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Senin, 25 Mei 2009

2009: 5 Podiums


24 MAY 2009
Bahrain GP - Sunday - Press Conference

3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h40m57.724s

Q: Kimi, a great return to form for Ferrari. Talk about being beaten off the line by Rubens and then your day thereafter.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, it is not the first time when I have been in second place and always lose one position. The start seems to be very slippery on that side plus they were on the softer tyres, so it definitely helped at the start. It was not nice to see as we were faster than Rubens but there was no way past him. We lost a lot of time at the beginning and that was the only chance to try and stay behind Jenson. Then I had a little bit longer second stint. I don't know what happened at the pit stop but we lost a lot of time and Rubens was still a long way ahead of me when I came out. We still have work to do to be where we want to be and fight for the first place. But many small things changed this weekend as yesterday being first place probably would have given us a better chance. We need to be happy after a very difficult start to the season. The people have been working very hard at the factory and here at the circuit, so we improved the car very quickly once we realised we can do something different with the rules. We need to be very happy with what we achieved today. Third and fourth is not bad. We should get some new package again for next race and it should help. I am disappointed, definitely, but in this situation we need to be a bit happier. I am not happy with third place but for the team it is still a good result.

Q: Kimi, you spoke about the start to Peter Windsor; did you use KERS at the start?
Raikkonen: Yeah, but there's not much use for it if you start spinning your wheels straight away, so that's where we lost the start. At any other place I could have kept second place. You gain a lot with KERS on long straights but it doesn't really make much difference here. It's more the first jump off the line. They had soft tyres, we had harder ones. The right hand side is probably a little bit better for the start anyhow. We just lost it there. It was all fighting after that. We were faster when Rubens had his problems with the tyres at the beginning but then after that, it all played out with very similar pace. We went a little bit longer in the second stint but they seem to be faster in the pit stops. I don't know what they did but we were still a long way behind when I came out of the pits. That's how it went. Without being third at the start, we could probably have taken second place but it's still not what we wanted really. I think, overall, we're not fast enough really yet to fight for first place. We need to be happy; we've still got good results for the team compared to what we had in previous races this year. It's disappointing to finish third but good for the team and for sure we're happier now as a team and we're scoring points. We'll probably get a little more peace now from everyone as a team. We're coming back but it will take a while before we're exactly where we want to be but we definitely made big steps in recent months. We need to be positive. People have done a really good job at the factory and at the circuit to push hard, so we're starting to get results and that always helps people to push harder.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, did Felipe make it difficult to keep third place?
Raikkonen: It wasn't easy for me. I needed to push all the time. We tried to push anyhow, to jump Rubens in the pit stops but we couldn't. I didn't know how many more laps Felipe had than me but I knew that it was going to be close but in the end it was not very close. I was pushing all the time anyhow. We knew it was going to be pretty tight but in the end it turned out to be pretty easy. After that we could slow down and just save the brakes and tyres and speed up a little bit at the end because there was one of the Red Bulls catching us up, so we just had to pick up the pace a bit. But apart from that, after the last pit stop it was great.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Kimi, you made your second pit stop before Massa like the first one. Do think that if Jenson Button left the pits after the second pit stop behind Massa, do you think your place would have been at risk?
Raikkonen: I'm not interested in even thinking about it. Why should I? I was third in the end, that's the end result. I came in early because at the first stop we tried to jump Rubens because he was so slow with the tyres. We were forced to stop a bit because the people behind us were catching us quickly, so that's why we were earlier than him but in the end we were third and it doesn't matter what they did, that's where we ended up.

Hungarian GP - Sunday - Press Conference
26 JULY 2009

2. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h38m35.405s

Q: Kimi, it's been a long time since we had a McLaren versus Ferrari at the front. Tell us about your race.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: We got a very good start. That definitely helped. We knew before the race we needed to gain some places at the start to be able to fight for the podium. I was only fourth after the first few corners behind Lewis and then he overtook Mark and I could follow Mark and we went at the same time for the first pit stop. Then I don't know if he had some issues or not and I got past him at the pit stop. After that really I was just driving my own race, trying to catch Lewis. I thought I had the speed for that at one point but then suddenly he started to go the same speed and then a little bit faster. The gap more or less stayed the same the whole time. Then I had some issues on the last pit stop and that didn't help either but we had a good race. We knew that it would be difficult to challenge for the win right now. We were probably closer than we expected, so even with not such an easy weekend for the team, but we have got some good results, so hopefully that is something we can keep going like this and it is something positive at least this weekend for the team.

Q: Kimi, tell us about the moves you made at the start which came up on the board that will be investigated after the race. How did you see it?
Raikkonen: I don't know about the whole thing, so if you can tell me what it's about that would be nice.

Q: Off the start line into the first corner and the incident with Vettel?
Raikkonen: I haven't even noticed if I touched somebody. I was in-between, I think, Mark and somebody else but I don't know what is going on. That is the first time when you told me but I didn't feel any touching or anything, so I cannot comment on that.

Q: Kimi, first of all you were nearly hit by Mark Webber at the first pit stop; did you see him coming out?
Raikkonen: Yeah, I saw when he came out. I took a little bit more space on the left hand side, so I was pretty sure that they would tell him that I was coming. I don't know how close it was but I saw him and I gave him all the space that I could.

Q: What about your own second stop, you seemed to lose time there?
Raikkonen: Yeah, we probably had some problem, and we needed to do a manual pull-away and then it went on to anti-stall, so it was a bit confusing but I just took it easy because I knew that we had enough time from behind, we were not in a hurry, so it took much longer than it should. It's always a bit difficult if you cannot make a normal proper pit stop with a proper start. When you try to make a manual pull away it can easily go to anti-stall, so that was the issue today.

Q: And generally speaking, how was the car?
Raikkonen: It was OK, nothing special. We had some issues in a few places, we knew that before. They had been there almost the whole weekend. We were a bit limited by what we could do this weekend. Overall, we still had good speed but I think we could have had better speed. It's nice to be second, for the team and for all the people who have put in a lot of effort and it hasn't been an easy year or an easy weekend with Felipe's accident yesterday but we need to be happy. We knew that our car was probably not the fastest one but we still got a good result, good points. It was good but not exactly what we wanted. You are never going to be happy unless you're in first place, Hopefully we can keep up this kind of speed and try to get good podium finishes and hopefully get at least one win this year.

(Ian Parkes - The Press Association) I was just wondering how much the day has been overshadowed in some respects, given what has happened to Felipe and his current condition at the moment?
Raikkonen: It's the same story. It was really a very, very unlucky situation where he ended up. As long as we race with open cockpits our heads are always the worst place and the first place that's going to be hit if there's something flying around. What happened was really unfortunate but luckily enough he's more or less OK. He's probably going to be a hundred percent fine in a little time. We in the team all hope that he's going to be fine and come back soon. This is a part of racing and we all know that. It's just a sad thing to happen.

23 August 2009
European GP - Sunday - Press Conference

3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h36m07.283s


Q: Kimi, great drive from you starting sixth and finishing third. How hard did you have to work for that today?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: We needed to go 100 per cent all the time. I knew from Friday already I had a good feeling with the car. It was working very well on the longer stints, so I was hoping that it would be okay in the race and it turned out to be good. We know that we are not where we want to be. We are not really bringing new parts anymore for the car, so we are a little bit behind the leaders. But once we get the car running well and it feels good, then usually we can fight for third place. If something weird happens in the race, then maybe we can even fight for the win, but overall it was a good weekend for me and I am really happy to score the podium.

Q: Kimi, the key target for you I guess was getting Kovalainen at the second stop. Tell us how you did it.
Raikkonen: I mean the first target was to try and keep (Nico) Rosberg behind. But then after the pit stop I noticed that I was able to catch Kovalainen. The car was very good. We would go the exact same lap time and sometimes we would go a little bit faster, so I saw that I was catching him a bit and I had a little bit of traffic, one car, two cars and yellow flags which cost some time, but we knew that we had a few laps on him. I put in a few good laps when he came in and it was enough. I could quite easily get in front of him and the last stint was just to stay in third place. The car was really nice to drive.

Q: Kimi, same with you really. Right from the start of the weekend you reckoned you were going to be on the podium.
Raikkonen: Yeah, that's what happened, so we were not wrong. The car felt good on Friday already and usually when you have a good feeling with the car you can do much more with it. We knew that it was not going to be easy because usually in qualifying we cannot challenge the guys but in race conditions we are usually stronger compared to qualifying. A lot of things always depend on the start and I was again able to pick up a few places at the start and then we were able to use our own speed and pick up some places.

Q: Two successive podiums now: are you going to be a regular on the podium too? There are only three steps of course...
Raikkonen: Yeah, it's not easy to get there, but it really depends on the conditions of the weekend, the circuit layout a bit. Spa has usually been good for me but I don't know if it's good for our car right now, so we need to go there and see how it starts to go on Friday but we will push as much as we can. We're not going to get more new parts on the car, so it's going to get more and more difficult at every race. Once we get everything running well, we always give ourselves a chance to be there at least. We try every race and see where we can end up.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, how difficult is it to keep McLaren behind in the Constructors' Championship?
Raikkonen: It's going to be difficult at the end of the year, especially if only one car is scoring points and they go as fast as they are going now. We do the best that we can but it's not going to be easy but many things can happen. As long as we can finish in the top four I think we still have a good chance to hold them back but we will see what happens. We will give the best that we can and that's all that we can do.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Motor und Sport) Kimi, why is the car's performance in qualifying worse than in the race; what are the limitations of the car in qualifying?
Raikkonen: It's not fast enough. It's not the first time that the car is fast in race conditions when we put in more fuel. Comparing Q1 and Q2 to Q3 we usually are a bit stronger and the car is working better with the heavier fuel than the low fuel, but that's how it's been for me at least since I joined Ferrari. We know that if we work more on the Fridays and Saturdays for the race and really just try to make it through the first two qualifying sessions to get the fuel in the car and then try to make the best out of the last qualifying. Our only chance to score points is to have a strong car in the race and usually we can help the starts a bit with the KERS, so that always gives us a little extra help on the first lap, so if we can manage to make the car good for the race, then we can usually have a strong weekend.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, do you feel penalised that you have a team-mate who is learning and can't share the data with you, so you have to work with all the team?
Raikkonen: No, I've always been working... there are certain things that you can split between team-mates, sometimes when you are not a hundred percent certain with the tyres, but this weekend the tyres have been straightforward. It hasn't been hurting me at all. We always work alongside and of course there are some things that you can share; at least this weekend it hasn't made any difference for us.

Belgian GP - Sunday - Press Conference
30 AUGUST 2009

1. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h23m50.995s

Q: Kimi, your fourth victory here in Spa. It has been a difficult season for the team but today you proved a point.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yes, I mean it hasn't been an easy year for us. We were behind straight away in the first race compared to the top teams and we made a big step in Barcelona but it still has not been enough and for sure we have not brought new parts to the car for a few races as we are really putting an effort into next year. I mean getting the win now, it's quite a long time since the last one, so it was perfect. My aim was to win at least one race and try to keep third place in the championship, so this is going to help us a lot but I needed a bit of effort today to get the win. We probably were not the fastest in the lap times but overall we were fastest and we managed to keep everybody behind, so that's enough. It is great for the team and hopefully we can get some good results after this race. I always do well here; we will see what we can do in the last part of the season.

Q: Kimi, the key really was that pass on Giancarlo after the restart on lap five. Talk us through how you lined up Giancarlo and passed him.
Raikkonen: I knew that we needed to get past him as more or less we were on the same lap coming in and if I hadn't done after the safety car they had too much speed to get it after that. I just made sure I was close enough after the first corner and then went behind him as close as I could through Eau Rouge. I got quite a lot of understeer and ran a bit wide on top of the hill but then once I used the KERS I was able to get next to him and just in front of him, so it was pretty easy in that way to get in front of him. I knew then as long as we don't make silly mistakes, we should be ok for the race.

Q: Kimi, sum up this love affair you have with this magnificent Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Four times a winner here. What is it about this place and you?
Raikkonen: I don't think there has been any special thing. Unfortunately last year we lost it in the last lap more or less. I think many drivers like it. It is a proper circuit. An old style circuit, very flowing and up and down hills, and it is good fun to drive. It is in the forest and it is just everything what you want. Usually I have always been pretty very good here since I was here the first time many, many years ago. It just seems to be good for me somehow. I don't mind. It is a nice place to win. Also we get very good races here. It is good for spectators, for teams, for drivers. It has been a pretty good weekend. Of course yesterday we could have done better to make out life a bit easier but anyhow we managed to win which is the main thing. It is good right now and we try to keep it up for the next races.

Q: Kimi, what does this win mean to you personally after quite a difficult season?
Raikkonen: We have been trying to get it. Of course we need to be realistic as we know that our car is not as fast as the teams ahead of us in the championship, but in some places, like the last couple of circuits, it has been pretty okay. In Hungary we were closer to winning that ever before this year. Here we managed to do it. It really depends on the circuit. This is important for the team, they will enjoy it, especially after the hard time this year. But we can't expect to win races after races, so we are going to give 100 per cent every weekend but it really depends if we get it 100 per cent right or not and if something funny happens, like here in qualifying. It gives us a much better chance but it was a good result for the team and we are very happy.

Q: How much pressure did you feel with Giancarlo right up behind you?
Raikkonen: I knew that he was faster. Probably we did a little mistake to put on the harder tyres at the first pit stop and they just did not warm up and maybe like three laps before the stop they suddenly started to work much better. I was able to push harder. I knew that if I could keep him behind at the pit stop it is pretty difficult for him to get past. They were very fast in the middle sector, coming back to the last chicane. Sometimes they got very close but I just started to use the KERS in a slightly different way to make sure he was not going to get a run on me and it was not so difficult. I mean it is hard to overtake anyhow, so it was very easy.

Q: At the first corner you were the only driver that went wide. Was that something that you had discussed with the team?
Raikkonen: No, first I tried to go the normal way but I think it was Nick or somebody who came a bit too fast inside and pushed Jarno Trulli very wide, so I had nowhere to go. I just needed to turn straight and go all the way around. It worked out but it wasn't the plan in the first place but there was no space.

Q: Were you able to use the KERS perhaps earlier?
Raikkonen: No, I mean it is very bumpy there. I ended up there also last year. It doesn't make much difference. It is a much longer way. If I could go on the circuit I would but if it would be fast I'd try to do it every lap but that was not the case.

Q: What about your chances at Monza?
Raikkonen: It will be difficult. Our car is not as strong as some others over the kerbs and that is really the key to go fast there. To be able to drive the kerbs as much as you want, that is not our strongest point, so it will be difficult I think but we will see how our car will handle there and what we can do.

Q: (Alberto Antonini - Autosprint) Kimi, well done. You said Ferrari hasn't brought many new parts to the last races but you've still taken two podium finishes and a win. Could that be you and not the car?
Raikkonen: I guess everybody can decide for themselves. We found a bit of a different way for the car. We started going a bit of a different way at the start of the year and then came back in the previous races. For sure, the car is not as quick as we want, as maybe it should be, but it's handling well, and that sometimes gives much more than you can drive - when you can drive it as you want, it sometimes gets you in a better position. I'm happy with the way it works, but with more downforce I'm pretty sure it could be a very fast car, but we know that we're not really getting any new parts, so we are where we are and as long as we get everything working well and the car feels good, I think we can still manage to get good results. It's difficult to expect more wins but hopefully (we can expect) podiums and good points and maybe in some circumstances a win.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, could you have won without KERS and where was it the most important, when you took the lead or when you were defending?
Raikkonen: There's no point in wondering if we could have won (without KERS) or not. We won and we have KERS at every race and that's a fact. It helped at the start. I actually got a very good start, but then there was Barrichello - I don't know what happened to him at the start, so it already helped there and then passing Robert, I think, and then of course, it helped to pass Fisichella. It worked well for us, but it's a normal thing for us to use it at every race, so it's not like it's going to disappear suddenly.

Q: (Ottavio Daviddi - Tuttosport) Kimi, there are a lot of rumours about Giancarlo as your next team-mate, as you know. May I have your opinion about him?
Raikkonen: For me, it doesn't matter who is in the second car, it's not my decision. For sure the team will decide on whatever happens for the next race. But if I purely look at this race, they probably had a faster car than us, so it's probably a bit of a difficult decision in that way.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Deutschland) Kimi, you said that you changed the way how you use KERS to defend. Can you explain what you did exactly?
Raikkonen: I was using more in the last part than before, just to make sure I got good speed on the back straight. That was the only difference.

Q: (Paulo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, it looks like you are somehow giving Ferrari a hard time, considering all the rumours about next year, because it was said that you might leave Ferrari because you're not performing as well now. Lately, you've been doing pretty well. Is there something inside of you that is bringing you to this, showing that the real Raikkonen is still there?
Raikkonen: No. Nothing has changed, as I said. We found a pretty good way to work with the car. We did well in Monaco. The last race was very similar, Hungary was similar. This place is a bit different than many others. It's purely that where the car has been strong we've been doing quite well every time. There's nothing that I've done differently. We've just achieved a good result now and hopefully we can keep it up. I think there will be races where it's not going to be easy for us but we can always try. There have been rumours almost every year since I've been in Formula One, so I don't really care about them. I'm not worried about next year. I have a contract, so it's nothing that I should be worried about. I don't make the decisions in the end but we will see what happens. Maybe Ferrari have some other plans, but as far as I know nothing has changed.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Motor und Sport) Kimi, according to the fuel weights, you should have been able to go at least two laps longer than Giancarlo. Giancarlo mentioned before that he was saving fuel behind the safety car but I guess you did the same, so why did you come in on the same lap?
Raikkonen: I don't know. It's difficult to say. Some engines use a bit more fuel than others. I think our engine probably uses a bit more fuel than the Renaults or McLarens. Maybe that's the one difference. I tried to get my tyres warmed up quite heavily behind the safety car, so I definitely didn't try to save as much as we could. But it paid off, we got first place after the safety car and that counts much more than one lap on a pit stop.

Q: (Joonas Partanen - Iltalehti) Kimi, it has been almost a year and a half since you last won, so did the champagne taste better on the podium compared to those times you were second and third, and then another question: some people have suggested that you won't cut your hair until you have won again, so are you going to cut it now?
Raikkonen: No, it's nothing to do with that. There's always speculation in Formula One and b****t as we know. It doesn't change anything. It's the same stuff. When you're first or second or third, it makes no difference what is in the bottle, but of course the feeling is nicer overall. It's good for the team and good for me, so in that way it's nice.

Italian GP - Sunday - Press Conference

3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h16m52.370s


Q: Kimi, it was a bit of a repeat for you of the Belgian Grand Prix in many ways with the Force India in your mirrors just about throughout the whole race.

Kimi RAIKKONEN: I got a very good start but them something happened with Lewis. He slowed down but I had nowhere to go and I had to go around the left half on the grass, but I needed to back off before then. If I had had some space to go around him I would have got him at the start. Anyhow, it didn't really change the end of the race. In the end he went off. We got third place a little bit on a gift but it doesn't matter. It all counts. Good points for us. It is a bit disappointing to drive as well as you can every lap, not really making any mistakes, and still finish quite far away from the first two. It is not the perfect position for me or for the team, but at least we scored some points which we needed. I think we got the most out of the car this weekend. It is good for the fans to be on the podium. It is much better than finishing fourth. We are going to keep pushing as hard as we can. We know that there are cars quicker than us, but maybe some races we can still challenge them for the win and that is what we try to do. It was a great thing for the team and everything worked well for us and the guys put in good hard work.

Q: It looked like a small glitch at the second pit stop and you just caught the leg of the refuelling guy. Then you had to brake before you left the pit lane.

Raikkonen: I was in a hurry to get out as I knew it was going to be very close. The lollipop guy just moved a little bit and I was ready to go and he put it back down and I stopped. But luckily enough the fuel rig was out and I could go. We lost a little bit of time but not too much. It would not have been enough anyhow for beating McLaren at the pit stops, but we could keep the Force India behind and in the end it did not make much difference.

Q: Kimi, how much pressure was Adrian (Sutil) putting on you, or were you just able to push the button and get yourself a safety margin?

Raikkonen: I think it was very similar to the last race with (Giancarlo) Fisichella. OK, sometimes it looks as if it gets very close in the middle of a chicane, but then once you get to the corner exit and you start accelerating and he's still in the chicane it opens up again, so it never really got very close, so that I would need to defend or anything like that. They seem to be fast in a straight line, fast through the corners, so for sure I needed to make sure that I didn't make a mistake and I got a good run in the few places on the circuit where I knew that his only chance was going to be. So as long as I didn't make a mistake in those two places it was OK.

Q: Do you regret the strategy that you chose, the two-stop?

Raikkonen: No. I think we still did the right thing. We got the best out of the car. We know that we're where the top cars are, we're not as fast. The car feels more or less OK, we're just missing grip, we're sliding more than the others and that's the penalty that we have to pay. We're not going to have any more new parts for the car, so it is what it is right now. Third place for us is very good, we're still keeping position in the championship which is what we're aiming for. I think we got the maximum out of the car.

Q: Much difference between the tyres?

Raikkonen: I think the soft one was easier for us. It is normally. It's hard to get the hard one working. Probably we don't have as much downforce as the others, so you cannot put load on the tyres, you cannot get them working. In the end they started to work a little bit better again and it helped but for sure, the soft one is the better one.

Q: Will Singapore suit you better?

Raikkonen: It should be a bit more than Valencia, Monaco. Hopefully there we will have a bit more of a chance to challenge for first place but I don't know. We will wait and see. Hopefully we can be stronger there.

Q: (Heikki Kulta -Turun Sanomat) Kimi, you have had four successive podiums. Are you surprised by this consistent record?

Raikkonen: A little bit, yes. But we've been chasing the car a bit since the last five races and it's been working well for us, we've been getting the best out of it and other people have got the most out of their cars and their package, so it has worked out very well for us. It's a big surprise to finish on the podium, but OK, here we were a bit lucky to finish on the podium. No matter how it comes you need to finish the race, so we will try again in the next races and try to keep third place in the Constructors' championship.

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