India GP: Thursday Press Conference

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Q: I’m going to start with a question for Nico, Mark and Kimi, as, with all due respect to our back row, I think you three gentlemen are best placed to challenge Sebastian Vettel for victory this weekend. He’s won the last five races, he’s won both Indian Grand Prix from pole position and he’s led every lap as well.

What about you Kimi? What have you got up your sleeve?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I think I have to do a bit better in qualifying. That would help a lot. That would give ourselves a good chance then to try to beat them. It’s not just only them though, so we’ll see what happens here.

Q: Kimi, this is your second year coming to race in India. Do you notice the popularity that you have? Does it spur you on when you get to the track? Does it give you extra motivation?
KR: I think it’s very nice to have it but I mean I’ve only really seen the hotel this morning, from the airport to the hotel, and the circuit. So, especially today there were not many people when we came here – so I feel it less than at many other places but I’m happy that there are fans here. This circuit is nice and hopefully we can have a good weekend for all of them.

Q: When you come to what is still a relatively new venue, would you like to take more time out to see a bit of India?
KR: Yeah – but I think it’d be a little nicer if you come when it’s not a race weekend, so when you have proper time and not during the weekend. But for sure I’m sure there’s a lot of nice places to go and see.


Q: (Bharat Sharma – IndoAsian News Service) For the front row, if you talk about the track, most drivers have praised the track, they like the layout but as far as overtaking is concerned, there’s only the first sector which has a real chance of overtaking, so how do you see the track in terms of overtaking opportunities?
MW: That’s generally the case at a lot of circuits actually. There’s not any more than one or two chances these days. The second and third sector are quite quick, it’s not easy to get a move done there so yeah, most of the focus is on the first sector and the beginning of the sector. But that’s not against the circuit, that’s how a lot of tracks are and we like the rest of the rhythm and the layout because it’s quite challenging, it’s quite quick, a little bit of undulation so there’s a lot of good qualities inside this circuit. As you said, the racing maybe hasn’t been super exciting over the last few years, maybe it’s not going to be the same on Sunday but time will tell.

Q: Is that right, Kimi, there’s really only  the first sector where you can get past?
KR: In a normal situation, yes, but on some of the circuits there’s not even one place. You might get a chance in some other places – it depends – but it’s a good race circuit. Last year I got stuck behind (another car) but that can happen anywhere.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, in the last few races, Lotus seem to have been the second team after Red Bull. Do you think that you have the chance to try to grab second place in the Constructors’ championship in the last four races and that this could be a place to win?
KR: That’s the aim for us but it’s hard to say if it’s going to happen. It seems that the last races have been strong for our team but I have to qualify better, to put myself up there and maybe try to win some races but it will not be easy.

Q: (Vinayak Pande – AutoX) Kimi, given the way Lotus is performing towards the end of this season and how Fernando has been struggling recently, how do you feel about your decision going to Ferrari next year?
KR: Good, otherwise I wouldn’t have made the decision if I didn’t think it was right for myself. It’s so competitive… and the rules, nobody really knows how it’s going to work out next year.


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