Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Hungaroring, 2012

Raikkonen says two-year F1 break hasn’t slowed him

2012 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Hungaroring, 2012Kimi Raikkonen says missing out on two years of F1 hasn’t compromised him since his comeback.

Asked if his two years out of F1 affected his performance he said: “I don’t know. I was a few years out, I was doing different things. I don’t think if I’d been driving two years in Formula 1 – I don’t think I would be any different, really.

“Maybe it took a few practices, a few races to know exactly everything. Of course it’s a new team so it [takes] a bit to know everybody and know exactly what you want but I think we are getting there now and it hasn’t been too bad really. It’s been OK.”

Raikkonen said he wasn’t sure what he and Lotus were capable of achieving in the championship this year: “I will tell you at the end of the year. We try to do the maximum all the time and I don’t know where we’re going to end up.

“We’re doing pretty OK now. I think they didn’t probably expect us to do so well as a team this beginning of the year.

“We try to improve and hopefully we can manage to do that and be in the fight for top three. We are now fourth in the teams’ championship and fourth in the drivers, we go race-by-race and try to score as many points on my side as I can and try to help the team.

“I guess for the team they want to be as high as they want in the teams’ championship and I want to be as high as I can for my side. Both things really influence each other so we’ll just try and push and do better and hopefully manage to do that.”

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Image ?? Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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39 comments on “Raikkonen says two-year F1 break hasn’t slowed him”

  1. Given that its Kimi, he said quite a lot there!

  2. Kimi seems to be more laid back than he used to, which was quite extreme already!

    1. Still works out for him,at least for now. He’s over 30 points ahead of his teammate.

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    26th July 2012, 15:32

    I’m still hoping he can win in Spa (or before) to notch the fifth victory there.
    It would be interesting to see if their double diffuser starts working, remember that DRS is allowed in all the qualifying lap, so that can give them that little push they need to improve the startung grid place.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      26th July 2012, 15:32

      double diffuser? OOps double DRS

      1. haha well corrected! :P

        And as far as I’m aware DRS is allowed everywhere apart from Eau Rouge (for safety reasons)…

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          27th July 2012, 2:04

          And Monaco Tunnel

  4. kimi will nvr allow himself to make excuses~~ its all about the team getting to know what kimi prefer~~and i can see that they’re reaching the mutual understanding very soon!!! good luck kimi!!

  5. Good team, good organization,very good drivers and the only problem for them to have complete success is the fact that Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren are stacked up ahead of them. For Lotus to win, it will require an unusual set of circumstances, meaning somebody or more are going to have a handful of bad luck tossed their way to make a Lotus victory possible. Seems remote to me.

    1. It’s not that bad, considering the gap up in front during the qualifying. If they qualify in first two rows they have as much chance to win as any other team on the grid right now.

  6. He’s doing well. but I have to admit I’m more surprised by Grosjean.

    1. ” Kimi (Raikkonen) is a good teammate who does not talk much but will share the information with me. It is also important. We have a very good team and complement each other well. ” Romain has no future if he cant do his own setup, looks at hockeinham for reference when kimi busy evaluating the upgrades and romain has nothing to copy in terms of setup!!

      1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        26th July 2012, 16:44

        How long has Romain been in an F1 car? I would think he sees the value in working with Kimi and getting his input, rather than go it alone and have to learn the hard way. That’s probably why Romain was so competitive out of the gate this season. His first seat in F1 was alongside Alonso, and Romain really struggled that year- enough that Renault didn’t have him back the following season. I wonder how much help Romain is getting from Kimi compared to how much he received from Alonso?

      2. It’s odd how some people cling to this idea that there’s something wrong about F1 drivers sharing or swapping set-ups.

        Today practice sessions are the only time when teams can test two cars on-track at the same time – they’re not allowed to in testing. Therefore it’s the only time they can compare different set-ups and/or components simultaneously. Therefore it’s pretty much inevitable that the day will end with the settings from whichever car was quicker being transferred to the other.

        Furthermore, when it comes to making set-up choices, do you really expect a driver in his first full season to do a better job of it than a world champion? Of course not.

        Suggesting Grosjean “has no future” in the sport because of that is nonsense. He’s a rookie and he’s learning. I remember people making similar comments about Lewis Hamilton in 2007 and he’s done alright.

        Perhaps the clue is that Grosjean, like Hamilton, is doing rather better when compared to his world champion team mate than many expected, and there will always be some people who don’t take kindly to that.

        1. Suggesting Grosjean “has no future” in the sport because of that is nonsense. He’s a rookie and he’s learning. I remember people making similar comments about Lewis Hamilton in 2007 and he’s done alright.

          You beat me to it.

          1. Sorry! :-)

      3. The same was said about Hamilton back in 2007 when Alonso stopped sharing setups with him and it worked out just fine.

  7. Backing Kimi to have a strong second half to the season, expecting Lotus to be strong this weekend

  8. @eggry Me too.The guy came back strongly

  9. I wonder if Kimi is actually a lot more talkative in Finnish. Are there any Fins here to confirm or not?

    1. No, he’s not. Apart from a very few longer interviews he has done, his output in Finnish is pretty much the same as it is in English.

      Of course, if you ask the right questions, he’ll be more talkative.

      1. Ha! Thanks for the insight.

      2. @kaiie

        Of course, if you ask the right questions, he’ll be more talkative.

        “You want another vodka, Kimi?”

        1. you have have problems with alcohol ??

        2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          26th July 2012, 19:39

          @keithcollantine I’m sure kimi was expecting a faster decision by the stewards in the Vettel – Button incident. He got the 3rd place points but he missed the champagne!!!

      3. I think Clarkson managed to get the best of Kimi earlier this year. It was great to see him having a laugh (as little as that was!), but when Clarkson asked him about the car and his hopes for this season, he inmediately switched to the “boring” Kimi again xD.

        1. I thought that too. Was a great interview. And a great episode if I remember rightly =D

        2. @fer-no65, perhaps Kimi is one of those people that just doesn’t like to talk about his job…

        3. I also very much enjoyed that spot

  10. Am I the only one who is suspicious of these words being attributed to Kimi? Any time you actually hear him speak to the F1 media, it tends to come across as almost incoherent (and seriously entertaining) mumbling. But when you read the transcript afterwards, he comes across as totally lucid, and even generous with his words.

    I do think there’s some… translation on the part of the press going on here and there, and I dont blame them but it does detract from the amusement somewhat.

    1. @hallard it was probably during the press conference today, there’s a video of it in Sky F1’s website, so you can check there.

  11. The two year have done nothing to Kimi´s skills… he´s still got it! The funny thing is that he has been doing it “quietly”. Although Grosjean has delivered some decent performances, Kimi´s experience shadows them by not making mistakes!
    I think Renault has a good driver lineup!

    1. Agreed, but what will become of Kubica?

    2. davidnotcoulthard
      27th July 2012, 15:26

      Change your photo to the Kimi version of the MiniDriver, please, everyone will then love it!


  12. I think he’s right regarding just how competitive they are. OK, they haven’t won a race yet, bu compare them to, say, Singapore last year and they’ve turned a significant corner. It just seems to be their qualifying execution that lets them down. Stick them on pole and I reckon they could do it, comfortably.

    1. @andrewtanner

      Their race pace is good, but it only ever seems to be good enough for a win in the second half of the race. Again though, it could suggest they’re struggling to make options work as well as they could (often used on first stints and quali).

  13. Kimi is a great racer and a natural talent, so I really didnt surprise to see him doing very good after two years break (he got 98points in 10 races which equals to what Fernando did back in 2010 in the first ten races).
    What really hurts Kimi is, his qualification laps. Somehow his qualification efforts not in the same class as his racing efforts. I have seen some drivers over the past 30 years who were opposite (good qualifiers but rather bad racers) and that is easier to explain or guess why it is. Simply doing a qualification lap and controlling a race car over a race period are two different things. In any race you have to adjust your driving lap after lap as your tyres are worn out and fuel load goes down. After 10 laps you may find yourself in a position that your front right tyre over heated and in the mean time left back cooler than its normal operating window, which means you should really adjust your driving accordingly as you can not break easily (confidently) in such a situation.
    On the other hand during qualifications you usually repeat the same lap with new tyres and with a very similar low fuel loads which is less complicated than racing for a long distance (not easier but less complicated).
    It is hard for us (or anyone) to know why Kimi’s race efforts usually better than his qualification efforts but there are lots of F1 reporters who can ask this to Kimi instead of useless stereotyped questions. No one can know it better than Kimi.

  14. I’ve noticed Kimi is never too optimistic and is always rather modest…I like it.

  15. For me, this guy is the ‘Dark Knight’. The black Lotus overalls fit well in this context.
    A strong Lotus in the second half and you cant rule him out of the championship.

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