Kimi Raikkonen says he is revelling in the atmosphere at Lotus – because it is a team that prefers racing over politics.
Although there have been reports of tensions between the former Formula 1 world champion and the Enstone-based outfit – especially because of his niggles about its power-steering system – the man himself is adamant that he is loving where he is.
“I’ve felt good here since the beginning,” said Raikkonen in an interview with Italian magazine Autosprint. “The people are fine, very relaxed. They want to race and don’t want to do too much politics.”
When asked about why the power steering issue has been a season-long issue for him and the team, Raikkonen said: “It’s just that in previous years I drove cars with really good steering systems. I know there are some details here that could be worked on to improve them. That’s the only reason why I insist.”
Raikkonen also opened up a little in the interview about his spell at Ferrari, as he suggested that his departure one year before his contract was due to finish was a situation that could have been avoided.
“I felt good with them,” he said. “I won a world title and now I have no more feelings towards them, neither good nor bad. I’m happy with what I got.
“Things could probably be done better, but what does it matter now? Yes, I know the reasons why I didn’t stay with them, but I don’t feel like talking about that now. As I said, I have no hard feelings towards anyone.”
Asked if he also regretted not signing for McLaren for 2009 amid rumours that talks collapsed because he wanted too much money, he said: “That’s not true. The point is that I could see no reason for signing for a certain number of months. I wasn’t that desperate, it’s not as if I would have done anything to stay in F1.”