do – and
that was the main thing to sort. We are quite pleased with what we’ve
got now. After the car was sorted it was sent back [to Tommi Makinen
Racing] to be stripped and rebuilt before the rally."

Will you test it again before Rally Finland starts?
"We’ll
check it on Monday – just to do 20 kilometres or so to check everything
works okay. That will be our shakedown because as a ‘non priority’ crew
we can’t take part in Thursday’s official shakedown."

You’ve co-driven for lots of world class rally drivers; how does Kimi’s driving compare?
"His
car handling and driving skills, like the lines he takes and so on, are
at a very high level – outstanding, actually. On the test I was quite
surprised by how quickly he got used to the gravel and got the car to
perform. It’s a very comfortable feeling for me to be in the car with
him in Finland – even though it’s a high speed rally. You can see that
he controls the car and not the other way around."

Has Kimi had any specific driving tuition for Rally Finland?
"Tommi
[Makinen] went in the car with him at our pre-event test but only in
the passenger seat. I forced him in for a ride! Tommi did drive Kimi
when he was preparing for the winter rallies, but not for this one."

What do you think Kimi will find most difficult about Rally Finland?
The
most difficult thing will be making correct pace notes because Kimi’s
going to be competing against people who are a lot more experineced.
Some will have done five years rallying before they even attempted pace
notes – and they’ll probably have been learning notes for few more
years before they tackle Rally Finland. This week Kimi will go there on
only his forth rally ever. During the recce he’ll drive 13 different
stages in two days and making accurate pace notes will be the most
demanding job to do. It’s the most crucial part of this rally too – if
you get the pace notes right then the rest should be fine."

What’s your objective next week? Or is this all about fun for Kimi?
"It’s
all about fun. We haven’t talked about any result that we want to have
and I think that’s the best way to do it. If we can do three good days
without mistakes, and hopefully without punctures, then we will get
some result for sure, but with the amount of experience he has there’s
no point in setting any targets. We’ll just see. We’ll go there with
the aim of having fun and making life difficult for the other drivers!"

Sebastien Loeb has expressed an interest in F1 – Perhaps if it goes well for Kimi he and Seb could swap keys for a while?
"Well…
I know that Sebastien is very, very talented and very good in rallying
but I would say it is easier to step into Formula 1 from the WRC world
than to go the other way around. In F1 you do the races and the
circuits and you can go and practise the same corners over and over –
that’s not like rally where you drive the stages just twice in the
recce at 80kph, and then you have to do the same thing at full speed.
In my view that’s more difficult. You only have to look at drivers like
Mika Salo or Mika Hakkinen or even Martin Brundle who did the RAC one
year to see that."

So what is the appeal of rallying for Kimi?
"The
challenge is one thing. The WRC is not easy and it’s totally different
to what he does for a living. He wants to see if he can do rallying at
the proper level and of course doing Rally Finland has always been a
dream for him. I’m just pleased that he’s so into it – and that he’s
happy to have me along too."

39 thoughts on “Exclusive Interview with Kimi’s co-driver Kaj Lindstrom – “It’s all about fun!”

  1. thanks saima!good to hear that he’s doing something that has always been his dream! i think he could do good in rally,though it’s totally different..GO KIMI!!=)

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  2. great interview!!thanks :-)Go and have fun Kimi!!

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  3. Thanks Saima!!!! I hope Kimi will have fun and bring home some good results! goooooooooooo kimi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. I just heard it. Schumi won’t replace Massa. As I said earlier, Schumi is afraid to race with Kimi.

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  5. Cool! Believe it or not I’m still a high from Kimi’s race on Sunday!! 🙂 The last few weeks were difficult, especially the German GP. 😦 Hope that Kimi will have plenty of fun at the rally – can’t wait for Valencia, and it’d be just perfect if he could win at Spa! 🙂

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  6. Schumacher may be the best choice for Ferrari in the short term( while Massa is aut) and i must recognize i would love to see Hamilton vs Scumi!!!!!! But Kimi is still my number 1.

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  7. Hi Saima and to all,Oups… that must a lot change the Punto in comparison with the bolide of the Formula 1 for Kimi, even if the Punto already is well transformed in racing car of road… lol… But finally what is harder? The piloting on road or on circuit?… Yes, this isn’t the same speeds, or even the same techniques of piloting, but what that is the more difficult? … In comparison with my assumption, is this the formula 1?…Have a Great Day everyone, Bye-Bye and see you !!!…

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  8. Hi!Lets hope that Kimi really enjouys his run in Rally Finland. Here is a little example of the special stages where Kimi will be driving:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adeg-Ec0V9YAnd lets hope that this won’t happen to Kimi:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqQhQSbe6fwUp to Timo’s…

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  9. Hopefully Kimi will have fun this weekend, then he will be back on aug 23 for another great result – a victory this time…good luck Kimi and please be careful 😉 I was really shocked and sad when i found out that BMW are leaving F1 at the end of 2009 i definitely didn’t see that one coming they were my 2nd favorite team beside Ferrari…what a loss 😦 Keep Flying Kimi!!!!!!

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  10. Hi to all !Too well … too funny the videos of rallies, that Pekke2 shows… this is also a lot of Adrenalines, even if this is completely different of the formula 1… and I love it too!!!…Have a Great Day everyone, Bey-bye and see you !!!…

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  11. Today there was a press conference about Neste Oil Rally Finland. Kimi said that he is interested in rallying after his F1 career. After that he was asked, what he is thinking about Michael Schumacher coming back. To that question Kimi answered: "It doesn’t matter who drives the second car." That’s Kimi 🙂

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  12. the PC has already occured ? thanks Pekka! :)so Pekka, it seems Schumi is not afraid but all the same too old imo! 😛 lol Kimi’s answer doesn’t surprise me too! 😉

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  13. Yah, Pekka2. That’s always been Kimi’s attitude. Very typical response!I was woken up this morning with news of M.Schumacher replacing Felipe Massa, having gone to bed last night reading Michael’s manager’s assertion that he’s "200%" certain that Michael will not be racing! My immediate thought is that the press will crucify Kimi if he’s beaten by Michael, and call for his replacement next year, but should he beat Michael, it will be justified as Michael’s lack of testing and absence from racing after almost a 2 year break. Do others feel the same ? On Saturday, I thought immediately how a split second incident switched the paddock rumours of Kimi being replaced in 2010 to who’s going to replace Massa….but today, with Michael’s announcement I feel the spotlight will not only be on Michael, but certainly on Kimi’s performance compared to the 7x world champion. I am confident Kimi will come up tops even though Schumi will surely rally his old Ferrari crew behind him for best racing equipment & strategy. Honestly, this is Kimi’s best chance to showcase his talent and skill against the guy regarded as a "legend" to many.

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  14. I couldn’t agree more with Trixie. In fact the Kimi crucifixion has already started what with Eddie Jordan & otrs saying that it’s a wake up call for him etc. What utter crap – it didn’t surprise me, but all the same it isn’t pleasant hearing. And I don’t like the thought of him being effectively the no. 2 driver now that Schumi is back. But I’ve no doubt that he’ll be completely unfazed & will rise to the ocassion. Go Kimi!!!

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  15. hahah, that simple answer is truly kimi!!!!! schumi’s return would be good for the sport, after all those messed up politics in f1.,,and i’m 100% agreed with what trixie said, it almost like more or less that kimi do,people will always find a reason to be critical of him even if one doesn’t exist…But all of all, i’ve never doubted kimi’s talent and i believe he can beat schumi! Keep flying Kimi!!! 😀

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  16. I just viewed Eddie Jordan’s interview in BBC website ribbonseal, and agree, nothing surprising or revealing there. I am quite disturbed by the increasing speculation that Alonso will most certainly be going to Ferrari next year…although under current circumstances, even though I wish Massa complete speedy recovery, will he be the same driver as he was before the accident? Since he will be a father soon, he may choose to weigh his options in a different light compared to if his accident wasn’t quite as life threateing as the kind of crashes we’re used to seeing over the last 15 yrs whereby drivers were basically able to walk away with just minor bruises or so. Returning to Kimi, I found Pekka2’s video of stone up "his ass hole" hilarious!! Yeah, watch out, Kimi, but I’m sure Kimi’s response will be to "have a shit" !! HA hA!! LoL! But so true, massie-kur, with Kimi, it’s always a case of Damn if you do, and damn if you don’t! We never give up on you, Kimi…JUST KEEP GOING KIMI!!

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  17. hi saima, at 3:35 Kimi speak at the WRC press conference with Mikko Hirvonen, Sebastien Loeb, and Matti Rantanen. http://www.wrc.com/jsp/index.jsp?lnk=300&page=1&featureid=1285&desc=Finland%202009:%20Pre-event%20press%20conferenceand here a Q&Ahttp://www.wrc.com/jsp/index.jsp?lnk=101&id=5619&desc=Kimi%20Raikkonen%20Q&AENJOY !

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  18. Hi Saima and to all! Kimi and Schumi in the same team….my drem came true. Kimi or Schumacher? No question about that- Kimi forever!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure Schumi will race like his life depends on it, but our boy will beat him. I have no doubts on Kimi’s talents. Keep flying Kimi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  19. hi guys!!!!!!just wanna tell you guys that today, July 31st is Kimi and Jenni’s wedding anniversary!!!!! they’ve been married since 2004, so this is their 5th wedding anniversary.I wish for them to stay happy together and support each other through thick and thin, always and forever!!!Happy 5th Anniversary Kimi and Jenni!!!!!!! 😀

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  20. Hi to everyone! I find it really weird that Schumi is going to race again i don’t doubt he’ll be good but Kimi will beat him hands down :PHowever i wonder if Ferrari will let Kimi disgrace the team’s hero and legend… that’s unlikely to happen, there is no doubt right now that the whole scuderia will be rallying behind Schumi and won’t bother paying any attention to Kimi and now he will have to play a supporting role for him…that’s so disgusting.And Rob Smedley will not miss the opportunity of helping with this whole thing cause you get the impression from his behavior that he dislikes Kimi and would be happy to see him humiliated. For sure Ferrari have now found the perfect alibi to get rid of the Iceman so they could make way for that ‘stupid and arrogant spaniard’. Obviously Schumacher is getting a lot if not all the attention and coverage from the media right now and everyone is putting all this pressure on Kimi and saying the same stupid things they’ve been saying since the begining of the season. Hopefully Kimi will show Schumi, Ferrari and the rest of the world (specially dumb ass Eddie Jordan) who’s the real champ and let God be with him.Happy 5th anniversary to Kimi and Jenni!!!!!!!!!

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  21. i think u’re right Kiki when u say that ferrari will not let Kimi outclassed Schumacher. but anyway Kimi dont bother who’s in the next car. he will stay focus on his job n will show to Schumancher who is an, overestimated driver from my point of view, that no one is superior to the ICEMAN.

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  22. Hey guys, I have to say I’m impressed that Schumacher has the guts to come back and put his reputation at stake, hats off to him for that. I hope he won’t beat Kimi, in fact I don’t even think it’s possible in the next race. But if he drives for the rest of the year and scores more than Kimi in at least one race, it will be a disaster.

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  23. Ferrari asked for a test for Schumacher! i can’t believe it! they asked to the FIA and the other teams! that would not be fair IMO to let him have this test, Alguersuari didn’t have one!!and sure Kimi can beat him! he’s strong and in good shape! Anyway we are not sure at 100% that Schumi will drive…so let’s wait and see!!Kimi 17th this evening in the finland rally!! really amazing guy!! well done Kimi!Keep enjoying!!

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  24. hi to everyone, here is the video of kimi’s special stage at the Finland Rally. he’s just too good.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzoMd8OnDR0

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  25. 17th!!!!!! well done Kimi! you are the best!

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  26. Yes, I agree with you Marilyne, it would not be fair to allow Schumacher testing! I hope they say no, in some ways lolI have been watching the rally championships on Eurosport- he is doing excellently, especially for his first attempt in a WRC! He is just talented at everything, i think!! 😀 lol

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  27. You are absolutely right Marilyne,it’s unbelievable! First Schumi gets to test the F2007 in Mugello and now Ferrari are asking FIA and rival teams for permission to test this year’s car so that he can be better prepared, poor Alguersuari had only ever driven a Formula One car in straight line tests when he made his debut yet Toro Rosso didn’t ask for anything.It’s shameful and hilarious how Ferrari are asking for a test for the 7x world champion…plus why the hell should they get any special treatment? and who cares if he’s prepared or not? (actually it’s better for their rivals if he isn’t). What’s next ask FIA to cheat in order to help Schumi win? or ask their rivals’ drivers to let him pass easily? This is ridiculous, can they get any lower?Apparently seeking everyone’s sympathy bcoz of what happened to Felipe is the key in order to improve their current mediocre results of which they are 80% responsible.Ferrari are only looking for publicity and a media frenzy, that’s why they decieded that Schumacher will replace Massa, however if they are hoping that Kimi will be intimidated then they have no idea why he’s called Iceman…they can bring Senna to life and put him next to him in a car and he wouldn’t be fazed.I saw the video Rudhi Kinnoo and you’re right Kimi’s really good, in the future he will be as good in Rally as he is in F1 but we Raikkos know that, the guy’s a real exceptional talent…for now though i hope he stays in F1.Hopefully Kimi will continue to do well this weekend, 17th is a very respectable and honorable result for him.Gooooooo Kimi!!!! 😉

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  28. and finally, Schumi will have his one day test!! it seems Toro Rosso asked for it for Alguersuari and they refused …. :oafter they will say that Ferrari is favoured… it is IMO

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  29. Hi!Just read some news of Neste Rally Finland. Kimi run out of road at special stage 19. He crashed quite heavily and car rolled twice, but Kimi and his co-driver are ok. I don’t know if this was somehow related to fact, that Kimi had technical problems with his car all day long. Despite his problems he managed to stay THIRD place in his class. And remember, before this rally, Kimi has only driven 250 km on gravel. It is still unclear if it is possible for Kimi to continue rallying tomorrow. I think he would love to drive.

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  30. Hi again!Now there is also a video of Kimi’s crash in Neste Rally Finland. Kimi seems to be "ice cool" when he comes out of the car :)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie0VlxQO32k

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  31. Thanks Pekka2 – that was a scary roll, but Kimi was safe and his usual unflappable self!! It seems that the car can’t be repaired, but the results were great while they lasted. More luck next time. Bring on Valencia!

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  32. Thanks for video footage, Pekka2…quite unfortunate considering he was doing so well, but don’t you think he should’ve at least helped his co-driver out of the car ??!!

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  33. Hi!Here is a little bit more longer clip of the crash:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tu7NLav_hAw&NR=1Trixie: I saw from MTV3 in car footage of Kimi’s crash. After the crash Kimi immediately asked from his co-driver is he ok and Kaj Lindström replied, that he is ok. I think Kaj was just sitting in the car to collect all the stuff and talking to team with radio. Also according to that in car video, crash was not really a Kimi’s mistake. It was a mistake in his notes.

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  34. Now that on board clip of Kimi’ s crash is awailable in Youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yt-Bbqksa0Here is a video of an other angle:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdSO5OLNDtkActually from that video one can here, that there is a man offering a beer to Kimi :)Anyway, even if Kimi crashed he really impressed quite many people with his performance.

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  35. Hi to all! Pekka 2 thanks for clips. First of all i am glad that Kimi and his co-drived are unhurt. Second i’m so proud to be Kimi’s fan,he is risking his life for doing what he loves, and that is RACING!!!!!! KEEP FLYING KIMI!!!!!!!

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  36. Yes I feel proud about Kimi who is is very determined on his dream. Thank god he end his WRC in Finland safely 🙂 I’m a bit worry before the race start haha…I would like to share the link to the comment from the WRC world champion ~ Loeb’s comment on Kimi. http://www.totalf1.com/full_story/view/315310/Loeb_impressed_by_Raikkonens_rally_debut/Now I just would like to wish Kimi a Very Happy Holiday & we will see him again in Valencia GP 🙂

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  37. I found one more very impressive in car video of Kimi in Rally Finlandhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLAmymiOVc4Certainly some impressive stuff. In the end Kimi is speaking a little bit. I’m not going to translate that, but Kimi is not too happy of his driving there 🙂

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  38. Poker Face is back:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aExkTdEv4L8This is very cool video 🙂 Somehow it suits very well to Kimi

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  39. yeah pekka, that was cool=)…honestly, the first time i heard the song, i immediately thought of kimi…i mean, there’s really NOTHING BAD ABOUT IT, but kimi does give the impression of having a poker face especially when he’s in a press conference..it’s hard to read what’s going through his mind with his permafrost expression=)he prefer to let his driving do the talking, and the great thing is he’s the fastest driver out there!!no doubt about that!

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