Bahrain GP - Sunday - Press Conference
22 APRIL 2012
2 - Kimi RAIKKONEN (Lotus)
Q: Kimi, welcome back to the podium in Formula One. You had the tyres but was the race win there for you instead?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I think we gave ourselves a chance at least. It's a bit disappointing that I didn't manage to do it. But I made a small mistake at the beginning and lost one place to Ferrari. I had to re-overtake him and it took a little time. I got past the people quite easily but if you look in the end I think we still took too long and we couldn't win the race. But at least we got the podium with both cars. After the last race we tried hard and failed and probably people thought we were a bit stupid. Even after yesterday what we did. But it turned out to be the right decision and I think the team deserves what we have achieved now. We have been working hard. We've not been 100 per cent happy with how the weekends have run so far but finally we've got some proper results for the team, so it's an important step.
Q: Had you been able to get past your team-mate Romain Grosjean in the middle part of the race, a little sooner, would that have made the victory a little easier for you? You certainly had the pace in that middle stint?
Raikkonen: Yeah but there are no team orders and we know the rules. I try to get past as quickly as I can but it's not easy with two similar cars. It's always easy to say afterwards 'if we had done that' but in the end we were not fast enough to win and we have to take the second. I got one chance on Sebastian but I chose the wrong side under braking, so that was it really. In the end I didn't have any other chances to try. It's disappointing to finish second but after the last race we have to take it and be pretty happy.
Q: Kimi, again a team that changed the car quite a lot during this weekend, especially after last weekend as well - but obviously it was a good car.
Raikkonen: My car was the same the whole weekend. We tried two cars with different floors but I mean in the end I don't think there's much difference between them but for sure it looks like we did the right thing. The car cannot be too bad because we finished second and third, we're still not happy in certain areas but that's a pretty normal thing. You're never really 100 per cent happy with things. You always try to find something new and improved. But, I mean, great thing for the team to finish second and third, so I'm happy for them but a bit disappointed to not have more, to not be able to challenge more for the win. I'm not winning but that's life.
Q: Was it difficult even with the DRS to get really, really close, close enough?
Raikkonen: I think like you saw on TV I got close enough once to have a chance to try but I chose the wrong side, so that's about it. After that my tyres dropped off a bit and I couldn't get close enough. Yep, next time we try, hopefully we can put ourselves in a similar position later on this season in the next coming races. It's not going to be easy but we will try. And that would be nice.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, was it the right decision to come in for the last pit stop at the same time as Sebastian? Could you have waited one more lap?
Raikkonen: That was the plan. Even if we came in a lap later it would be more or less the same. That was our plan and we followed it. They came in at the same time.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) You're now going to have three days of testing in Mugello ; do you think that some teams are going to bring big updates, like Ferrari who are struggling a lot? What are your plans for your cars, are you also having big updates? Do you more or less know the direction?
Raikkonen: I don't what the others are doing, you will have to ask them. I'm not aware of our plans regarding the test and we will see what happens there. I haven't talked about it. We first have to finish this race and then put the effort into the test and then go racing after that. I can't say what the other teams are going to do. We try to find more understanding of the car and improve it.
Q: (Khoda Rawi) Kimi, a good result today, but do you think Lotus can keep up the momentum for the next races?
Raikkonen: We will try. It's the same story; I have no idea what's going to happen in the next races but the team's been pushing hard to try to improve the car, bringing new parts, but of course they haven't been working as well as we hoped, but anyhow, they are bringing new updates every time when they can. We try to keep pushing and stay up there, but I cannot answer because they are not. That's our aim and that's what we're working for and hopefully it will happen, but who knows how well we can improve or what the others will do. The team is doing good work and we deserve to be here and hopefully we can stay up here in other races also.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Are you surprised, Kimi, that it took you only four races to return to the podium?
Raikkonen: It could have been in the first three races also, not putting ourselves in a bad position and some problems, being a bit smarter than certain teams but we know from the winter that we have a very good car, good baseline package and just have to make the right decisions and put ourselves where the car can be. This weekend it worked, last weekend it didn't. We know that the speed is there, we just need to try to get everything exactly right.
Spanish GP - Sunday - Press Conference
13 MAY 2012
3 - Kimi RAIKKONEN (Lotus)
Q: Kimi, third today. You were a lot of people's favourite going into this grand prix. Do you think you and the team made all the right choices this afternoon?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: We have to look. I'm a bit disappointed. I expected us to be a bit stronger in the race, especially at the beginning. At the end we were very good, but it was too late. We were not fast enough and quick enough to race and that's why we couldn't fight for a win. But we showed in the end that we have to speed but we just have to look at what we did. Maybe we took the wrong choice in the first pit stop. In the end, like I said we were not fast enough in the beginning and that cost us the race, so I was not so disappointed during the race because I saw that I couldn't follow them at the beginning. But at the end when you catch them up almost 20 seconds then you get a bit of a disappointed feeling afterwards, when you just needed a few laps to be even able to fight for the first place. That's racing and at least I scored some good points and we're going in the right direction.
Q: Kimi, it's the second podium for you in a row. Do you feel a win is around the corner?
Raikkonen: Yeah, twice already. Unfortunately you're not always going to get there. If you get the chance, you should take it because it's not every race that you will be able to fight for that position or even try it. Hopefully we can keep doing what we're doing now and at a certain point I'm sure that things will go exactly right and we can. But so far it's been a good step and the car has been strong everywhere. The next race is a bit different - Monaco - it's hard to say how it goes there. The team has done a good job and we have still work to do, things to improve. But so far it's going in a good way and I'm happy with it. OK, we're not 100% happy with it because we are not winning but that's a very normal thing and I'm happy for the team.
Q: Kimi, tell us about the start, because that pretty much established your race.
Raikkonen: Yeah, I had a pretty good start, nothing to complain about. I thought I would get the chance to overtake outside both of the first two but I didn't have enough speed in a straight line - I actually hit the limiter I think in fifth gear which kind of stopped my acceleration a bit but after that I didn't have the speed to hang on and hound them. I was pulling away from the guys behind me but I couldn't stay. The first stint was pretty OK but the second, I chose the soft tyre and I didn't have the speed to keep up with them. I'm a bit disappointed but I just tried to fight and then we changed the tyres and it seemed to turn out to be pretty good but we were just too far away. We need, like, ten more laps and then I think we could have been fighting for the win.
Q: Absolute charge at the end, your tyres were OK?
Raikkonen: Yes, it was OK. I had two new sets of Prime but unfortunately I didn't have more sets of Prime anyhow to put in the first pitstop. The car was very good but just a bit too late for me. We fall off too much in the last stint to be able to fight for the win. But one more lap we could probably could have got Fernando - but it's easy to say after.
Q: And what did you tell the Finnish viewers just now?
Raikkonen: It's Mothers' Day in Finland.
Q: So Happy Mothers' Day?
Raikkonen: Yeah. I had nothing else to say to Finnish viewers.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Leonid Novozhilov) Kimi, second place in Bahrain, third place in Spain; is this the maximum for you or can you win?
Raikkonen: The fact is the reason why I'm disappointed is because in the end if we have done everything right, we could have put ourselves into first place. The car has been fast enough but we've been doing small things not correctly and I've done some mistakes on my side but if everything was 100 percent OK we could have won. There's no issue with the speed of the car, but it's so close between all the teams and drivers that if you have a small problem or a small issue during the weekend then it's going to cost you a lot. If you're three tenths behind then you're suddenly not in the last qualifying. As you give yourself the chance to be fighting at the front, I think our car can do it but everything has to fall in the right place to be able to win.
Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, did you believe that Pastor could be your main rival today, and if not, how big a surprise is it?
Raikkonen: Williams have been quite fast for two races in certain points and I think, as we've said before, it's very difficult to say who is really the quickest overall because at one race one team is there and then suddenly they are tenth in the next race, so it's bit of an odd situation where we are this year, but it gives a lot of chances for all the teams who have the speed and when the tyres are working for them they are much better than the others. The tyres seem to be the key thing. If you get them working well you seem to be fast. Sometimes you just drop out of the window a little bit and you have a hard time.
European GP - Sunday - Press Conference
24 JUNE 2012
2 - Kimi RAIKKONEN (Lotus)
Q: Kimi, it's a third podium position of the season for you. Was a victory possible for you today or were the tyres just not there at the end?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I think everybody had quite old tyres at that point. I just didn't have enough tyres. I had enough tyres to get past Hamilton on I think it was the second-last or third-last lap. We didn't really have the speed to challenge for the win. I think on the start already I got a good start but got blocked by Maldonado in the first right-hander and lost quite a few places because of that. I was a bit behind already at that point. We made a good recovery from that position. I had quite a hard fight with people and overtaking and then second place. It's OK of course, but not what we wanted.
Q: Kimi, quite a busy race for you too, what with battles with Maldonado and Hamilton.
Raikkonen: Yeah, I got a pretty good start but then in the first right-hander, the little kink, I got blocked by Maldonado so I had to back off. I lost quite a few places there, so at that point onwards it was a case of trying to catch up and try to get past people. I managed to pass some, but it was difficult to pass today. I got sight of Maldonado a few times but he pushed me wide. I tried and tried and then in the end I managed to get past some people and after the safety car I managed to get past people also. On the restart, I lost a place to Hamilton. I just got too much wheelspin out of the corner. It was quite a busy race actually. Then, when I was in the third place, a few cars retired and I thought I would try to save the tyres a bit and try to get Hamilton at some point. I saw him sliding a bit. So I think it was the second-last lap or something but I got him in the end. OK the result second after all things we went through in the race but of course you're never happy until you win. And for the team, bad luck. It would have been much nicer to have both cars on the podium.
Q: And your tyres. Were they shot at the end?
Raikkonen: Yeah, the rear tyres were pretty bad. Especially in the middle of the circuit. There were three or four corners that were really bad. The rest was not so bad. I think everybody had similar issues.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Kimi, is it realistic to believe that if you had overtaken Hamilton before that you could attack Alonso?
Raikkonen: I would have overtaken if I could. I was not waiting for the last or second last lap. I just didn't have the speed. I just had to wait until he ran out of his tyres. Then I got the chance. I tried to get closer and closer but I was not fast enough earlier on, otherwise I would definitely have tried to overtake. But basically I let him past at the restart. After the bridge, I made a mistake and he got past me. It was my own mistake.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, about the championship, if you had to bet some money, would you put that money on Fernando or is there still some room for Vettel and Hamilton?
Raikkonen: I don't even know what the points are so it's a bit difficult to say. We've seen how quickly things can change this year. You only need one bad race and the guy wins so I wouldn't put money, probably use it for something else.
Belgian GP - Sunday - Press Conference
2 SEPTEMBER 2012
3 – Kimi RAIKKONEN (Lotus)
PODIUM INTERVIEW (conducted by Jacky Ickx)
Q: Well Kimi, first of all the crowd is really showing their pleasure to have you back in grand prix racing. You’re flirting with the victory, now you are quite often on the podium, you did an incredible battle for third place. We had feeling that maybe you had difficulty with your car, maybe sometimes, but the result is that you are finishing third. It’s a pure joy for us and we like to congratulate you for this great position.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Thanks a lot and I mean it’s nice to be back here. Always lots of fans and good racing. So I think we have seen very nice racing today. Of course not the easiest day for me and for the team but the car was not exactly like we are liking but I was fighting and try to get the best out of it and we managed to get some good points for myself and for the team, so that’s the main thing but for sure not the easiest race, one of the most difficult but that’s how it goes and we try next week better.
Q: Kimi, two defining moments that we can remember from that race from you, particularly the start, tell us about that.
Raikkonen: I had an OK start, I gained one place on Sauber and I think a very similar start to Jenson and I just saw it in the mirrors that there’s some accidents going to happen so I was pretty lucky to get out of it. I think they just missed me on the rear. But the Williams tried to get me – but he had a jump start, I could see it already, before the lights went that somebody was moving a lot so for me it was no problem.
Q: And then the overtaking manoeuvre on Michael down into Eau Rouge…
Raikkonen: Yeah, my car wasn’t very nice to drive the whole race, even yesterday with new tyres in qualifying it was OK but even third or fourth we were quite far away from the guys in front of us – so I wasn’t expecting a very easy ride and it turned out to be very difficult. Not grip, the first few laps with new tyres were always good but then sliding: no front end, no rear end, just struggling with the grip and last we had to run a bit more downforce to get grip and we were really slow in a straight line, so with Michael I passed him once, he got me back and I knew my only chance was try to get the DRS and then to be ahead of him because even if I had the DRS I could not pass him on the straight with the limiter. So, I had to just take a chance to overtake him with the KERS into Eau Rouge And it kind of paid off – but he almost got me still back which shows us that we didn’t really have the speed today – but we had a third place so it’s OK. Not the easiest race but pretty OK.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Oana Popoiu) Kimi, for the first time you failed to win a Belgian race that you have finished. How does that feel and do you think that double DRS would have helped you to gain a better position today?
Raikkonen: Well, we couldn't use it because Friday was such bad weather, but it's better third than not to finish, so OK, we didn't win but we didn't have the speed today so we didn't deserve to win either. In the last three races we had the speed in races where you cannot overtake and here we just didn't have the speed. I will take third place, I'm pretty happy to finish on the podium given how difficult the car was handling and how tricky it was throughout the whole race.
Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, the lack of power here, does it worry you just before going to Monza where you need even more power?
Raikkonen: I don't know if we were lacking any power. That's what people always say but we don't know what we have. We just didn't have the speed today and hopefully with a bit more warm weather and layout of the circuit might make a difference. I don't expect just to be suddenly in the front, be up there easily but we've been up there more or less at every circuit and giving ourselves a good chance and this was one of the most difficult races, for sure. Hopefully it will go back to what it's been in previous races for Monza. We'll just have to wait and see.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Looking at the start with Grosjean who caused another accident, it's not the first time that that has happened this year. Are you going to talk to him also or are you expecting the stewards to be harsh on him for the next race?
Raikkonen: I don't want to talk about it because I didn't see the whole thing. Somebody can say it's this one guy's fault and another guy may have a different opinion. Until I see the whole thing I have nothing to say. It's not our work or job to tell somebody what to do and what not to do. That's why we have stewards. We will see what happens.
Abu Dhabi GP - Sunday - Press Conference
4 NOVEMBER 2012
1 - Kimi RAIKKONEN (Lotus)
Podium interviews (Conducted by David Coulthard)
Q. Kimi - your first victory since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix. Tell us about your emotions at this time.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Not much really.
Q. People want to know how amazing it is to win a grand prix. Tell us.
KR: Last time you guys was giving me shit because I didn't really smile enough, so maybe this time again but I mean I'm very happy for the team - and myself - but mainly for the team. It's really a hard season for the team and not an easy time. Hopefully this gives them more belief, not just for the guys making all the work but also for the guys who run the team. I hope this can turn around the tables and give us many more good races and wins. If not this year then next year.
Q. Kimi, you've won before, you've won the title before and standing here you sent a message to the team about how you hope this will motivate future success, but when it is moment going to sink in? That you've won a grand prix in your comeback year.
KR: I mean like I said, I'm happy, but there's nothing to jump around about. Really we still have a few races to go, I'll try to do the same again, and for sure we're going to have a good party today and hopefully tomorrow, when we are feeling bad after a long night, we will remember how we feel so... I'm just happy for everybody in the team.
Q. Kimi, well done, congratulations. Fantastic win for you, you've really been waiting for this win, I think, all season and now it's happened. What are your feelings?
KR: Like I said before, I'm very happy for the team. We have had hard times lately and hopefully it gives some belief for the people, even more that... I mean they've been working very hard the whole year but with the hard times there's a bit unknown in the whole situation and hopefully for the people who runs the team, who owns the team, the people who works for... for everybody, hopefully it gives a bit more support and hope that things will turn around and be even better than it's been this year. So, great thing for the team itself, for the guys and, I mean of course I'm happy myself, but if I win it's great, if I don't I will try again and it's not the end of the life. We've been close few times but now I said that even the last race I think we had the speed to even win the race but if you don't start in the front we see what can happen. We knew the start would be a really big key and I got a really good start so I think with the McLaren we didn't
have the speed, at least in the beginning of the race - but then we have to finish the race to win so... I mean after that we were pretty good. Just the safety cars made us a little bit more tricky today.
Q. The start really was... gave you the second place straight away, it was a really excellent start.
KR. Like I said yesterday, this going to be key, to get behind the faster car and not start behind the cars that cannot go as fast as us. And I mean we have a fast car for lap time in the race but if we stuck behind there's no way we're going to get past so, that's what we could do this weekend: put yesterday in a good position and then made a good start and then just go from there.
Q. And how much is the development that has been taking place on the car with the exhaust etc, how much has that been bringing pace to the car?
KR. It brings some pace, helps our straight line speed. So in average we gain some advantage but it's exactly the same car we have in Korea. So we see how much even this year in all the races some circuits suits better for one team and the next one is not so good for you. We had good speed last race as I've already said. We made some mistakes in qualifying and paid the price in the race. So now we put all together like we should have done quite a few times this year but for one reason or another we haven't. But at least we've got one win so we'll keep try to push still and see what we can do in the next race.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q. (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, was that your best start in a Lotus and after that, which one was the hardest competitor, the second safety car or Fernando?
KR. I think we've had some very good starts before, but compared to the others, today was a pretty normal start on our scale. I managed to pass Mark and Maldonado before I changed into second gear. I'd had a very good start on the warm-up lap so I knew this was going to be good. That was our aim, to try to make a good start and we managed to do it, so it was key for our win today.
For sure, the safety car hurt us much more than the others. We had a good lead and then nothing, and then twice. The first time was when Hamilton was in front of us but it definitely didn't help us today.
Q. (Leonid Novozhilov - F1 Live) Kimi Raikkonen, how and with whom and how many days will you celebrate this win?
KR. I have almost two weeks. As long as I manage to get myself to the next race I think the team is happy. I try to get home at some point.
Q. (Kate Walker - Girl Racer) Kimi, one of the highlights of the race was your radio messages, the ones that you were giving to the team. How distracting is it when you're fighting behind the safety car or whatever, to have them reminding you to warm-up your wheels?
KR. It's a normal thing. It's the same with all the teams. For sure, they are just trying to help but if you keep saying the same things two times a minute, I'm not so stupid that I cannot remember what I'm doing. It's a normal thing, they are just trying to help. I know what I'm doing. I will ask for help if I need it. It's not the first time and it won't be the last time. It's been many times with other teams also but they are all there to help you and try to put you in the best position. Different people like different things.
Q. (Khodr Rawi - F1 Arab) Kimi, how special is it to be the first driver to win for Lotus since Ayrton Senna in 1987
KR. It's a long time for them, I guess. I don't think there are any (of the same) people in the team any more. It's a name. It's the same team and it has been since Fernando was there, just a different name. It's a great name for us, good past but you know I race for the team whatever the name is, I don't really care so it's just for the guys who do all the work. Maybe it looks good in somebody's eyes but for me it really makes no difference.
Q. (Mark Fogarty - Auto Action) Who is going to win the World Championship?
KR. I wouldn't put money on me! They [Vettel and Alonso] are quite close; I don't know what the points difference is. Ten? One bad race could decide the championship if they keep doing what they've been doing. It's hard for Fernando but we saw yesterday and in races before that anything can happen. If it's a normal situation I don't think much can happen but one small mistake can decide everything.
Q. (Heikki Kulta -Turun Sanomat) Kimi, does it take anything from your joy that when you win you kill your last hope of the championship?
KR. No, I think we knew already, a few races ago, that we didn't have the speed to challenge at the front. We always said that we would keep fighting and trying to do the best that we can. We got the win, we might have lost the championship on the same day but I don't really care. We didn't really expect to be fighting with them anyhow. We've always been a bit behind and not really had the speed to challenge them in normal races and now in the last few races we've had very good speed and finally we put all the things together and won. We will try again next year.