quarta-feira, outubro 31, 2012

Kimi Indian GP review and Abu Dhabi GP preview

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 Twilight Time

Obviously, we took a risk, tried something different to find a couple of tenths more for qualifying, and the whole weekend in India went in a wrong direction at the same time.

The Indian Grand Prix is one of those to forget quickly. We had a good car to get good lap times in the race. But while we stuck behind a Ferrari after the start, well, there we were for the whole race.

I tried to pass, but, it was a simple fact, there were not enough speed in the straights to attack. Once I was in front of the Ferrari, but it didn’t last long. It was my decision to make the changes to the car after FP3 on Saturday. That makes it an even more bitter pill to swallow. It could have been totally different ball game from the better position in the grid. Now we shall never know. We were seventh, got six points and while the leaders got much more.

I’m happy to stay on with Lotus F1 Team. The deal is done and now we can focus to put together some good results in the end of the season. We are heading for the next race in Abu Dhabi. It’s a different challenge while the race will be a mixture of a day and an evening race. We start with the sun and finish with the lights. It’s a so called Twilight race. I’ve experienced it once with Ferrari. Now I want to improve from that and get the first points - hopefully a podium - from there, as well.

The car should be at its’ best in the kind of layout of the circuit. There are not too many long straights and some lower speed corners should be good for us.

We push really hard to get a solid qualifying session like we had in Korea. You need to be up there in the first two rows to have a chance for a podium finish in this race. That’s our target. Let’s wait and see, how it goes.


Kimi Q and A on his new contract signing with Lotus today

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Currently occupying third place in the Formula 1 Driver’s World Championship – with an impressive six podium finishes along the way – Kimi has certainly silenced the critics during his comeback season in Formula 1. With solid foundations now in place, the Finn is looking for more with the team in 2013…

What have you learnt from your return to Formula 1?
This season has shown me that I still love racing as much as I ever did. Obviously, I would have not come back to the sport if I did not feel like this. Driving a Formula 1 car still gives me the same inspiration and I feel the same passion for it.

Lotus F1 Team is your fourth team in Formula 1: how have things gelled?
I have been very happy with the team; how they work, how they approach the races and how they invest in developing the car. I think with the progress behind the scenes at Enstone we could be fighting for the podium even more often next year and also be able to make a stronger challenge for the Championship.

We, and around 500,000 other people, recently saw you signing an enforced contract on YouTube. How civilized was the process with Lotus F1 Team in comparison?
Well the team did not need to tie me up and blackmail me with a photo album, unlike certain other contracts you may have seen me sign recently. That was not necessary on this occasion.

How strong is your motivation heading into the last races of this year and looking ahead to 2013?
My motivation is as strong as it’s always been. I’m keen to race on.

How can you build on your experience from 2012 next season?
We have proven as team that we can build and develop a strong and reliable car. This year has been a good platform to put down strong foundations for what will hopefully be an even better season next time around. We know what we need to do to improve in some important areas, which should help us get even better results next year. All in all I’m looking forward carrying on working with the team to achieve more good things in 2013.

What have you learnt from this year?
I think there were a few people who had doubts about how I would perform after being away for a while. Personally, I didn’t feel I stopped racing at all. I may have been doing something different with rallying, but after coming back to Formula 1 I immediately felt fit enough – and fast enough – to start racing again. My hunger for winning is exactly the same as always and I think I’ve shown that I’m capable of fighting for victories. Obviously there have been none so far this year, but we have come close a few times and for sure we’ll keep on trying for as long as it takes to start winning again.

What’s the main focus for you in 2013?
Of course, the main thing is to do my very best every time, every weekend, every race. I think to be able to perform better in the races I have to find more from myself and from the car in qualifying. This season has shown that you have to be on first two rows to be able to win every time. It’s important to improve our grid positions for 2013. That’s one of main targets for me.


Kimi Raikkonen não descarta retorno à Ferrari ou McLaren: "nunca se sabe"

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Na última semana, o finlandês Kimi Raikkonen renovou por mais um ano seu contrato com a Lotus, mas isso não impede que o piloto pense em um retorno à Ferrari ou à McLaren antes de abandonar de vez a Fórmula 1. O piloto afirmou que ainda busca sucesso e não descartou disputar uma temporada por uma de suas ex-equipes.

Raikkonen ressaltou que teve um ano razoável pela Lotus e ainda busca evoluir com a equipe. “Poderia ter sido melhor, mas eu acho que também poderia ter sido pior”, ponderou ao diário inglês The Telegraph.

“Eu não estou 100% feliz. Se eu estou aqui quero vencer e ser bem sucedido. Tem sido muito bom esse ano, mas ainda não ganhamos e nós temos que melhorar”, afirmou o finlandês, que apesar de ter a terceira posição no Mundial de Pilotos, não subiu no lugar mais alto do pódio em nenhuma oportunidade.

Em busca de melhorar cada vez mais, Raikkonen não descartou um retorno à Ferrari, escuderia que defendeu antes de deixar a categoria para se aventurar em competições de rali.

“A Ferrari poderia ter terminado de forma um pouco mais agradável, mas as pessoas com quem trabalhei ainda estão lá. Isso não significa que eu não possa voltar. Nunca se sabe. Eu não sei por quanto tempo vou pilotos, mas não será por muitos anos”, declarou o piloto, que perdeu o posto na escuderia de Maranello com a chegada do espanhol Fernando Alonso.

O finlandês manteve a mesma posição com relação à McLaren e negou ter problema em trabalhar novamente com o presidente da equipe britânica, Ron Dennis. “Com certeza, nós temos uma visão diferente me muitos aspectos, mas ainda nos falamos. Eu nunca briguei com ele e não há nada de errado em nossa relação”, afirmou.