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Post-Barcelona test interview with Kimi

| Source: lotusf1team.com |

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Having wrapped up the team’s pre-season schedule in the Spanish sun this afternoon, Kimi gives us his thoughts on an eventful winter programme, the importance of understanding Pirelli’s latest range of tyres and his expectations for the first race of the season…

Q: Pre-season has been a bit of a rollercoaster for you by all accounts; are you satisfied with progress over the past few weeks?

KR: For sure this winter could have run a bit smoother for us and there have been a few problems here and there, but this is pretty normal and whenever we’ve been out on track the car has felt good. The issues we’ve had have been pretty minor and we’ve found solutions to all of them, but unfortunately they took a bit of time to fix so in the end it’s cost us track time which is a shame. If you look back at last year the car was very reliable, so hopefully it will be the same again this season; I’m not worried about it.

Q: Tyres have been at the centre of controversy once again; what are your thoughts on the 2013 rubber?

KR: They have been graining pretty badly, but that was expected because of the cold and it’s the same for everyone. It’s difficult to say how they’ll behave until we get to the first race, but hopefully it will be quite different in the warmer conditions. If it’s the same as what we’ve seen here then they could be the main difference between the teams for sure… getting the most out of them will be important for everyone.

Q: Less than two weeks now until the first race of the season; where do you think the team stands heading to Melbourne?

KR: It’s hard to say as you never know what kind of programme the others are running. We’ve run through a lot of assessments over the past few weeks and the feeling in the team is that we have a strong basis to start the season, even if we haven’t shown that every day. I’m happy with the car and looking forward to going racing. Whether we’ll be up there from the start we won’t know until we get there, but we don’t have to wait very long to find out…

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One response

  1. Translation courtesy of Nicole/Wolfie 🙂
    —————————————————–
    Every dog has its day, but finally the sun shined on Räikkönen
    F1 | Turun Sanomat 3.3.2013 23:34

    Kimi’s nephews Justus and Tiitus came to follow Kimi’s driving in Barcelona and they finally got to see from close what Lotus-team’s testing day is like togther with their Rami-dad.

    Kimi Räikkönen’s voice is still rustling from the illness and his cheeks are pale red… The Finn seems to be troubled by hardships just like his Lotus-car is.

    – Don’t ask how I feel. We are okay – both car and driver. If we have to face these problems then it’s better to face them now and not after a few days in Australia, Kimi said.

    I got to interview Kimi while he was preparing himself for an evening flight together with his brother and his nephews. Kimi is on a business trip to France on Monday.

    Räikkönen had time to drive 540 km in Jerez and 580 km in Barcelona – and be sick in the hotel for one day.

    – I don’t think that anything would change in the first race even if we had scrubbed the track for thousands of kilometers like sometimes earlier when there was a lot more testing. We got to drive the new car enough to learn it, so it’s going to be neat when we get to the first race.

    – Of course one would hope that there wouldn’t be any problems in testing. When you have had them you can never be really sure that they don’t happen again. On the other hand we solved the problems so we are starting the season with a trustful mind.

    The loose hose cost hours

    Räikkönen’s last testing day stopped right after morning preparations into one trial lap.

    – It had the same problem it had in earlier tests also. The hose in the gearbox got loose and when that happens the whole thing has to be taken apart. The whole gearbox has to be taken out of the car and once that was done it got some other flaw too and then the mechanics had to take it out one more time.

    – It cost us a lot of driving hours, just like last week also, Räikkönen said.

    Then what does Kimi think about the experiences he got from the winter tests?

    – There have been better winters, and hopefully the first races go better than the tests and with less hardships. Now the last day also started badly but in the end the car felt good again.

    – The reliability-department wasn’t the best, but in the final games those flaws have still been quite small even if they have taken up lot of driving time.

    Räikkönen has succeeded in Australia. Now he has put in an order so he could get an opening race with better positions than last year when he finished 7th.

    – It’s really bad to say anything about the season yet, there are so big question marks. If we get these new tires to work there then all is well, but if we get troubles with them we can expect difficulties.

    An order of a good start put in

    Kimi has emphasized all the time that it’s useless to draw any conclusions until the qualification in Australia.

    – The laptimes depend so much upon the fuel loads. One would assume that all top teams go for the championship but who can do that is another thing.

    Does Kimi believe that he has now better chances to fight for the WDC than he had last season?

    – Hopefully that’s the case, but it’s tricky to tell anything based upon the tests. If someone has drove with for example 20 kg more or less fuel, then the result sheet looks quite different.

    – It would be important to get a good start to the season. If you are immediately left far behind others it’s difficult to close the gap, Räikkönen emphasized.

    Turun Sanomat, Barcelona
    HEIKKI KULTA

    Like

    March 5, 2013 at 12:00 am

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