Thursday in Spa
Kimi on current F1, racing at Spa + F1 kid Max Verstappen
The Spa circuit is famous for its high speed challenge and, at his usual Thursday meeting with the media in the Belgian paddock, Kimi Raikkonen was asked if he regretted the fact the current cars are a bit slower than in the past. “In a way yes, if you think of F1, you’d think we would have everything possible in the car to make them go faster, as it was in the past,” began the Scuderia Ferrari driver. “But obviously, now the rules have changed aimed at making the cars slower, while improving the show. I think the cars looked nicer in the past and were much more challenging to drive and it was more fun in some ways. On the other side, maybe we have more overtaking now, but sometimes I think it would be nice to go back and race with the cars from the past.”
When Kimi made his F1 debut there were concerns voiced about his lack of experience, so he is ideally placed to comment on the story of the day, next year’s arrival of the currently 16 year old Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso. “I did one full year, 23 races in a car before coming to F1,” recalled the Finn. “He has probably done more. I did well; time will tell how he will do. The sport is more straightforward now than in the past, the points are given out to more finishers. So I don’t think he will have problems and I hope he does well.”
Kimi’s last win at Spa came at the wheel of a Ferrari in 2009, which at the time he described as “a miracle.” He was asked what a victory would represent on Sunday. “It would be a similar story!” he said. “That year, we were one of the few teams running KERS and that was a good help for us here. Hopefully we can have a good weekend overall and a good race, so that we start improving. But here and Monza are probably not the easiest places for us as we are missing some straightline speed, which is very important at this circuit and the next one. I think that the final part of the season can only be better for us, especially as I’ve had a much better feeling from the car at the last two races.”
[ Source: ferrari.com ]
Kimi Raikkonen does not think the summer break will have changed the fact he felt better in the Ferrari F14 T than he has done all season in Hungary.
Raikkonen’s struggles since his return to Ferrari have been well-documented, especially as he has been out-performed by Fernando Alonso at every race this season. At the beginning of the year Raikkonen was struggling to find the right setting for his car but he thinks the signs from the last few races suggest he is ready to turn a corner.
“I think overall the second half can only get better,” Raikkonen said. “If it gets worse, obviously it’s pretty bad. These two circuits [Spa and Monza] on paper are not the strongest for us but there’s been a better feeling in the car overall in the last few races. I don’t think that’s suddenly disappeared somewhere, we’ve had some new things, small things, which have improved.
“There’s a much better feeling now than there was in the first races of the year because I knew those issues and couldn’t do anything about it at that moment. We are making the right steps and hopefully it’s going to be a bit easier in the second half.”
When asked whether he can pull off another miracle result in Belgium as he did in 2009, when he won his first race of a frustrating season, Raikkonen said he is not too optimistic. “I think it is a similar story but that year we were one of the only ones to run with the KERS and in this kind of place it was a good help for us. Now it’s a bit different, though it’s a difficult year again. Hopefully we can have a good weekend weekend overall and start improving things.
“I expect here and Monza will not be the easiest places for us with the speed we are missing on a straight line, a very important part of those circuits. We will do our best and see where we end up.”
[ Source: espn.co.uk ]
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