Archive for April, 2012

Kimi’s column: Bahrain GP review


Up Where We Belong!

Obviously, I’ve got more points than ever before, but, for sure, it was not the best race of my life. We had a chance to get to the top position at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Well, we tried our best, but it was not enough. We finished second and I’ve got my first podium after a couple of years.

The weather was good. Finally it was consistently warm. Our car likes that and it felt really good after we had the proper set-up work done on Friday better than in the previous race weekends.

The key factor was the tyre degeration. It’s the same for everybody, but everybody can approach it in their own way. We decided to gamble the qualifying and went accordingly through it. To save new tyres for the race, we did only one lap in Q2. We knew it will be tight, and we lost it. But still I had a encouraged feeling for Sunday.

After the race in China and after the qualifying in Bahrain, people probably started thinking that we are idiots and cannot do anything right. But we showed in the race why we did what we did. It was close already in China and this time our strategy paid back very nicely for us.

We were at our fastest speed while it counted. I managed to overtake Romain and after that I’ve was hunting down Sebastian. It was close getting past him, too, but I would have needed more than one chance to make it. Now I chose the wrong side for braking, Sebastian survived and after that, I pretty much knew, that was it.

Of course, I wanted to win. I would have been much happier myself after the race. But, most of all, it was a great result for the team. The team gained many places in the constructors’ championship, while finally we got both our cars in the points ­and, most of all, in the podium as well.

Only McLaren has had two cars in top 3 in the season like us. That shows how tight and how close it is with so many top teams. You have to get everything exactly right to be at the top. Small mistakes­ or a measured risk like we had ­ and you are out from Q3 and most likely out of podium, too.

Now the team is back up where we belong. The Bahrain result was good, but it’s not good enough for us. We will push even harder to get good results on regular basis. I wouldn’t count on winning, but you never know how it goes in motor racing.

Next step is testing in Mugello. For Barcelona we have again some new parts and also some good data from the winter testing. Let’s wait and see how it goes there in two weeks time.


Salo: Raikkonen can win title this year


Former F1 driver Mika Salo reckons that Kimi Raikkonen could battle it out for the title this year, providing Lotus ‘maintains the development’ of the E20.

Raikkonen came close to winning in Bahrain last weekend and while he is only seventh currently in the drivers’ championship, 19 points behind Sebastian Vettel, Salo still thinks his fellow countryman is a real contender.

“The most consistent team has been Lotus,” Salo told “They’ve been fast at every circuit so far. In that sense, Kimi’s situation looks very good.

“I would not exclude it at all that he will be fighting at the very end of the championship, if Lotus is able to maintain the pace of development.”

Marc Surer, who raced in F1 from 1979-1986, concurs that Lotus’ ability to develop the E20 will be key.

“I think Kimi has shown everyone that he is still able to do just what he was doing before [leaving and spending two years in the WRC]. He is a lot younger than [Michael] Schumacher [who also took a break and came back], and if you look at the past 10 years, Kimi is probably one of the best talents that we have seen in F1,” Surer told Servus TV in Austria.

“[But] they [Lotus] also began the previous season just as well, but soon after they were nowhere.

“So the real question is, ‘Do they have the resources to develop the car and stay where they are now?'”

Racing against Kimi on the Nürburgring


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Before Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom came under pressure from the feds he shot this video of himself and partner Finn Batato racing Germany’s famed Nürburgring racing circuit in three of his crazy cars with F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen in the summer of 2011. According to Dotcom the final edit was “seized by the FBI.”

This edit looks pretty good to us.

You’ll remember Kim Schmitz — a.k.a. Kim Dotcom — had his company Megaupload seized by the Feds and all his cars impounded over various piracy claims. He’s since been released from jail but was banned from the Internet.

That didn’t stop someone from uploading (on the MrKimDotcom YouTube account) this video of Kim, Batato and a relaxed Kimi crossing the finish line of the Nürburgring at just a hair under the eight-minute mark in heavily modified (see those NOS tanks back there?) Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK DTM supercars.

The video makes some big claims about the shoot:

A fun day on the most famous race track in the world. This video shows a full lap around the ring.

Kim Dotcom, Kimi Raikkonen and Finn Batato on the Nürburgring Norschleife with three highly modified Mercedes Benz AMG CLK DTM supercars. A fun day on the most famous race track in the world. This video shows a full lap around the ring.

It took 20 laps to get all the shots for this video. It’s a homage to the Nurburgring, the CLK DTM and Kimi Raikkonen, one of the best drivers in the world.

I DID NOT WIN against Kimi. I never could. We had to remove the air from his tires to keep up. And even then it was impossible 🙂

The production involved 30 cameras, 100+ crew, 2 helicopters, 2 camera cars and one fixed wing aircraft.

The song “Take me away” was produced by Kim Dotcom and Printz Board.

P.S. The final edit was seized by the FBI during the Megaupload raid.
It will be uploaded as soon as it returns (if ever).
The current version has a few problems and no color correction. Sorry.

Thank you Kimi Raikkonen.
You are the best driver in the world and I am your biggest fan.

Ask Kimi! – Part 2


Over the course of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, Lotus F1 Team invited fans to ask their questions to Kimi via the official team website. Part 2 sees the Finn answer the second half of the best queries we received, including his thoughts on caps, sunglasses, social media, Sebastian Vettel and taking risks to win…

Essi Kimi:
 Why do you always wear a cap and sunglasses, even when there is no sun?

KR: I like caps and I like sunglasses. I have very sensitive eyes so I have to protect them with the sunglasses.

Noémi Kovács: Have you ever got something special from your fans?

KR: I receive a lot of gifts from fans… they can be really inventive and it makes me smile. They remember my birthday, they send their congratulations and their supporting slogans in Finnish. That’s something special, isn’t it?

Prakasita Nindyaswari:
 Why you don’t have a twitter account?

KR: Well, I don’t really like twitter… or facebook. I prefer privacy.

Cindy Idier: 
What will be your revenge against Sebastian Vettel after what he did on the podium? Did you see the pictures?

KR: Yeah I saw that, it was funny. The revenge will come soon enough, I hope! Getting on the first step of the podium would be a good start.

Lisa Munro: 
Who’s better at badminton, you or Sebastian Vettel?

KR: I keep on winning! It’s something like 100 to 0 so far…

Steve Jones:
 What is your favourite activity outside of Formula 1?

KR: I like a lot of things… all kinds of sports and games where there is an element of competition. Ice Hockey is my current favourite while it’s still time for winter sports.

Anastasia Kozlova: 
What would you choose: a guaranteed 2nd place (which definitely brings you a Constructor’s Title) or a risky strategy with a 10% chance for 1st place? (Let’s say the race is taking place at Spa)

KR: I think it’s more exciting if you have to battle and take some risks to obtain the top spot. I’m here to win!

Oszter Tamás
: What situation makes you nervous on the race track?

KR: If somebody is doing something really stupid. But luckily right now the grid is very talented!

Divine Y. Lopez: You’re always so calm and collected. How do you do manage that being involved in a sports that’s, to my mind, frequently tension-filled and highly stressful?

KR: I just focus on racing and don’t let other things bother me. I have been in racing for two thirds of my life now; you just get used to being in this environment.

Sarah Moreau: Can you explain why you always perform so well at Spa?

KR: I really like the track so I guess that helps. I’m looking forward to racing there again and hopefully come home with a good result for the team.