Malaysia: Thursday Press Conference with Kimi

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[ Listen to Kimi speaking today in Malaysia here ]

Kimi, great win for you and the team to start of with, in cold conditions. How do you and the team feel about being able to repeat that performance level in the heat of Malaysia?

Kimi RAIKKONEN: We don’t know yet. Last year we were pretty good when it was hot and actually it was better for us, but obviously we haven’t run in this kind of conditions and the winter has been very cold, so I have no idea. But if it’s anything like it was last year we should be pretty OK, but we have to wait and see how it goes.

One notable detail from the Melbourne weekend is that you were over a second slower than the Red Bull in qualifying, but you turned it round to be over a second faster than them on your fastest race lap. What do you put that down to?

KR: I wouldn’t say that the qualifying was a very normal situation with all the weather – it got delayed and all that stuff. But if it was normal dry conditions I’m pretty sure we are more close. We will wait and see when we get a normal qualifying. Then, I’m sure we are not a second behind, or 1.4 seconds or whatever it was.

Q: (Ben Edwards – BBC) A two-part question for Max and for Kimi. Max, first of all, can you talk to us about the difficulties when you’re being lapped by the leaders? What you’ve got to learn, what gets more difficult from that point of view? And Kimi, with five rookies out there, did you find any problems yourself when lapping the guys coming into Formula One? If you could just talk about that.

KR: Last year for sure there was some cars and teams that were not very easy to get past when you were lapping them but at least in the first race it seems to be a bit better. So, I have no complaints on that. Of course it’s some days difficult to let people past, to move off the way quick enough but for sure everybody’s trying to do their best and if something goes wrong obviously they get penalised – so it was OK in the first race at least.

Q: (Ben Waterworth – Richard’s F1) For Kimi, been ten years since your first victory here in Sepang ten years ago. Special place for you here in Sepang? And win be a perfect anniversary present for it?

KR: It’s not really any special place. I mean, of course it was nice to win the first race but we really should have won the year before, so it’s nice to come back here – I don’t enjoy the heat and the humidity of the place but the circuit is nice so, we know how it’s going to be more or less here. It usually gives a good race and that’s the main thing. Hopefully we can have another good weekend and score good points.

Q: How much do the older drivers and experienced front runners take a lead on this in drivers’ briefings?

KR: There’s not much talked about. Everybody knows what they have to do. They’re not racing for the first time, they’ve been racing for a long time. Like I said, it’s sometimes easier to let people past than other times. Of course, you understand that they don’t want to lose too much time but it’s more important for them to move over because some days they can really make a difference as to who wins or who not. In the end, if you don’t want to get blue flags you should be in the front, simple as that.

Q: (Michael Casey – Associated Press) Kimi, how does it feel to have a target on your back coming into the weekend?

KR: There’s no target. We don’t do anything different this weekend than we did in the previous race or last year. If people think that we are leaders, it makes no difference to our work, what we did or what we’re going to do this weekend or any other weekend. Like I said, we try to do best and hopefully we can score some good points.

Q: (Gary Meenaghan – The National) Kimi, just wondering if you got a chance to celebrate the win last Sunday, or if you were on a flight going somewhere? What would you be up to?

KR: I came here directly on Sunday night. For sure, if you want to you can always… it’s not about that. I had a flight booked here anyhow so I came here.

Q: What’s your view on days when you win, because in sport you have so many days which perhaps don’t go quite so well. When you actually win, is it very important to you to be a team, to celebrate with a team, to enjoy the good moments?

KR: No. Like I said, first of all they( the team) are always very busy packing up everything at these kind of races so they don’t have so much time either. I had a flight in the evening, so we just had a quick briefing and then I had to go to the hotel to pick up my stuff and go. For sure they had some celebration. It’s just one race and hopefully at the end of the year we can have a good celebration.

Video: Full conference

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