There has been a lot of speculation about what Kimi Raikkonen will do next season (2013). This will all come to an end on the 17th of October, Kimi’s birthday, when a new contract will be published at www.whatwillkimidonext.com. Check out the teaser video below!
A tough opening day in Japan for Kimi, with a stop-start session in the morning followed by KERS issues in the afternoon resulting in limited running time. The Iceman however is enjoying the challenge of Suzuka, and is confident there is more to come from the E20…
Q: Kimi ; not the ideal start to the weekend… tell us about if from your perspective ?
KR: We didn’t get much running in FP2 because of the issue with the KERS, but at least it happened today and we got it fixed. It’s not ideal when we’re searching for the best setup but there’s nothing you can do about these things. Suzuka is not the easiest place to get the car set up, but we still have tomorrow’s practice before qualifying.
Q: Were you happy with the car in the track time you did have ?
KR: The car doesn’t feel too bad. We have to fix certain things but it’s not as if there’s something wrong ; we just have to dial out a bit of understeer so it’s certainly not a disaster. We changed a few things at the end of the afternoon session but unfortunately didn’t have enough time to get a good feel what difference it made. Hopefully we can everything together tomorrow.
Q: ‘The Device’ made a brief appearance in FP1 ; what was your feedback ?
KR: It worked a bit, but we had a couple of other issues in the morning which meant we probably didn’t get the best out of it. There’s potential for improvement from it for sure, but one upgrade won’t suddenly make the difference between finishing in the top ten and winning races ; it’s a combination of things and we have other parts here which look promising.
Q: Suzuka is a particular favourite for many drivers ; how much did you enjoy being back here and what are your hopes for tomorrow ?
KR: I enjoying driving here ; it’s a challenging place to find the speed. It’s quite difficult to get a good lap ; so much depends on the car and getting into a good rhythm, but that’s part of the enjoyment of Suzuka. It’s been a tricky day today, but I think we have the potential to be nearer the front than we have in the last couple of races so let’s see what we can do in qualifying…
Kimi Raikkonen believes he can still deliver a Japanese Grand Prix result that will keep him in the championship hunt, despite a difficult opening day of practice.
The Lotus driver was unable to get confident enough with the team’s double-DRS, which has been ditched for this weekend, in first practice before losing time with a KERS failure in the afternoon.
Despite the setbacks, Raikkonen thinks that Lotus is in better shape than it has been in recent races, which gives him confidence he can close down championship leader Fernando Alonso.
“Hopefully we can score more points than Fernando,” said Raikkonen. “Even if we lose a place to Lewis [Hamilton] right now, it makes no difference.
“We just have to try and gain on the front and hopefully at the next race we will get more new parts and it should make a bigger difference. We should be okay.”
Although disappointed with the problems on Friday, Raikkonen said he was still looking on the bright side about the potential for the weekend.
“For sure it doesn’t help, so we have lost a lot of track time and it is not the easiest place to get the car right,” he explained.
“But if something is positive it happened today and not tomorrow morning. I think we ran closer to the front than we were at the last few races, so hopefully that is a good sign we can be a bit better.”
He added: “The car doesn’t feel too bad. We have to fix certain things, but it is not like there is something that is a complete disaster.”
The team tried the device for the first time at the German Grand Prix but has been unable to race it yet as it has not managed to get it to work at its full potential.
Raikkonen ran the double-DRS in opening practice at Suzuka, but the team has ruled out using it on Saturday or Sunday as it was unable to make it switch effectively.
“It worked a little bit but we are not going to run it,” said Raikkonen.
“Plus we had some other issues during the running so it didn’t help again to get the best idea. But it is not going to suddenly make us win if it worked 100 per cent.”
Raikkonen admitted the device was also making the car harder to set up.
“It seems to be,” he added. “I think you have to ask the team, but it started well the first time we tried it, and with all the things that were going on it hasn’t been as easy as we had hoped, but we are learning with it.”