Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen will kick off his winter break with some snowmobile racing.
Just after signing to return to F1 in 2012 with Lotus, the 2007 world champion hurt his wrist during a snowmobile racing crash in Austria.
Now, APA news agency reports that the 33-year-old Finn intends to race a 70 horse power snowmobile again, in Saalbach on 8 December.
Find out more about the Saalbach snow mobile free-entry race here.
Note – The FIA prize-giving ceremony takes place the day before on the 7th December at the Ciragan Palace.
The most prestigious venue and location on the Bosphorus to organise social and business events. The beauty of the venue offers exceptional access to Ottoman history and to the way the Sultans lived in the past. This is when the FIA motorsport champions will be presented with trophies to mark their achievements in 2012. (more…)
Source: ts.fi | Translation courtesy of Nicole
Heikki Kulta spoke to a few people about their highlights of the 2012 F1 season. Beginning with one of the closest workers and friends of Kimi, his physio trainer Mark Arnall:
Mark Arnall: “Highlight? Well, coming back to F1. Of course Abu Dhabi is above all the other races. It was a completely special case, because Kimi won a GP after being away for two years. The whole season has been good, one big highlight in itself, but Abu Dhabi was a fantastic thing for the team, it was important that they got a victory with Kimi during this season.”
“I myself am not surprised at all over Kimi’s performances. I thought all the time that he is competitive if he comes back. Kimi is probably the most committed driver the team can get. He owns the car so quickly. The first test in Valencia in January proved that to everybody. Three laps and Kimi was as if he would had never been away. The season has been totally unique. Kimi is confidence itself with his consistency and the car has been fantastically reliable.”
Oskari Saari, MTV3: “I guess the Finnish highlight is quite easy to put in October-November. First there was the news about Kimi Räikkönen making a continuance contract and right after that the victory in Abu Dhabi. That’s highlight enough for me at least.”
David Coulthard: “There are so many highlights that it’s difficult to say which one of them startled me the most: Ferrari’s comeback, Alonso’s driving performances, a few of Lewis Hamilton’s stunning race performances, Kimi’s “Yes, yes, yes, I know what I’m doing”. Kimi is still completely his own self, the same one he was when we drove at McLaren. His comeback was a huge favor to F1.”
Will Buxton, SpeedTV: “When it comes to driving the highlights are probably Vettel’s spectacular rises in both Abu Dhabi as well as here in Brazil. Very masterful performances, both of them, when taking into consideration under which pressure they were performed. Many got their fingers whipped after claiming that Sebastian can’t overtake and that he got his success too easily. Also one can’t but highlight the value of Kimi’s victory in Abu Dhabi. It was a reward to Lotus-team for their hard work and following Kimi has given a lot to everybody.”
Alan Jones, former world champion: “I think he surprised a lot of people, me included. He’s come back to Formula 1 and he’s done extremely well. It’s probably one of the most successful comebacks, next to Lauda and so forth, so good on him.”
Source: ts.fi | by Heikki Kulta | Translation courtesy of Nicole
The F1-season has ended. Kimi Räikkönen drove all except one of the 1192 race laps. Räikkönen also has the final statistics of his season’s overtakes in 20 races in his hands. Because he never got to start from the front row, what does he say when he was in the mid-group when it comes to the amount of overtakes?
“I seem to have 33 of them. I have nothing to say about it,” Räikkönen says and pushes the paper aside.
This was your first season with the DRS-wing system. Did it help?
“It didn’t matter at all because we weren’t fast on the straights.”
But shouldn’t it be easier to overtake with DRS?
“I don’t know. At least it wasn’t any easier than it has been before if racing someone who is as fast as you are. Of course you always get past those worse cars in front of you when starting behind the lead, them you can always overtake. You don’t need DRS-help for that.”
“But as soon as someone faster was against us the DRS didn’t benefit us at least, since we couldn’t overtake on straights. I don’t believe that this system would make it any easier than before when having a little faster car ahead of you,” Räikkönen tells Turun Sanomat.
Which one was your greatest overtake this season?
“It doesn’t matter if some overtake is greater or less greater than others since you benefit equally from them. There is always that one position you get by overtaking. Some overtake could be a little more important than others but I don’t rate them in any way.”
You overtook Michael Schumacher in Belgian GP when going downhill Eau Rouge. Was that your season’s best overtake?
“I overtook Schumacher earlier in an almost identical manner in the same spot. It was in 2004 after the SC-situation and I won the race. That’s why there was nothing spectacular about it this year.”
Next year DRS will be restricted so that it can be used in practice and qualification in the same places as in the race. So far it has been free to use it during the whole lap.
“It doesn’t change anything by itself but it’s probably a sensible decision. Now they have tried to use that wing earlier and earlier and if it would have continued then someone would certainly had crashed big time.”
“It’s only a good thing when they restrict the use of it. It’s less risky when the wing can be opened only in some specific spot.”
“Maybe it has an effect on some good car. Red Bull has been able to take some corners with an open wing whereas it wouldn’t had been possible with a poorer car. That way the situation could even out in qualification a bit,” Räikkönen thinks.
Sebastian Vettel made 18 overtakes in Abu Dhabi and 17 overtakes in Brazil and became the season’s King of overtakes with 60 all and all. Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne came in 2nd with his 58 overtakes.
Statistics: Räikkönen’s overtakes in 2012
Abu Dhabi: 0
Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle: “I think he’s done an extraordinary job, if I’m honest,” he said. “He’s the only driver to complete every racing lap this year; he’s been in the points consistently. I thought he would fade at the end of Abu Dhabi, but he looked fresher on the podium than Alonso did. I was convinced he would run out of physical fitness, and I quite like the irony that he got kicked out of the Ferrari team to make way for Alonso and he cost Alonso the world championship by beating him in Abu Dhabi. I never believed he would win… I don’t know, maybe the car’s incredible, maybe if you’d put Sebastian or Lewis in, it would have won everything. But what’s impressed me most is that he’s been out for two years rallying, hitting trees, and yet he’s not hit another F1 car. His racecraft has been incredible. I think if Grosjean had been on form, Lotus could have won the constructors’ championship.”
Williams co-team principal Toto Wolff: “He was out of the business for a long time, came back and was very solid, constantly scoring points even if it was nothing brilliant. He won, but my honest opinion – and I’m not shy to say it – is that if you want to be a world champion and beat people like Sebastian, you have to have commitment to the overall picture. People liked the radio comments [‘I know what I’m doing’, etc, in Abu Dhabi] and all that stuff, but you should be a team player and acknowledge what they do for you. You push hard, you work hard, you’re at the factory and in the simulator, not seeing it as a weekend job. What he said on the radio, for me, was unacceptable. The engineer and the team are trying to give support and you can’t ridicule them in front of five million people. I wouldn’t accept it.”
Christian Horner: “I like Kimi, I think he’s good for F1, he’s a character and not afraid to be his own person, and I think that’s why he has an enormous following. I think he’s done a very good job this year. He’s come back, kept himself in the world championship until Abu Dhabi, has finished every single grand prix, raced well and has been consistent. Formula 1 is, I think, a better place for having Kimi Raikkonen in it.