Kimi unveils special edition Lotus Evora at Geneva Motorshow

Source: just-auto.com | lotusf1team.com | @Lotus_F1Team

The vast Palexpo arena was the venue for Kimi’s latest outing since joining the team. A slight mix-up with parking arrangements meant that the 2007 Formula 1 World Champion was in a bit of a hurry as he made his way through the crowds to the Lotus stand. While Kimi barely broke a sweat, our man on the ground was struggling to keep up the pace: perhaps a few sessions at the team’s Human Performance Centre are in order!

On arrival Kimi was whisked straight off the Lotus Originals store, where a team was on hand to kit him out in the latest branded gear. True to form the Finn immediately made a beeline for the flat peak caps, picking one off the shelf along with a couple of t-shirts. Surprisingly, he breezed straight past the rack of formal shirts…

Now in full Lotus attire, Kimi was shown up to the VIP area where the views across the arena made for an impressive backdrop. Chatting away with guests while occasionally sipping from a glass of water (having politely declined the offer of champagne) the Finn instantly appeared at ease in the company of the automotive world’s key players.

Of those in attendance, one face in particular stood out from the crowd: another legend of Formula 1, Jean Alesi. The two shared a few racing anecdotes with the guests, as they discussed the customer racing car suspended vertically on a revolving platform in the centre of the room: the Lotus Type 125. A scaled down version of a Formula 1 car, the Type 125 can be bought by the everyday driving fanatic – if they happen to have a spare $1million lying around!

After a brief discussion with Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, Kimi traded the relative serenity of the exclusive balcony for the bright lights of the stage, where a mass of photographers gathered to catch a few shots of the Finn alongside the latest Lotus creations.

As the flashes continued to pulse through the arena, Kimi was greeted by former Formula 1 commentator Jonathan Legard for a Q&A session in front of the world’s media. Along with the usual talk about the upcoming season, the pair discussed the latest additions to the Lotus Cars range: the Lotus F1 Team Evora GTE, and the Evora S Roadster. The 440bhp GTE certainly seemed to catch the Finn’s eye, as he climbed in and explored the cockpit. Not quite as much carbon fibre as he’s used to having around him, but pretty close!

With one-to-one interviews and a few autographs rounding off the media session, Kimi’s job for the day was done as he headed back out into the sunshine of Geneva for the journey home. No doubt he’ll be resting up and getting his mind focused, as his next stop is the Top Gear test track where he’ll be facing none other than the infamous ‘Stig’ – not to mention an inquisition from a certain Jeremy Clarkson! Stay tuned to our Twitter feed for updates throughout tomorrow’s filming at the famous top gear studios.

[Kimi Raikkonen on the Lotus stand seemed very relaxed after the three-hour drive from Zurich. Three hours? And you kept to the speed limit then Kimi, asked the MC. “Yes, of course, this is Switzerland,” came the straight reply.]

Iltalehti was the only Finnish media in private rooms of Lotus at the Geneva Motor Show. There was Kimi Räikkönen himself answering the question…

Q: What is the secret of the speed of Lotus?
KR: It behaves well and responds to setups, all the normal things are in order. All of course want more downforce, but it is just small things, no major problems.

Q: How do you think that Lotus will be placed in future races?
KR: Hard to say how it will go in race. A couple of weeks and then we’ll see.

Q: There has been much talk about tyres before the start of the season. Have you had trouble getting used to these narrow rubbers?
KR: It has really not been a problem. I don’t have anything to compare from last year. If I had been driving other tyres, maybe then, now there is nothing that I should be expecting. Well, maybe they’ll wear out more than before.

[Source: iltalehti.fi | Translation courtesy of reppo]

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