Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen speaks to Ted Kravitz following the opening two races of the season.
Watch the full interview here. (Download, courtesy of Wenny.)
Q: Kimi, if you had to describe yourself to someone new to Formula 1, how would you describe yourself to them?
KR: I dunno, maybe it would be easier to go to YouTube and [laughs] look something else
– What are they gonna find on YouTube?
KR: I dunno, a lot of different things.
– I think it’s probably better that they don’t go to YouTube [laughs]
KR: [smiles] I don’t mind…
Q: Would you say you’re a racing driver first – normal Finnish bloke second? Normal Finnish bloke who happens to be a racing driver?
KR: Yeah I think that order would be more right. I’ve done racing all my life but I live a normal life as I can. Do the normal things. That’s always been normal for me.
Q: It doesn’t seem to bother you though; the intrusion into your public life, everyone gets it, Lewis Hamilton gets it, Fernando Alonso gets it…
KR: I think when I was younger, in the early days in Formula 1 I got bit upset about it but I don’t really care about it because otherwise you think about it and you just get angry but I stopped that many many years ago.
Q: When you left, you talked about some of the bits you were fed up with in F1, some of it politics, some of the other rubbish that isn’t related to actual driving. Are you okay with it now?
KR: I was okay with it for ten years or so – I never liked it but I don’t think many people likes it. The racing is the main thing why I’m here, I love to race, it’s always been like that and always will be. I know how it is, for sure the Formula 1 hasn’t changed.
Mention Kimi Raikkonen to a lot of people in the UK and they’ll say “Oh yeah he’s the party animal” Is that the response you get at home?
Anette Latva-Piikkila: Well I think in Finland everyone is a bit of a party animal, we do like to party a lot and drink a little bit so in a way we don’t see it in a bad light. It’s more of “good old Kimi!”
Q: You love to race to win, nothing I can imagine beats the feeling of standing on top of the podium; is the car gonna be there to allow you to win – will you be happy fighting for 6th, 7th, 8th?
KR: It’s not so often in my career in Formula 1 that I’ve had a winning car so I mean it’s nothing new. It’s not always you in the front and just driving on your own and winning easily so… doesn’t happen too often. Hopefully we have a good car and we can challenge on the top.