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