India: Thursday’s press conference
Q. Kimi, your first time in India. What are your thoughts, your impressions?
KR: Well, I came last night at one o’clock, so I’ve only seen the motorway and the hotel. The hotel, outside it, looks nice. I have no complaints so far. The circuit – I haven’t gone around it. That is tomorrow. I’ll tell you about it.
Q. Are you a fan of Indian food?
KR: Yeah, actually I am, if it’s the same as it is in Europe. I like it, but you know I have no experience yet of the local food.
Q. Kimi, we’re told we can expect an announcement next week or so, is that the case?
KR: I don’t know. I mean, we have options but nothing is decided but I guess it will be decided at some point.
Q. (Shridhar Poddar – Sakal Media House ) Kimi, how has the break from Formula One to rallying helped you, because your second stint has been turning out to be as good as the first one?
KR: It hasn’t really done anything. I was pretty happy to go and do something else for a while, did some racing and I’m enjoying it again. It’s the same places – OK, there are some new circuits and places to come to this year and a new team, but apart from that, Formula One hasn’t changed and it’s exactly the same. For me, nothing’s really changed. People always talk about where I was last time, that I didn’t have the motivation but I thought I drove better than I ever drove in the last year; it was just that we had a pretty bad car at that time. Nothing has really changed for me.
Q. (Chetan Narula – PlanetF1) Kimi, how big a challenge were Pirelli’s tyres for you, because the last time (you were in F1) you had different tyres, and now you have totally different compounds and everything?
KR: I admit that I had some thoughts about the tyres before I did one private test – OK, it wasn’t the race tyres, it was some other even more worse tyres but I thought that they were fine. When you come from rallying, they have much more grip and the tyres were OK for me so after that, I already knew that I would not have any issues, because there was a lot of talk that maybe it was not good, but when I came back, I didn’t really remember how it was two years earlier, so I thought that the tyres were completely fine and I still do so. OK, they wore off a bit faster than in the past in some races but it’s the same for everybody and they’ve been doing a very good job for Formula One so I’m happy with that.
Q. (Chetan Narula – PlanetF1) And you haven’t won this year but despite that, how good a comeback has this been for you?
KR: Yes, I’m happy. If you had told me before the season that I will be in this position with this many points and stuff like that I would have taken it but of course when you do some good races you always want more and more and then you’re disappointed if you’re not. If you do well you want more and more. It could have been better but it could have been much more worse also.
Q. (C. Raghunath – The Hindu) Kimi, do you fancy your chances this year? You’re third in the championship…
KR: Yeah, of course. We’ve had a chance. It’s the difference like in 2007. We had a car that you knew that could win all the races and right now we are not the fastest car so we need more help to really win it but we will keep trying and hopefully we can achieve it. We will try until there’s no chance but it’s a bit different situation. But if we can improve the car in the next three races, you never know, so…
Q. (Vinayak Pandey – Hindustan Times) Kimi, after which race did you feel that the Lotus team didn’t have the same competitiveness as it had at the start of the season?
KR: I think in Spa we had some signs but then we have seen this year that one race you can be very strong and the next not so good, it’s been up and down between the teams. For some reason, after the summer break, some of the teams have been much more consistent. I think we still have a good car. We improved it in the last race again but we are not at the level that we maybe were compared to others at the beginning of the season.