Friday, February 10, 2012

Grosjean's speed didn't come as any surprise to Räikkönen

First three days and 214 laps with Lotus new E20 -car are behind and Räikkönen can now concentrate on following Rally Sweden at home in Switzerland - while following Jerez testing times. At least through the internet

Räikkönen who made the pioneering work with the new car got praisal from the engineers for his feedback. The car is developing and Romain Grosjean got immediately into speed to polish the novelty into an even better one.

– I don't know him that well but he has won the GP2-championship and other car-races. You don't win them if you aren't fast, Räikkönen said.

Räikkönen's 942 kilometers experience from Jerez tests will help the people in Enstone to both develop the car and make it more like the driver wants it to be.

The challenge is at least to build a new steering and placing the DRS-button in the place where Räikkönen wants it.

Räikkönen's engineer in Jerez and in Barcelona's first test period is Simon Renney. After that Mark Slade takes his familiar place alongside Räikkönen.

– It goes well with Simon too but I wanted Mark along. He knows me and he knows what I want since we were together for five years in McLaren. On top of that Mark knows this team after working here earlier. It's easier for me to go to a new team when the engineers have experience of the team and know how to work with me and the team, Räikkönen justified.

Gerard Lopez is very satisfied with the new driver duo. He took personally care of hiring Räikkönen.

– We were in contact with Kimi already in 2010. Back then I got the impression that he still had unfinished challenges in rally and he gave the impression that he would like to do both F1 and rally at the same time. Coming back to F1 would mainly had been because of money.

– Now everything was different. I can assure you that Kimi came back because he wanted to race and money was a minor detail, Lopez reveals.

– Even though he was away for two years he was immediately at home in the car and showed right in the first test with the old car that he is physically in a very good shape. I think Kimi makes a lot of hard work which generally doesn't even seem to be understood.

Turun Sanomat's question about how Räikkönen fits in Robert Kubica's place as the team's leading driver got Lopez to smile widely.

– Kimi is definitely the best we could get and I think that he is with certainity one of the world's four fastest drivers, Lopez praised.

Turun Sanomat. Jerez de la Frontera


Courtesy: Nicole

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