2015 GP Previews

The King of Spa talks about his favourite circuit

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Spa Francorchamps, Belgium

The Formula One World Championship resumes after the summer break with one of its most historic rounds at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The Belgian race will actually mark Scuderia Ferrari’s 900th Grand Prix participation.

Kimi Raikkonen, the king of Spa, with four wins to his name there is really looking forward to the weekend. “I love racing on this track, it’s very nice and it has all the appeal of the circuits of days gone by. Usually, it’s a very exciting race, with a lot of overtaking, but much depends on the weather and what tyre compounds are available. My best win? Definitely the one in 2009, because we didn’t have a particularly quick car, but thanks to a good start we managed to get a great result”.

“The fact we won in Hungary doesn’t change our approach to the next race,” adds Alberto Antonini, head of communications for Scuderia Ferrari. “We didn’t think we were going through a crisis after Silverstone and we don’t believe we are brilliant now. We are keeping our feet on the ground, as we know we are up against some very strong opposition, but we will give it our best shot as always.” [via]

Video Interview with Kimi on Spa-Francorchamps:


Thursday in Hungary


Kimi recaps the first half of the season

“Compared to last year, the first part of the season has not been ideal but not a disaster, even if we did not get the results we wanted for many different reasons.”

“We have the speed and everything to do better results, the feeling with the car is good but we keep having mistakes or issues here and there and this cost us a lot of points. As a team we want to be fast and more consistently in the front, to really challenge the Mercedes. I’m sure if we can clean up things and get rid of all the issues we can do a good job and get much better results. It’s hard to say how far is Mercedes still ahead, it seems to vary from circuit to circuit and different conditions. We know there’s still a lot of work to be done but I think we’re going in the good direction.”

“It was a very sad thing to lose Jules, and the circumstances of his accident made it even sadder. Motorsport is dangerous sport and things can go easily wrong , we all know but we never expect these things to happen. I send my condolences to his family.” [via]

Media Paddock Quotes

“There is no point to be racing, if I didn’t believe I have [the speed] – and I am sure I have.

“We have demonstrated that many times but the results, when you look at the points, it doesn’t show.”

“I know the real story, it’s no real problem for me.”

“Somehow I end up in the same situation every year and it makes no difference if I have a contract or not. I have a contract and it’s an option now [for 2016].

“It’s not a new thing and it seems to happen every year in F1. I have made it very clear to the team what I want to happen and it’s to be here next year. But unfortunately I don’t know anything more than you guys.

“I don’t read a lot of stuff, but obviously I can see a lot of stuff being written, but whatever comes out in the press doesn’t really matter for me.

“Wherever it comes from, it doesn’t come from here.”

“I’m pretty sure I will be one of the first to know rather than reading in the newspaper when something comes up. Like I said, time will tell and until then I will try to do the same as before and whatever the decision is we will go from there.”

Asked when a decision would be made, Raikkonen said: “I don’t know, you have to talk to the team. It’s not my decision and I don’t know any more than I knew at the start of the year.

“For me the decision and the whole thing hasn’t changed for months. If I knew I would easily say, but unfortunately I don’t know. I have said many times what would like to happen, but who knows. Time will tell obviously, so let’s wait and see.”

“Time will tell obviously. I don’t know what will happen and there is no point to start guessing what will happen. I would like to know, but I don’t know, so I will wait until I know and then we will see what happens after that.”

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Sebastian Vettel:  “I’m not the project leader, I know my role. In the end, it’s about Ferrari, it’s about the team, so I think that’s the most important thing for Kimi and myself. I want to beat him, he wants to beat me, that’s normal competition. The thing that I appreciate the most about Kimi is that there’s no bulls***! We are both working in the same direction in trying to help the team. I remember the days when I was sitting in front of the TV at home looking at Kimi’s on-board laps in admiration so it’s still the same guy in that car. I think there are no doubts, if you go up and down the paddock, he’s one of the most skilled drivers that we have.”

Eric Boullier in Autosport fan Q&A:

How impressed were you with Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus?
Simon Longley, UK

Ah, I love Kimi! He’s an interesting character, to be honest. I have a lot of nice memories with him, I also remember some stress sometimes…

F1R: What… is that in terms of dealing with his behaviour?

EB: Er, no more comment on this one! I might tell you another day, in the pub when you’re not recording and if F1 Racing is paying the bill, obviously. I really like Kimi and I was really stunned by his racecraft: it was unbelievable.

Kimi takes to social media for the first time… In a Q&A session with the fans on Ferrari’s Twitter account:

Video: Kimi’s Canadian GP preview

kr-cangp-2015-preview2The Formula One championship now takes a quick break from the European part of the season to tackle the first North American round of the year.

Kimi Raikkonen talks about some of the salient points of the Canadian track. “It’s true the Montreal circuit is famous for the fact one gets very close to the walls, but compared to Monaco or Singapore, it can be considered quite wide. There are two key requirements for getting the very most out of the car at this track and they are speed and a reliable braking system.

The ideal set-up is one that allows for these two elements to be combined as well as possible. That way, the driver can feel comfortable when pushing to the limit. Montreal is notorious for being very tough from a fuel consumption point of view, but this is another area where we have made a lot of progress compared to last year, but as usual, it’s only the track that will provide the answer. There’s an especially positive vibe in Canada, with a young crowd and we have a lot of fans there. Unfortunately, we don’t get much time to visit the city that hosts this event, as our race weekends run to a hectic schedule and mainly, we just get to go from the hotel to the track.”

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Thursday in Bahrain


Kimi Raikkonen started talking about the Shanghai race on his Thursday press meeting, that took place at the Sakhir circuit. “In the last race in China we did our maximum. It was the first race with no problems, but obvioulsly we want more and we’ll keep working to improve in every single area.The team is working very well, it’s a solid group of people that go in the same direction.

“Every track is different, but the behavior of the car has been good in every place we’ve been and I don’t see reason why it shouldn’t be the same here. From tomorrow, we’ll go through our programme and we’ll see. Now it’s too early to make prediction about the weekend. Every year on the same track it’s slightly different and every car behaves in a different way.”

“The Bahrain track is nice, the layout allows you to overtake and this can make a big difference in the race. The second practice is much later than the first one and that’s when you can understand the situation a bit more. We have to do our best to have a clear weekend. We still have a lot of work to do if we want to do always better and fight for wins.”

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Kimi: current Ferrari atmosphere the best I’ve ever had

From – Kimi: “I must say, in the past when I was here at Ferrari they were good times and it was a good atmosphere. But this year is the best that I have had in any team; how the team works together, how people work together, how the atmosphere is and how things are being run. That tells you a lot. I’m very happy.”

Raikkonen indicated last summer that he would probably retire from F1 after his current contract expires at the end of this year. Asked if his improved form this year and his happiness with the current Ferrari regime might make him stay longer, Raikkonen said that choice was not up to him.

“The team has to decide that. You will have to talk to them. Time will tell what will happen. I’m happy with how things are running.”

Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel reckons the Finn would have plenty of alternatives if he wanted to change teams.

“I think he’s doing a very, very good job,” said Vettel of Raikkonen. “He was in the past. Probably last year it wasn’t noticed so much, but inside the team it definitely was. I don’t know the details of his contract. I think it’s in his hands if he wants to carry on in Formula 1. There would be plenty of interest in a fast driver like him, with the experience that he has, if he wants to carry on in Formula 1. If he doesn’t want to then he will quit.”


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