Monday, March 5, 2012

I need nitros!

It's evening on Sunday in Valles de Barbera near Barcelona. The winter tests are over and I have had time to ponder what could happen in Australia based upon them.

I think we can expect the most thrilling Q2 of all times.

Seven different teams made the fastest lap time at some point in the tests. Since McLaren was absent from that list, there's a long list of candidates to top 10.

Ferrari at least has an obvious problem if they can even get their drivers to the Q1. F2012 -car eats the tyre and demands a lot of fresh rubber for the race. On the other hand the basic speed is such that getting into top 10 requires a lot. Maybe two sets of soft tyres in Q2 - if even that is enough.

I strolled to the press room on Sunday from Lotus paddock with my reporter buddy Kari Melart when Ferrari's publicist Luca Colajanni came to say hello and said that Kimi might win in Australia.

When I asked if he said it seriously or just for fun, Luca assured that he believes just as much in Kimi's chances to win the opening race as he believes in Ferrari not being able to win the opening race.

Since I know, that based upon all data information Ferrari doesn't have any chance in Australia, Kimi is then possibly hiding big chances to win on a track where he has been 4 times earlier on the podium.

We re-lived with Colajanni those unforgettable moments when Räikkönen became Ferrari's last WDC in 2007, Brazil. Keeping those memories in mind, Luca adviced me to prepare myself for an even better assurance in the opening race, so my heart that was operated three years ago wouldn't be too strained from anticipating a victory.

I also asked about it from Räikkönen's new boss, Eric Boullier. He said the same as Kimi, that the first qualification will clear up the power relations. He also reminded, that circumstances usually play a big part and if a team gets them on their side then the result will surely be very positive for them.

Daniel Ricciardo had an excellent day on Saturday. Although Toro Rosso's fine-tuning didn't quite fall in place, the hope of Australia was in a sunny mood on Sunday night.

I went to show my support for a youngster who was charging up for his life's first home race and asked what kind of chances he has to beat Räikkönen in the opening weekend.

– Lotus looks strong. We don't have a chance against Lotus or against Kimi. Kimi will be among the top 8 in qualification, maybe even among the top 6, Ricciardo estimated.

One of my reporter buddies, Jonathan Noble, had made a gallup on the paddock about the power relations.

– It seems that the majority believes Red Bull and McLaren to be in the first row, after them come Mercedes and Lotus. How far Kimi will stretch from that is up to the circumstances and right timing. At least we saw that his speed is just like before, Noble said.

Turun Sanomat, Barcelona


Courtesy: Nicole

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