Interview – Kimi: this year’s car doesn’t fit me

Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang 27-30 March 2014

Formula 1 according to Kimi Raikkonen is throttle, brake, wheel and track. Nothing else matters, including the 21 opponents with whom he finds himself on the track on Sunday. Some he admits to not even know.

The Finn, 34, is the oldest driver. “It’s true – he confirmed – I read it somewhere.” It is not an attempt of humor, it’s him naturally. He came to Ferrari in 2007, won the first World Championship post- Schumacher and left at the end of 2009. He came back this year to the team with Fernando Alonso. “I do not know if he is the strongest teammate I have had. I’ll try to beat him like I did with all the others. And I’ll be disappointed if I don’t succeed.”

The season start in Australia has gone bad, only a seventh place. In 2007 he began with pole position and win.
“2007 has nothing to do with the new rules. This year’s car doesn’t fit me, is not what I want. We’re working on it, but unfortunately we have not yet solved the problem.”

What do you need?
“It’s a matter of setup, I can’t have the car that I like. We have little problems here and there, but if we can put together the things we have learned two weeks ago in Melbourne we should be doing already a big step forward. We drove one race, we should not panic.”

The Mercedes flies, you are not worried?
“No. We want to do better, win races, but it was not a disaster in Melbourne. The disaster is when you don’t score points. With the people we have and which are working hard we can improve. “

In which areas the F14T is weaker?
“There are many little things that can make a big difference. There is not a single problem to be solved.”

In Malaysia in 2003 you won your first race: it feels like a special Grand Prix?
“It’s a race like any other.”

Alonso is the strongest teammate that you ever had?
“It’s hard to say. Every season is different, every car is different. Sometimes a car is more suited to the characteristics of one driver than of another. He is certainly very good but I don’t care to do a ranking. “

He puts pressure?
“No, in my career I have always tried to beat my team-mate, as it’s normal: I want to do well and I’m disappointed if I do not.”

Once he said that Massa is faster than you …
“I do not care what people say.”

If you would have to bet an euro on a driver for the world title, from what we have seen so far, who would you choose?
“Who has won in Australia ( Rosberg, ed) gained the most points and so is the driver to beat but the championship is long. The Mercedes seems strong, we will see in the next races.”

Vettel says that the noise of Formula 1 with the turbo became shit. Do you agree or not?
“It doesn’t seem to me that the noise has changed. It’s just a little lower.”

Speaking of Vettel: do you believe that he will return soon to winning?
“Like us he had problems in the first race but I am convinced that he has a good car and will be able to recover.”

What has changed for the better or for the worse in Maranello compared to your first experience?
“It’s changed little in the team. There are the rules that are different and this has had a big impact on the cars. “

The Ferrari team will be your last?
“I have already said several years ago (laughs). Yes, now that I’m back I’m sure it will be my last team also because I will not go on and on. Then I will start the second part of my life. Meanwhile, I try to do my best.”

Are you thinking about a new challenge after Formula 1?
“I’ll see at the day when I stop. I have not planned anything, I don’t think I will have many occasions to race. I’ll spend the free time like now.”

Is Formula 1 better than rally?
“If I was not happy I would not be here.”

Have you followed the story of Robert Kubica?
“I know how hard it is to drive off the circuits: you pay much more for errors than in Formula 1. If you try to push to the maximum in each curve like on the track, sooner or later something happens to you.”

What is the most enjoyable collateral effect of F1? Women, money, fame?
“The track has so far absorbed the majority of the time of my life. We are paid well, but it is not easy. And then in F1 there are so many things that are neither interesting nor pleasant.”

If you have seen the movie “Rush” you maybe miss that world: your hero is Hunt or Lauda?
“I saw the trailer. The sport has changed, in those days it was more exciting and fun, as well as dangerous.”

(Source: ghiaccioinvisibile, translation courtesy of @miezicat1)

8 thoughts on “Interview – Kimi: this year’s car doesn’t fit me

  1. I Believe the ICEMAN, can & will beat Alonso, easily. But our CHAMP needs some time to adjust with Ferrari its not the Ferrari that our beloved ICEMAN left, most of the guys are new. The best of F 1, the one & only SUPREMO the ICEMAN, I know he will bounce back into Europe.. Malaysian GP was ruined, because of the accident. Also Ferrari needs to do some improvement.
    ICEMAN forever, I will be his fan for the rest of my life.


  2. Kimi must stop complaining and get with the program. He should be more pro-active within the team and understanding the complex new cars. This is not the 70s, Kimi. We all know he would loved to have raced in that era.

    Perhaps the problem is the Iceman himself? Maybe he’s too arrogant for his own good? “I know what I’m doing” actually borders on pure arrogance in my opinion.

    Alonso has fared far better than Kimi in the last two races – and in the same car. Go figure!

    C’mon Kimi! Stop moaning and start doing, otherwise you are simply going to end up on the scrapheap of F1 history.


    1. How can you say he is too arrogant? He is passionate about it and haven’t you seen these clips?

      He isn’t moaning, the media ask questions and he answers! Stop writing bullshit here please Leonardo.


      1. Why you defend him as if he was some kind of super-hero?


  3. The Raikkonen era is already all but over…


    1. From Nicole: This is why Kimi thought that his floor was damaged after the race – Alonso pushed him off the track in the start

      McLaren gave more worries to Kimi than his own car
      F1 | Turun Sanomat 08:34 | 0

      Kimi Räikkönen’s score after two races might be completely different without McLaren-worries.

      Räikkönen drives with a Ferrari slowed down by the front which still doesn’t obey his driving style, but he lost more points because of McLaren.

      In Malaysia Magnussen hit his front wing in Kimi’s rear tyre on the second lap.

      – My race was practically over by then, Räikkönen snapped.

      The only good thing in Räikkönen’s race was his good start. He had a fierce battle with his teammate Fernando Alonso which ended after the Spaniard forced Kimi over the marbles.

      – I had a good speed at that point, but when I got out of the corner I was pushed out. There was no grip on the marbles so I couldn’t improve my position. Then again it didn’t matter because there was so much damage from the crash in the next lap.

      – All and all the car feels better now than it felt in Australia. Once we get the parts I have asked for, hopefully by Bahrain already, then the feeling of the front should become such that I can drive faster, Räikkönen sighed.

      The first two-day test period will be held after Bahrain. Oviously Räikkönen’s possible participance in the testing work depends upon if the parts are already in the car by the race, or if they will be tested out only after China.

      Turun Sanomat, Kuala Lumpur



  4. Sportbild has same interview with a few extra questions:

    SPORT BILD: Mr. Raikkonen, have you seen the movie “Rush” about your idol James Hunt?
    KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN (34): Yes, partially. I think the racing wasn’t very well represented. But that only us drivers can estimate. It all seemed a bit artificial.

    Do you see in today’s drivers also a James Hunt and Niki Lauda?
    No, not really. The sport has changed since then too much. Now it’s really almost only about business. So it is difficult to remain true to yourself as a character in public.

    You are one of the few who have not let others change you. Would you also like to have driven Formula 1 in the 70s?
    No question about it. That was real racing. The sport was given much more priority. I think the guys back then had more fun than we have today. The thrill was greater. And also the danger. Also this is, what for me racing is about.

    What would you change in Formula 1 today if you could?
    The racing itself has to be exciting again. I want more fights, real wheel-to-wheel battles. But that’s not so easy to manage when you at the same time want to build sophisticated cars. It is how it is. I can’t change it.

    Your friend Sebastian Vettel has also criticized the new formula 1 – and has been criticized by his fellow drivers for it. For him the engines are too quiet and the cars too slow.
    The volume makes no difference for me really. When we drive now our ears hurt less. Everything has its pros and cons. (smiles) But everyone can have his opinion.

    You were driving two years in the World Rally Championship. Could Formula 1 look something up from WRC?
    You can not compare both racing sports. If you make a mistake in Formula 1, there are huge run-off areas. Those however you need to permanently drive at the limit. In the rally there are trees on the roadside. You have to calculate the risk much more. But as I said, if I had no fun in Formula 1 anymore, I would not be here.

    Robert Kubica won last year’s WRC2, but finds himself again and again in a ditch or on a tree again. Have you watched him now and then?
    Yes, and I know how difficult it is to move these cars quickly at the limit. There just happen sometimes mistakes – and they have greater impact than here in Formula 1 Nevertheless, Robert has the speed, and the more experience he collects, the better he will be able to assess when to push and when not to.

    You were seventh in Australia, Malaysia twelfth. Did you expect such a difficult restart with Ferrari? 2007 you have won your first race with Ferrari.
    2007 can not be compared with this year. The cars are completely new. Since it is not entirely abnormal that one has problems. Yes, we are not yet where we
    want to be. And the car also doesn’t fit my style of driving. Until we’ve managed to achieve that, it will take one or two races. But this is not a disaster, at least I still collect points.

    You came in F1 in 2001 as a young gun. How do you feel now as the oldest driver on the grid?
    (Smiles) It’s how it is. It doesn’t interest me how young or old I am or others are. I want to win more races and I’m working hard at it with my team. But I think it’s also good when young drivers get a chance and can prove themselves.

    That does not sound like your famous “I don’t care” attitude.
    If my performance would not matter to me, I would not be here. One shouldn’t underestimate this: It is not so easy to always give everything. That costs a lot of power. Although we are well paid, without the fun of driving I would not be here.

    Have you already thought around the end of your career?
    No, I don’t have any plans. I don’t think that my life will change much when I stop. I don’t have to travel so much and can spend more time at home.

    For your team mate Fernando Alonso Ferrari is supposed to be the last team of his career. For you too?
    I’ve said this during my first time at Ferrari. And as you see, I have kept my word. I’m here again, and I’m sure that I won’t change teams again. I won’t drive in Formula 1 forever.

    Do you regret to have left Lotus?
    (sighs) No! Although I had two successful years, I’m happy I’m not there anymore.

    Is Alonso the best team mate you ever had?
    Hard to say. The cars and rules are so different now. This makes a comparison difficult. Sure, Fernando is a very good driver. But I have no desire to
    rank team mates.

    Jacques Villeneuve has claimed in SPORT BILD that you already feel the pressure of Alonso, who wants to bury you.
    This is nothing special. I always try to beat my team mate and look where I can improve myself. I want to do a good job and I am disappointed when I can’t do that. And I also know that I still have work to do.

    When there was talk about you coming to Ferrari, Alonso spoke up for Felipe Massa and said that he is faster than you. Were you annoyed by that?
    (waves his hand) No. I don’t care what other people say.

    After four very good years Sebastian Vettel has problems this season. Do you believe in his comeback?
    Bu the Red Bull isn’t so bad. Since the tests they have certainly made a big jump. I wouldn’t write them off. Just like I would not write us off as well. Our car is not bad, we just have to get the whole package to work.

    Are you also concerned about the fate of Michael Schumacher?
    I don’t want to interfere much. It’s a sad thing and I hope he will get back on his feet as soon as possible.


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