The latest F1 gossip and revelations surrounding Kimi
Source: racingnerds.com | Translations courtesy of Nicole
Kimi Räikkönen’s F1-career will continue for at least one more season. His will to continue will be based upon how good it feels to drive with next season’s big regulation changes.
Räikkönen has raced with 10-cylinder engines in 2001-05 and with 8-cylinder engines in 2006-09 and in 2012. They are now changing engines into 1,6 liter V6 -turbo engines.
Kimi shrugs his shoulders when asking for his opinion about the significance of the engine change.
“Nobody simply can’t know anything about them yet. Anybody can have the best engine or it can be that they are all equal. We can’t even ever be 100 % certain about which team is the best team next season.”
“That’s how it has always been in F1. This year’s strong car can be bad already next year. You never get any guarantees.”
Lotus won one GP and Räikkönen was 3rd in the WDC-serie. What has the team most to catch up with when compared to the lead?
“They never lacked anything big anywhere. I guess we were slightly behind in each area. There could probably had been more downforce in the car and of course the car could have worked better in certain temperatures,” Räikkönen estimated in an interview with Turun Sanomat.
“I guess the biggest change in the beginning of next season is that, now we know each other in the team and have all the routines during the weekend better under control. As long as we get better qualifications than last spring our chances to get better results in races grow significantly.”
DRS-limitation a sensible change
Rules in qualification will next season change so that it’s not allowed to drive the whole lap with an open DRS. They will follow the same procedure they have in the race with only one DRS-area.
“It’s a totally reasonable change. Now it was more or less so that everyone tried to use the DRS earlier and earlier in qualification. That way a big crash is bound to happen at some point. It was the drivers who wanted this to change. The risk sort of grows smaller when not trying to open the DRS too early in some places.”
“I think that the situation will also get more even when earlier some Red Bull could drive on some tracks with an open DRS all the time while other cars weren’t capable of the same,” Räikkönen thinks.
James Allison got offers from bigger teams last season, but he will still continue with the Enstone crew.
No driver can build a car
Now they are developing the E21-car being aware of what Räikkönen and Romain want from it. However Kimi trashes the claims that experienced drivers could in some teams be actively involved in the car’s development work.
“Not one single F1-driver designs these cars. If that would be the case then we wouldn’t have any engineers or designers here left. Those claims are pure bull shit. Of course we get to say our opinions as drivers and the engineers listen, but after that it’s the team who will then do their best.”
“Engineers invent first and after that we try how it works, if it’s good or not. It’s just an urban legend that some driver would sit there designing how the car is built.”
“Of course everybody believes at this stage that their car will be good, but there are no guarantees of the competitiveness until it is put on the track. But no team says at this point that they have a totally bad car coming up, even if they would know it would happen. It goes without saying that everybody is praising their car until the end,” Räikkönen assures.
Kimi fan-gear had as the most popular item the shirt-campaign ’Leave Me Alone. I Know What I’m Doing’.
Kimi’s race engineer Simon Rennie reminded him constantly to keep his tires warm during the SC. In the end Kimi snapped back telling that he doesn’t need any advice since he knows what he is doing.
Rennie was supposed to be Räikkönen’s race engineer according to Lotus-team’s original plan, but Kimi wanted a familiar work mate and so Mark Slade was invited back to Enstone.
Hence Räikkönen had two engineers.
According to information Turun Sanomat have, Rennie has left his job and hence Mark Slade will be Kimi’s only official race engineer next season.
Slade interpreted the chain of events in Abu Dhabi which escalated into Räikkönen’s sharp comment.
“I was also very nervous but that’s how it always is. The fact is that we used to have problems to get the tires to work in restarts after SC-events. Sometimes you have to give advice to the driver, but I recommended Simon to say nothing.”
“In a situation like that Kimi is of course 100 % concentrated. His intention wasn’t to reply as sharply as it sounded to outsiders. He only wanted to say that he is concentrated and knows exactly what he is doing.”
“And Kimi proved that in his restart. He was fantastic and pulled in two laps the gap which brought victory.”
What does the international F1-media expect from Kimi Räikkönen’s season 2013? Here is the German, British and Italian opinion.
“If Kimi has an even slightly better car than he had last season, then he will be driving in the top group. If Lotus doesn’t achieve the same level, then even a driver of Kimi’s caliber can’t do miracles,” says Michael Schmidt from Auto, Motor und Sport.
“I expect a stronger season from Kimi. Lotus made a fantastic car and although the new E21 doesn’t perhaps offer all the same advantages as the E20 it should still be quite strong – and Kimi at least is as a driver tougher than before after driving his comeback-season,” says Jonathan Noble from Autosport.
“If Lotus has enough money to build and develop new parts to their car, then why wouldn’t Kimi do top results with that car also. In the final games the previous season was a learning year for Kimi and he was immediately good enough to drive in the lead,” says Andrea Cremonesi from La Gazzetta dello Sport.