Kimi plays down team orders, past and future
| Source: ts.fi | (translation courtesy of racingnerds.com)
When Kimi was asked if he would had let his teammate Romain Grosjean past him, had Lotus-management ordered so in Korean GP, he didn’t give a yes or no.
“What do you think?” Räikkönen snapped.
In end of season 2008 Räikkönen played on behalf of his teammate Felipe Massa in the last couple races, but other than that Kimi has done it in his own style listening less to orders.
Grosjean – 8th in the championship – pushed his luck and begged in the team radio the pitwall to give Räikkönen a team order to let him through as a faster driver.
He had to obey a couple of times himself to a team order on Räikkönen’s behalf when his WDC-situation required it.
By Thursday Grosjean was however okay with it.
“In Germany I was ordered to let Kimi past. However it was a completely different situation. We had different strategies. He wouldn’t had got past me, so it was best to give him way and that way we both got to drive according to our own strategies.”
Grosjean’s complaints in the team radio didn’t bother Räikkönen in any way.
“Everything went just as planned for me. He made a mistake and it cost him one position. It’s useless to cry afterwards,” said Räikkönen. “We don’t have any rules in the team that we couldn’t race each other. All we have to remember is not to crash or destroy each other’s races.”
Is Grosjean nowadays a tougher competitor than he was earlier?
“He has been fast all the time. But so are everyone else who drive in F1. You have to beat all of them and that’s what I always try to do. He squeezed me to the left in that situation, but by that time it was too late for him and I got ahead of him.”
Age doesn’t create fears to overtake
Räikkönen was praised for maintaining his former speed and ability to overtake even at an older age.
“I don’t think that I have changed somehow from earlier years. I have got more information and experience. I always try to overtake if there is a reasonable change and I don’t do any foolish things. Sometimes I end up in a bad position. I don’t know if some start to be afraid when they get older. I don’t feel that myself.”
Räikkönen doesn’t expect any team orders in the future either.
“The team doesn’t care which one is ahead as long as they get good positions.”