Kimi: “Third in the championship is good, but second is just one point away”
On what was one of the team’s most difficult weekends in terms of pace, Kimi Räikkönen’s strong run to fifth place in Monza moved the Flying Finn into third position in the Drivers’ Championship, just one point off second spot. More to come? We asked the man himself…
Q: Are you looking forward to the Singapore Grand Prix?
KR: I really like going to Singapore. It’s a great place to be, I love the local food and I don’t mind the unusual times we run in the car. I have some unfinished business after my two GPs there so far, as I have never scored a point. That doesn’t mean I’m not quick there as I’ve been told I still hold the lap record from 2008. I crashed while fighting for fifth place that year and finished down in tenth in 2009, so I want better this time.
Q: What difference does it make racing at night?
KR: In the first two years of this GP, I was a little bit surprised by how people were talking so much about the different timing. When they switch on the lights, it’s exactly the same as racing in the day time. I think everybody in F1 enjoys the night race in Singapore. It’s worked out really well as it’s a buzzing city and lots of people turn up. Apart from one or two dark spots in the run-off areas the circuit is very well lit, so there is not a big difference to racing in the day.
Q: Regardless of being at night, it’s another street race; what effect does this have?
KR: Monaco was not that good for us, but Valencia was one of the best weekends so far. Obviously, there is no reason why Singapore should be any different compared to Valencia. Like at every street circuit, it’s very difficult to pass other cars there, so starting the race as high as possible on the grid is a very important factor to get a good result.
Q: How do you think the circuit will suit the E20?
KR: Everybody will bring updates to this race so we’ll have to see what difference that makes. It’s a case of trying to get the maximum from our package and working on achieving the best balance. If we get everything right we should do okay.
Q: What’s your target?
KR: Obviously, the podium is a target again. We have had six podiums so far and scored as many points as the top guys in last few races. We have managed to get everything out of our package. Hopefully we are able to carry on in the next races, too.
Q: Any worries about the weather?
KR: Every year they say that it will rain in Singapore when the evening comes. Well, we’ll see when we’re there. It’s no use to worry about it. It will be the same for everybody, anyway.
Q: Monza was a tough race for the team?
KR: We didn’t have enough speed in the car. We were thinking that sixth or seventh would be a realistic finishing position so fifth was probably the maximum we could have achieved. Our speed down the straights wasn’t so good, which made it quite tricky to defend from cars behind. When you look at it like that it’s not a bad result.
Q: You’re up to third in the Drivers’ Championship. How high up the order can you go?
KR: We’ve lost some points to Fernando [Alonso] which is not so good, but we still managed a decent result in Italy and it’s good to be up to third in the Championship. It’s impossible to say how this season will turn out, but we’re very close to second. We’ll see what happens in the next few races.