Saturday, May 26, 2012


A difficult weekend thus far for Kimi, but as always the Iceman has his eyes on the prize, and all thoughts on the race…


To be honest I think we’ve been slightly behind where we wanted to be all weekend. Missing FP1 didn’t help of course but the car itself feels ok; the biggest issue is getting the tyres working. I could have gone a bit quicker on my fastest lap but I locked a wheel in the second part of the swimming pool so unfortunately that lost us some time. Not the best day but Sunday is the priority; that’s our focus.


I don’t think it will have such a big effect in the race as we’re doing much more laps on the tyres; it’s getting them right for a single lap that’s been a bit difficult. We still have a lot to learn with the super soft tyres though as it’s the first time we’ve used them.


Obviously it’s always nice to have fresh tyres but I don’t think it will make a huge difference. Degradation is very low here, and strategies will probably be very similar between the teams. Besides, when you look at the front of the grid it was so close that most people are in the same situation as us.


You can never tell with Monaco. If we have a completely clean race then it will be tricky to improve but anything can happen here; especially if the weather changes. For sure we expected to be in the top five today and that would have made things easier, but the race could always bring a few surprises…

Source: Lotus F1

Webber: Fair play to Schumacher but P1 is nice

Mark Webber is relishing his starting position for Sunday's Monaco GP having been elevate to pole position by Michael Schumacher's penalty

The Mercedes driver claimed the coveted grid slot with a 1:14.301 around the streets of Monte Carlo with Webber 0.080s back.

However, Schumacher arrived in Monaco with a grid penalty for his Spanish GP crash with Bruno Senna, which means he drops to sixth and Webber is up to first.

And the Red Bull driver believes that starting at the front will stand him in good stead as his bids for his first victory of the season.

"It was an amazing session wasn't it? It was very, very close," Webber said.

"Q3 was tight between the first few rows obviously there were some different tyre strategies with different people getting to the difficult part of qualifying with different sets of tyres and in the end it was a good little battle.

"Michael did a good lap - fair play to him - but it's nice to move up a position, of all places it's good starting towards the front here and I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow."

Looking ahead to Sunday's grand prix, the Aussie believes it will be a "chess match" as track position and strategy are vital on a circuit where overtaking is extremely difficult.

"We know track position round here is important so you need to keep that as much as you can and you also have the chess match.

"Off the front here is a little bit easier for the guys in terms of strategy for them to look for a place for you to drop in to in terms of stops. We know overtaking here is notorious. Then there's obviously a long grand prix.

"Concentration for the drivers; we're going to have phases of the grand prix where the tyres will be fresh, the tyres will be very tired, so you have to be ready for that."

Source: Planet-F1

Qualifying: Schumi quickest but not on pole

Michael Schumacher turned back the clock on Saturday when he set the pace in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix

The seven-time World Champ, who had 68 pole positions heading into this weekend's grand prix, posted a 1:14.301 to take the P1 slot in qualifying by 0.08-s ahead of Mark Webber.

However, it's the Aussie who will start Sunday's 78-lap grand prix from pole position as Schumacher has a five-grid slot penalty for his crash with Bruno Senna at the previous race in Spain.

Nico Rosberg will therefore join Webber on the front row of the grid ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean.

Fernando Alonso will start P5 alongside Schumacher.

Jenson Button failed to make it into Q2, falling short on speed, which put him down in 13th place.

Meanwhile, Sergio Perez failed to make it into Q2 for the first time in his F1 career as, for the second time in his F1 career, he crashed in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

This time, though, he was unhurt and will start Sunday's race 24th on the grid.


01 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:14.301
02 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:14.381 0.080
03 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:14.448 0.147
04 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:14.583 0.282
05 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:14.639 0.338
06 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:14.948 0.647
07 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:15.049 0.748
08 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus 1:15.199 0.898
09 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:15.245 0.944
10 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:15.421 0.510

12 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:15.508 0.597
13 Jenson Button McLaren 1:15.536 0.625
14 Bruno Senna Williams 1:15.709 0.798
15 Paul di Resta Force India 1:15.718 0.807
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:15.878 0.967
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:16.885 1.974
18 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:16.538 1.120
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:17.404 1.986
20 Timo Glock Marussia 1:17.947 2.529
21 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:18.096 2.678
22 Charles Pic Marussia 1:18.476 3.058
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:19.310 3.892
24 Sergio Perez Sauber

Source: Planet-F1

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Practice Two: Button tops rain-interrupted session

Jenson Button set the pace in Thursday's second practice session in Monaco before the rain came down and the lap times dropped dramatically

With rain on the horizon, the drivers were quickly out on track to get in as much dry running as possible.

Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez set the early pace, trading blows before Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton overhauled the Sauber pairing. Their reign was short-lived as Jenson Button took the P1 slot with a 1:17.095.

Button was dropped by Fernando Alonso, who in turn lost out to Pastor Maldonado only for the Spaniard to come back at him and retake the P1 slot.

Button ventured out again, this time on the super soft Pirellis, taking the P1 slot with a 1:15.746 while Romain Grosjean climbed to second place.

And then the rain came, not heavy at first but enough for race control to declare the track wet. Moments later, though, it did intensify.

With the rain lessening after 20 minutes the drivers ventured back out only to pit a few minutes later as the second shower hit. The silence was broken by the Toro Rosso drivers with several others opting to head out as well. They were, however, on average 20s a lap down on the leading dry times.

Surprisingly, other than the two Williams, Perez, Felipe Massa and Heikki Kovalainen heading up the escape road at Mirabeau, there were no other issues to report despite the greasy track surface.

Mark Webber was quickest on the wet track with a 1:31.777 although others did go a bit faster in the final few minutes when a dry line started to appear.

The session ended with Button, Grosjean and Massa in the top three positions and more rain forecast for Saturday's qualifying.


1 Jenson Button McLaren 1:15.746 17 laps
2 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:16.138 0.392 19 laps
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:16.602 0.856 21 laps
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:16.661 0.915 23 laps
5 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:16.820 1.074 20 laps
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:17.021 1.275 15 laps
7 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:17.148 1.402 23 laps
8 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:17.153 1.407 22 laps
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:17.293 1.547 11 laps
10 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:17.303 1.557 21 laps
11 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:17.375 1.629 19 laps
12 Paul di Resta Force India 1:17.395 1.649 21 laps
13 Bruno Senna Williams 1:17.655 1.909 18 laps
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:17.800 2.054 25 laps
15 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:18.251 2.505 24 laps
16 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:18.440 2.694 24 laps
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:18.522 2.776 22 laps
18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:18.808 3.062 26 laps
19 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:19.267 3.521 25 laps
20 Timo Glock Marussia 1:19.309 3.563 29 laps
21 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:20.029 4.283 13 laps
22 Charles Pic Marussia 1:20.240 4.494 20 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:20.631 4.885 12 laps
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:20.886 5.140 10 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Practice One: Alonso quickest in shortened session

Fernando Alonso set the pace in a shortened first practice session in Monaco after a spectacular engine blow-out for Heikki Kovalainen in the tunnel

Practice One got off to a slow start with just four drivers, led by Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne, set lap times in the opening half an hour. The benchmark was a 1:22.207.

The Frenchman continued lapping, dropping it to a 1:19.086 before he was overhauled by another Frenchman as Romain Grosjean posted a 1:18.820.

Michael Schumacher was the next to lead the way only to lose out to Grosjean as the duo traded fastest lap times. Grosjean emerged quickest with a 1:17.188.

Halfway through the session it was Grosjean, Schumacher, Kamui Kobayashi, Pastor Maldonado, Vernge, Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa in the top eight positions.

Fernando Alonso was the next to lead the way, taking 0.062s off Grosjean's time while neither McLaren was able to break into the top ten in their early runs.

With 30 minutes remaining in the session, reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel finally posted his first lap time but it was only good enough for 18th place.

That, though, left Kimi Raikkonen as the only driver without a time to his name as the Finn's Lotus mechanics worked on his steering system.

Grosjean returned to the front with a 1:16.751 only to lose out to Hamilton by 0.004s. The Lotus driver, though, came back at the McLaren driver to again take the lead. However, that tussle came to an end when, with 13 minutes remaining, Alonso hit the front with a 1:16.495.

With nine minutes to go, the sessionw as red flagged as Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham ran into problems as his engine blew in the tunnel. And with so much smoke - there was a lot! - the session had to be stopped no one could see anything.

The session was not restarted with Alonso finishing on top ahead of Grosjean, Perez and Hamilton.


01 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:16.265 22 laps
02 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:16.630 0.365 17 laps
03 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:16.711 0.446 19 laps
04 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:16.747 0.482 12 laps
05 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:16.760 0.495 20 laps
06 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:16.843 0.578 19 laps
07 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:17.038 0.773 21 laps
08 Jenson Button McLaren 1:17.190 0.925 13 laps
09 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:17.222 0.957 14 laps
10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:17.261 0.996 18 laps
11 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:17.413 1.148 14 laps
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:17.631 1.366 18 laps
13 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:18.106 1.841 14 laps
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:18.209 1.944 25 laps
15 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:18.252 1.987 28 laps
16 Paul di Resta Force India 1:18.302 2.037 16 laps
17 Bruno Senna Williams 1:18.617 2.352 20 laps
18 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:19.039 2.774 20 laps
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:19.341 3.076 16 laps
20 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:20.838 4.573 26 laps
21 Charles Pic Marussia 1:20.895 4.630 18 laps
22 Timo Glock Marussia 1:21.638 5.373 9 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:22.423 6.158 15 laps
Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Räikkönen praises the atmosphere in Lotus and says it's because of Bouillier

Kimi Räikkönen's co-operation with Eric Boullier is straightforward. Boullier thinks that he gets the best out of Räikkönen if he doesn't put too many binding PR-duties on him.

How does Räikkönen feel that the relationship with Bouillier differs from his relationships with Ron Dennis and Jean Todt?

– The relationship is good. The team manager is a bit different and the whole team is a bit different from those teams I've been in earlier. The atmosphere is different and it probably stems from the team manager being different.

– But still I had a good relationship with Todt and no problems with Ron either, although we sometimes argued about some things, Räikkönen said to Turun Sanomat.

Turun Sanomat


Courtesy: Nicole

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kimi - Spanish Grand Prix review: You can’t always get what you want!

It’s always good to finish the Grand Prix weekend in the podium. Up there you see how much people have enjoyed the race, you see your team having fun – and you sum up for yourself, how good was your own race.

As a team, for the first time, we got more points than anybody else. Obviously, it cannot be much better than that! But as a team, we also felt, that there could have been even more points to get from this race, as well.

Everybody knew before coming to Barcelona, it was going to be very tight again between so many teams, and it would end up being down to tyre strategy to gain a bit of advantage, if possible. Our car has been good and strong everywhere, but the hotter is the track temperature, the better it is for E20.

For the starters, obviously, it was ideal weather for us. The sun made it feel like summer – and the track temperature was exactly, what ’our doctor ordered’ it to be!

We did our usual Friday programme, the long runs were giving promising data, and the tyre was working as we expected it to work. No problems, with that at all.

The qualifying was ok. We had too much some set-up issues before starting the Q1, but in the final run for the day, the car was at it’s best. Actually so good, that it surprised me in one corner. We lost some time and were out of the first row. But, all in all, it was a solid qualifying result to go for it in the race.

Obviously, the weather was not doing us any favors, while the real good sunshine from previous days was fading for the race start, and the so important track temperature came down accordingly, too. We went along with our tactics. The start was ok, but I could not improve more than one place.

With a hotter temperature, maybe, the second stint would have been our stint, but in this time, it was the stint, where we lost our way to higher positions. The soft solution was not the optimal solution this time. After second stint the gap to the leaders was just a bit too much to catch up in the end.

Well, we tried our best. With the hard tyre working better, we got close again - and a few laps more to go, we could have won. But it’s waste of energy to think, what could have happened. We got P3, 15 points and gained 3 places in the championship. As a racing driver I cannot be 100% happy, if I not winning after being so close, knowing the potential of the car, and being the fastest of top 3 drivers at the end of race. But You cannot always get what You want!


Video: BBC - Spanish GP - Kimi Räikkönen enjoying racing at Lotus 2012

Source: FiftyFiveBucks

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Maldonado: It's an unbelievable day

Sir Frank Williams may be just "quietly delighted" with his team's victory in Barcelona, but race winner Pastor Maldonado has hailed it as a "wonderful" and "unbelievable day"

After their horror show in 2011 when they picked up just five points and finished ninth in the Constructors' Championship, it has been a complete turnaround in the team's fortunes so far this year.

Maldonado completed the fairytale comeback at the Spanish GP as he started on pole position following Lewis Hamilton's exclusion from qualifying and then held off Fernando Alonso during the latter stages of the race to secure his maiden victory.

"I think it's a wonderful day, unbelievable for me and all the team," the Venezuelan said. "We have been pushing so hard since last year to improve race by race and here we are.

"It was a tough race because of the strategy as well, it was hard especially because of rear tyres, after a couple of laps we were struggling with them, but I need to say I am pretty happy because car was so competitive since the first lap."

Maldonado made his final pit stop four laps before Alonso, but he managed to look after his tyres much better than the Spaniard and eventually finished 3.1s ahead of the Ferrari driver.

"It was so close. We were looking to manage the tyre degradation so I couldn't push that hard, just to keep the tyres alive for the end of the race and Fernando got very close," the 2010 GP2 winner said.

"There were some moments where he was so close especially at end of the straight, but I was managing the gap and controlling everything.

"Our pace today was very strong, the car was fantastic, so was the team. We did a small mistake at the last pitstop but it did not affect our performance."

Source: Planet-F1

Spanish GP: Maldonado Storms To Maiden Win

Pastor Maldonado pulled off the shock of the season when he claimed an assured victory at the Spanish GP on Sunday

The Venezuelen started from pole position after Lewis Hamilton was excluded from qualifying and had a solid start, slotting into second place behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. The Williams and the Ferrari were involved in a race-long duel at the front shadowed by the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen and further back by Romain Grosjean who hit two cars on his way to P4. He was followed home by Kamui Kobayashi in P5 and Sebastian Vettel in P6.

Both Mclarens and Red Bulls had mediocre races, but nothing to compare with that of Michael Schumacher who misjudged his braking and slammed into the back of Bruno Senna's Williams eliminating both cars on Lap 13.


01 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:29.735
02 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:29.598 3.100
03 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:27.943 3.800
04 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:27.852 14.700
05 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:30.126 64.600
06 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:28.468 67.500
07 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:32.740 77.900
08 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:32.438 78.100
09 Jenson Button McLaren 1:32.052 85.200
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:31.606 1 lap
11 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:31.322 1 lap
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:32.114 1 lap
13 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:30.172 1 lap
14 Paul di Resta Force India 1:31.291 1 lap
15 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:31.233 1 lap
16 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:31.352 1 lap
17 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:31.618 1 lap
18 Timo Glock Marussia 1:31.070 2 lap
19 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:31.887 3 lap
R Sergio Perez Sauber RETIRED 29 laps 3
R Charles Pic Marussia RETIRED 31 lap
R Narain Karthikeyan HRT RETIRED 44 laps
R Bruno Senna Williams RETIRED 54 laps
R Michael Schumacher Mercedes RETIRED 54 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Seiska Magazine: Black Jack and drinks with a blanket around his shoulder

It was reported that Kimi Räikkönen arrived to Finland at the end of last week, since he got some extra time off due to the testing being cancelled because of weather conditions. However Seiska knew that the Iceman had spent the Labor Day in his old neighborhood in Espoo last Tuesday

- Kimi appeared to a restaurant in Latokaski in the afternoon with his buddies. He was wearing a cap that was turned the other way and he had some white blanket over his hoodie, and he also wore that white blanket all night, people who were present told.

He challenged other young men who were in the restaurant to come and play with him, and they playedeagerly with the F1-star. With Kimi's suggestion they placed the cigarettes on the table as a bet.

- Kimi would had wanted to buy them beer but because the boys refused he then bought them soda drinks, people told.

Kimi himself was having yellow Summery-drinks. Icehockey-player Matti Hagman was also enjoying some time in Kimi's entourage.

- Kimi is certainly no Iceman, instead he is a very talkative companion who told funny stories and jokes all the time, about Lewis Hamilton for example. He seems like a really terrific guy, they praised to Seiska.

On Friday night the partying continued in Kimi's neighborhood again. The popular Reggae-artist Jukka Poika performed in restaurant Kannunkulma, hence the atmosphere was already in the roof when Kimi and his friend cruised with a mini-van to the place a little after midnight.

- Kimi also played black jack but either he didn't have any clue of the game or then he just wasn't lucky, a few hundred euros went that fast to the House. Of course when knowing Kimi's incomes they are peanuts, the players reported.

The restaurant was almost full due to the favorite artist, but they arranged for Räikkönen and his entourage a bit of their own peace. They put up a VIP-space for them in a corner near the income by putting up a few tables.

- The others were evicted from the VIP-space so that the man got a little privacy, people from the bar told.

Jukka Poika spent a moment with Kimi after the gig. Kimi and his friends were going to an after-party to which they also invited Jukka Poika.

- However he refused politely from the most likely speedy after-party, which Kimi and the rest of the entourage thought was unheard of, people from the restaurant informed.

Around 2.30 in the morning Kimi and his friends jumped in a big taxi and left the place. Kimi's hilarious mini-vacation and relaxing with good friends ended yesterday, because the driver had to return from the 'track' to the track, in other words his work.

"Restaurant Mallaskaski is a completely ordinary pizza-restaurant in the middle of peaceful Latokaski"

"Player Räikkönen started his games with snooker."

"In this table Kimi burned money but he had no luck. Kimi lost hundreds of euros in fifteen minutes."

"Kimi is usually all but a familiar sight in Helsinki's jetset-restaurants. He is mostly known as a guy who enjoys it in ordinary pubs and who very generously takes care of his friends' comfort."

Courtesy: Saara -Nicole

Video: Kimi Räikkönen misses out on top three at Spanish GP

Kimi Räikkönen was disappointed to have missed out on a top three position after finishing 5th in qualifying

Source: F1ARAB

Hamilton stripped of pole, sent to back

Lewis Hamilton has been stripped of his Spanish GP pole after being excluded from qualifying for not returning to parc ferme

 The McLaren driver claimed a blisteringly quick pole position around the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday but, five hours later, found himself at the very back of the grid.

Hamilton failed to return to parc ferme after qualifying when he stopped out on track with an undisclosed problem.

And although McLaren initially stated that everything would be okay, they were soon a very worried team after Hamilton was called into the stewards' office.

Under F1 regulations, drivers must return to parc ferme under their own power with a minimum of one-litre of fuel on board.

It is not acceptable for them to stop to save petrol for the sample as that would give them a competitive advantage, permitting them to run with less fuel, and hence less weight, in qualifying.

However, after qualifying it was found that Hamilton's car had ony 1.3 litres, which would not have been enough for him to return to the pits and give fuel for the test.

McLaren blamed the shortage on a fuel-rig fault, however, the stewards felt it was not a good enough excuse.

As a result, they have sent Hamilton to the back of the grid.

"The stewards received a report from the Race Director which stated that during post-qualifying scrutineering a sample of fuel was required from car 4, however, the car failed to return to the pits under its own power as required under Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations," said the stewards in a statement.

"The Stewards heard from the team representative Mr Sam Michael who stated that the car stopped on the circuit for reasons of force majeure. A team member had put an insufficient quantity of fuel into the car thereby resulting in the car having to be stopped on the circuit in order to be able to provide the required amount for sampling purposes.

"As the amount of fuel put into the car is under the complete control of the Competitor the Stewards cannot accept this as a case of force majeure.

"The Stewards determine that this is a breach of Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations and the Competitor is accordingly excluded from the results of the Qualifying Session. The Competitor is however allowed to start the race from the back of the grid."

Pastor Maldonado will therefore start the race from pole position with Fernando Alonso on the front row.

Starting grid

1. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault Q3: 1:22.285s
2. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari Q3: 1:22.302s
3. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault Q3: 1:22.424s
4. Kimi Räikkönen Finland Lotus-Renault Q3: 1:22.487s
5. Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari Q3: 1:22.533s
6. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes Q3: 1:23.005s
7. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault Q3: No time
8. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes Q3 No time
9. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari Q3: No time
10. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes Q2: 1:22.944s

11. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault Q2: 1:22.977s
12. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes Q2: 1:23.125s
13. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes Q2: 1:23.177s
14. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari Q2: 1:23.265s
15. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari Q2: 1:23.442s
16. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari Q2: 1:23.444s
17. Bruno Senna Brazil Williams-Renault Q1: 1:24.981s
18. Vitaly Petrov Russia Caterham-Renault Q1: 1:25.277s
19. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault Q1: 1:25.507s
20. Charles Pic France Marussia -Cosworth Q1: 1:26.582s
21. Timo Glock Germany Marussia -Cosworth Q1: 1:27.032s
22. Pedro de la Rosa Spain HRT-Cosworth Q1: 1:27.555s
23. Narain Karthikeyan India HRT-Cosworth Q1: 1:31.122s *
24. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes Times deleted **

Source: Planet-F1

Q&A with Kimi on Thursday May 10th 2012

Galina, Russia

" Kimi, it is already hard to imagine Rally Finland without you and your car! How much do you want to come back there (this or next year) and how hard Lotus is against that?" Thanks!))


I miss rally now as much as I did miss F1 while I did WRC. It’s not a must, but I still like a lot driving rally.


Do you still write your Finnish columns?


Not anymore.

Rich Eklund:

I was just wondering is we will see the ICEMAN documentary that was supposed to be released in 2011?


No decisions made yet.


Kimi, i heard that you share your driving data with Romain


It’s quite normal in every team. Every team shares all the data between the drivers. There is nothing to hide away, because it would not be useful for the team. We check the set-ups, and look, if the other likes something in it, or not. During qualifying I’m not that interested in his telemetry, while I just focus on my own.

carbonfiber diet:

Hey Iceman, Since your return, what changes have been the toughest to adjust to? CFD?


Must be the tyres. It’s about learning them, not just getting used to them. It depends on circuits. Somewhere it goes smoothly, sometimes there is adjusting to do.

Atlanta, GA:

Hei Heikki, could you ask Kimi his expectation towards the WCC/WDC standings this year? And on which circuit will Kimi/Lotus have better chances this year? And upon what aspects (aero, engine, ect) do Lotus have advantages over other teams?


We don’t think of the championships, we focus on getting the best possible result every time. The results have so far been going like in crossroads, so being consisten, getting 4th, 5th places, you can suddenly end up high in the standings, while the points are nowadays that big. Our car has so far been quick in every circuit. It’s a question getting everything right and not hurt ourselves like we have done in a few weekends.


I´d like that know whether Kimi is already to 100% confident with the car and his driving (compared to the last time he drove in F1) or whether there is still some room for improvement (hehe okay he will say that you can alway improve)

I´m just asking because I noticed that his pace on the softer tyres compared to Romain or other drivers is better than it´s on the mediums or hards. Of course my observations could be totally wrong =D


I feel confident as always. As usually, there is room to improve, but my driving is what it is, and it’s not going to change from that.

About soft tyre, I don’t know. Some tyres have worked better than some others. Propably in comparison my soft tyres were working better than the hard ones in that race, while it was more tricky to the hards working. It depends on driving style, too.


How many hours a day to you train? I heard that you like to sleep until noon! So when does your training session usually start? Do you always just train with Mark or do you also do some stuff on your ownn or with friends?


It depends on the day. We usually start at 11.00, if we do mountain biking, it’s 3 hours or something, then we do gym etc. Yes, I train with Mark according to his programmes.


I heard that you always beat Vettel at Badminton. Is he that bad or are you that good? Do you often see each other when you are not at the races? Are there some other drivers you like to spend time with?


Seb has never won me. Last time we played was in Kuala Lumpur - and I won.

Do you prefer to spend your time in Switzerland or in Finland?


I love both, but it’s more peaceful in Switzerland.


Hei Kimi! When you meet Sebastian just talking about Formula 1?


We talk all kind of things, but, of course, about F1, too.


Are you still in contact with Kaj? Are you planning to do Rally Finland?


Yes, I keep in touch. He’s now rallying with Pajunen. No, I’m not planning Rally Finland.


Do you think that driving in rally for 2 years made you a better F1 driver?


Rally and F1 are completely different sports. They don’t have anything in common. I like to drive them both, but two years of rallying were two years of rallying, nothing else.


I´d like to know whether Kimi watches some starts prior to some races to prepare himself. Or whether he does watch the race again after it is over to analyse his driving.


No, I don’t watch the starts, I did previously, but some how it stopped. And why do it? If I would watch ten starts from the others, it would not mean our start would be similiar to them.

Joy Chan:

From the bottom of your heart, which one do you love more? WRC or F1?


I like them both as much. I have done racing more than 25 years and rallies for 2 years and my career is not finished yet.


Kimi before the start of the season you complained about DRS and that it´s not that difficult to overtake nowadays.

Do you still think like that or do you like it now?


DRS is just a bottom in the steering wheel. In some circuits it’s still very difficult to get close enough to overtake. That has not changed.


During your Nascar races and rallys we often heard you swearing (really I think Kaj was more of an Iceman than you were);D

Do you also often swear to your team at the F1 team radio?


You swear, while it’s not going in the way you like.It doesn’t not have anything to do with iceman status.

One question concerning the team. Do you already get on well with them? I mean do they already understand what you want? Is there a blind trust?


The relationship has been good since the beginning. Now we just know each better. The atmosphere is something I like very much.


If you win your 2nd WDC this year or in 2013 will you continue to race in F1?


I have a contract for 2013. But you never know what happens in this sports.


Q. What was going through your mind being back at the podium after so long?


I was not that happy, while I knew it could have been better.


Are you interested in the history of F1? If you could drive any legendary Formula One car of the past, which car would you choose?


I would pick the the age of those ’cigarboxes’ back in the sixties.


You can only go as fast as your car is capable of. How many tenths extra’ can a driver bring purely from skill. ( if there are ideal lap times calculated by the computer, how often do u go better than that)


You never beat the ideal lap time. First it’s measured by a computer, and if I break it, the new ideal lap is then my time. I think, you never get a 100% perfect lap so in fact there is not ideal lap time at all.=

Courtesy: Nicole

Friday, May 11, 2012

Räikkönen is trusting on steady reliability in championship battle

Who would have thought that Lotus - now private Renault F1 team - could be driving for world championship? Hardly anyone ...

Fifth of the F1 season is now back. Victory in all races have gone to different drivers and teams. The first seven drivers are within one victory in the driver championship points.

Kimi Räikkönen is that seventh. He is 19 points behind the leader Sebastian Vettel. If Raikkonen's overtaking in Bahrain had been successful, then the situation would be even more even.

At the beginning of this interview, Räikkönen can be asked, at what point after such a good early season one can start thinking championship battle?

- I guess we go on just trying to get as good results in races as we can, as we have done so far. But if races go so across as in the past, and we can all the time get to the leading 4-5, all of a sudden we can be pretty high at the championship battle, Räikkönen ponders.

- But, right now is just a waste of time to think the situation. Positions will clear up more in detail later at some point, Raikkonen says.

The amount of petrol changed the nature of the race

At one time Räikkönen was in tyre war in championship battle, when he was driving on Michelins against Bridgestone. Now there is going on a whole new kind of 'tyre war' at the era of Pirelli.

Has the fast wearing of Pirelli changed the nature of driving in F1?

- The nature has not changed so much beacuse of tyres. I don't believe that with these tyres there would be more problems if we were still driving on 50 or 60 kilos of gas load at the start of the race. Previously, pit stops were made every 20 laps and in fuel tank there was all the time less fuel.

- Quite similar it would probably had been even then, if it we had been driving with 150 kg of gasoline. These tyres are quite good in qualification. They have good grip and are good anyway, Räikkönen analyzes.

In what way you can see the tyre wear, and how can you influence that worn tyres will continue work?

- Well, at least you try not to do burnouts... There are some corners, where you don't push so hard any longer, but will take them easier. But you cannot change driving so much in the race. You just go on so that tyres either last or not. A lot depends on the setup and the car.

- As such, wear out does not come as a surprise . When you have been driving in weekend's practice, you know how different compounds will last. At some point, they just go worse, and at some point run out completely. Depends on the track. What is worse, is when the rubber leaves off. Then it is trouble.

Was the tyre wear off in China worse than ever before F1 race, when you were passed by all others?

- At least I do not remember, that it would have happened before, but there have been all kind of situations before, when tyres have worn out. And it was not at all tyres' fault. We just tried too much for too long.

Strong Lotus is not a big surprise

How surprised are you that Lotus has been so strong, when it ended up to be your only option to come back to the F1 tracks?

- But I had another option. Hard to say what kind of results it would have been in Williams. They have been pretty good, but perhaps not quite as strong as we have been up to now. In the first race they were quite good and then in that rain, but dry, then they have dropped a bit.

- But I do not know what kind of surprise this team's results have been at the end of games. They (Renault) were not bad last year when they started the season. The team had already made it's decision when the car was designed with the forward exhaust pipes. It could only be changed by building a completely new car.

- Even then they got real good results in early season, but then that was all. That system just did not work well enough, Räikkönen analyzes.

Turun Sanomat, Barcelona


Courtesy: reppo

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ferrari boss compared suddenly Räikkönen to Villeneuve

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo sees similar features in Kimi Räikkönen than team's late top driver
In this week legendary Gilles Villeneuve has been remembered. He died behind the wheel of Ferrari 30 years ago, in the qualification of Belgian Grand Prix.

- Villeneuve was a brilliant driver. Maybe not in success, but other than that he was exceptional. He was a brave and fast. My relationship with him, however, was not as close as with Lauda and Regazzoni, Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo told in TV channel RAI's broadcast.

Ferrari boss believes that Villeneuve was similar driver as Kimi Räikkonen.

- He just wanted to step on the gas. Nothing else did not really interest him. Räikkönen had similar relationship with our engineers. He only wanted to slip into the car without caring about telemetry and everything else.

Villeneuve drove for Ferrari from 1977 to 1982. Räikkönen was Ferrari's man from 2007 to 2009.

Janne Aittoniemi, Barcelona

Courtesy: reppo

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Villeneuve pure momentum, Fernando the best of all"

Maranello, 8 May – “Villeneuve was amazing in terms of momentum. But then, his temperament would cost him points and that would affect his standing at the end of the season. Alonso, especially in the races, is the best driver in the world.” This comparison of the unforgettable Gilles and one of the two current Scuderia drivers came from Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo on the day dedicated to the thirtieth anniversary of the death of the Canadian driver. “Gilles gave the public what they wanted. And he did not care about the championship, he drove each race as it came. Maybe I was less close to him than I was to my other drivers such as Lauda, Regazzoni or Reutemann.

I recall when Enzo Ferrari told me he’d spotted a youngster with great temperament and talent who raced snowmobiles in Canada. He had a pre-contract with McLaren, but Ferrari wanted to bring a breath of fresh air into the team. He was an extraordinary driver and human being. We must not be prisoners to the past, but if one looks at football, F1, politics, Italy back then, one can see that human relations were different and better. But we look ahead and to have Gilles’ old mechanics here alongside Alonso and Massa shows that Ferrari thinks of the future while looking to the past, which is unique in the world.” Asked about the chances of hiring drivers who maybe lack discipline but have plenty of heart, Montezemolo replied, “With F1 the way it is today, there would be no place at Ferrari for an undisciplined driver,” while on the subject of the team’s start to this season, he did not hide a slight feeling of disappointment. “I got a shock from the way we started, as I was not expecting it. I had in mind a different scenario. There have been four races and we have won one of them. So we are there abouts and now we have to make a leap forward in terms of quality to have a more competitive car. I have noticed the engineers seem more confident and now we will see what happens in Spain. I have said to those around me that maybe we have been too engrossed in ourselves in Maranello, without seeing what is going on around us, without bringing in some fresh air from other sources. These regulations which mistakenly make aerodynamics the key factor in determining who wins or loses, have convinced us to bring into the team some greater experience in this area of aerodynamics to try and change this situation.” Fernando Alonso was a bit more optimistic, going into his home race, which takes place this weekend at the Barcelona circuit. “We have significant updates for Spain, as indeed will our competitors and that means we have to think it will not be easy. We are not in an easy situation and we know we must do our best. However, the aim is to fight right down to the last lap. We will bring new parts, we will never give up and our aim is to win the World Championship.”


Kimi Spanish Grand Prix preview: Spanish Eyes

 Obviously, this is the most interesting time of the season. It’s a pleasure for the drivers and the teams, as we’ve been back at home for some time, and now the next couple of races will be not that far away to go to.

This is great. It’s easy to get to the circuit, have fun during the Grand Prix weekend, and come back home in such a short time.

For me the Spanish Grand Prix is a kind of checking-point of the season. All the teams know the Catalunya Circuit very well. This is the only race track we been testing with the new cars and now with the upgrades on board we can start evalutiating things to the data gathered during the preseason testing.

All the eyes are now on Barcelona. It will be tighter than ever before, while so many teams and drivers have been so close all the year long so far. I guess, for the spectators it must be as exciting as it is for us.

Hopefully this time our team will have a weekend with all the things getting sorted out quickly. Up till now we have not done any favours to ourselves in that side. We’ve been close, but close is not enough in this sport to gain poles and victories.

The Enstone boys have been working very hard with the car. It’s been one of the best cars I have had in the beginning of all the seasons in which I raced. The very encouraging thing is to keep hearing whispers the best is still to come from the car.

But you never know beforehand. There is no reason to promise anything right now. Like I said, it’s so bloody tight and close. With a smallest mistake you’ll be out of the Top 10. It’s like long jump. You have be able to leap hitting the board exactly right by millimeter to get everything out of all your competitiveness.

Twice I have had a perfect weekend in Barcelona. I’ve won both times from the pole. Obviously, I rank them to the best races I have ever had. The circuit is very challenging. It’s changing so quickly from the morning to the afternoon and the vary in the temperature is such an important factor to the set-up compromises being right.

My own approach is always to keep pushing 100 percent. It’s the same like the whole team. Our aim is to get the maximum result possible for every Grand Prix. Let’s wait and see how it goes in Barcelona.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Test were canceled a couple of days ago - Kimi was partying in Espoo!

Kimi Räikkönen is in Finland. Räikkönen was partying in restaurant Kannunkulma in Espoo on Friday night. The restaurant confirmed that Räikkönen was in the VIP-premises with an entourage of approximately 15 people.

- He was here with a big entourage having fun. We reserved a VIP-area for them where they could be in peace, a man who worked in the restaurant on Friday told.

- He wants to be in peace and we want to make sure that customers don't start to harrass him.

According to the employee Räikkönen visits the place often, because he and his buddies have grown up in the neighborhood.

Räikkönen was in the headlines on Wednesday when his test driving was canceled. Many thought that something serious had happened to Räikkönen but in the end Lotus gave out an announcement telling that Kimi is fine. The tests were canceled because of the unstable weather conditions.

After the tests had been canceled Räikkönen headed straight away to Finland. He can't be many days in Finland, because Spanish GP is next week.

- Apparently he was here on holiday because he was partying.

According to the employee Kimi didn't make any fuss about himself.

- He is a peaceful guy.


Source: Iltalehti
Courtesy: Nicole

Kimi Räikkönen on the Spanish GP: “Hopefully We Will Be Regular Visitors to the Podium This Season”

Just four races into his F1 comeback and Kimi stood on the second step of the podium. The Iceman however was not completely happy; after all, the victory was so nearly in his grasp. Will Barcelona give him the opportunity to add to his win tally?

It took you four races into your comeback before you achieved a podium – were you surprised at this?

I never had any doubts in myself and it is clear we have a good car so in some ways the podium could have come sooner. We had the car already in the first three races to be up there, but we made some small mistakes and it cost us a lot. I would have been much happier if we had managed to get the victory, but nevertheless it’s a good result and the team deserved it for all their hard work. We have been good in every race so far, so hopefully we will be regular visitors to the podium this season.

Are you frustrated not to have taken the win?

I chose the wrong side to make it past Sebastian (Vettel). I didn’t make it past and after that, I pretty much knew that was it. Of course, I wanted to win. I would have been much happier with myself after the race.

You did not attend the Mugello test – is this an issue for you?

We didn’t have any major new parts to test and we don’t race at Mugello so I was not crying when it was decided that I wouldn’t test. I know the track well but there was no need for me to drive. I am here to race and that is what I will do in Barcelona.

You must have completed a lot of laps of the Circuit de Catalunya over the years; what are your thoughts of the track?

I have tested there very many times. It’s a challenging circuit - great fun with a good car, but not that great with a not so good car. Usually a car going well in Barcelona, goes well everywhere. We had a good car there for the second pre-season test even if the car wasn’t quite together for the first one.The car has improved and I feel more comfortable in it.

What are your thoughts on the Pirelli tyres and the strategies needed for the best results?

No matter what the tyres you always have to make a strategy to suit them best. The tyres are fine for me. For the strategy I work with my engineers and we make the best choices we can. Sometimes we get it right, like in Bahrain. Sometimes we get very close, like in Shanghai. After the race in China and after the qualifying in Bahrain, people probably started thinking that we are idiots and cannot do anything right. But we showed in the race why we did what we did. It was close already in China and this time our strategy paid back very nicely for us. It’s all part of racing and the same for everyone.

Are you looking forward to racing in Europe again?

I really like racing in Europe. We don’t have to travel too far and all the energy is saved for the weekend itself. Traditionally the real season starts while coming back to Europe. For me it’s just great.

What do you think can be achieved in the Spanish Grand Prix?

I expect Lotus to be very competitive at Barcelona. It’s going to be very, very close between the top teams. This is the only circuit where the teams have already tested with the new cars, and the set up is crucial as the track changes with the wind and temperature. All the teams have updates for the first European race, which makes it even more interesting and even tighter at the top.

You have some good memories of the Spanish Grand Prix?

Yes, I have won there twice, and there’s nothing better than winning in any Grand Prix. Those two wins are my only podiums in the event.

Four races completed; what do you want to achieve from the next four?

Let’s see what happens. As I’ve said, the car feels good everywhere we’ve been so far. I am here to race and I race to win. That is the target for me and the team. We want to win Grands Prix. We have a good car and we saw in Bahrain it is good enough to win. That’s the target.

Source: LotusF1

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Identical times for Grosjean and Kobayashi

Romain Grosjean and Kamui Kobayashi posted exactly the same time on day two of the in-season test in Mugello

Lotus' Grosjean posted a 1:21.603 early in the day to claim the P1 honours before lunch and it looked like no one would match his time until Sauber's Kobayahshi popped up with the same time very late in the day.

Kobayashi, who was responsible for the only red flag of the day after spinning into the gravel in the afternoon, posted his time just moments before the chequered flag came out to signal the end of Wednesday's session.

Lotus later reported via Twitter that Grosjean, who replaced team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in the E20 on day two after the team opted not to run the Finn in Mugello, claimed 'P1 by the smallest margin imaginable! Less than 1 thousandth of a second!'

After the heavy downpours limited teams' running on Tuesday, the drivers made the most of the fine weather in Tuscany and opted to run their various aero sensors instead of going for all-out pace.
The Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were third and fourth fastest respectively. World Champion Vettel took over driving duties from his Australian team-mate in the afternoon and his best time was 0.222s slower than that of the top two.

Felipe Massa and Toro Rosso duo Jean Eric-Vergne and Daniel Riccoardo were next best.
Michael Schumacher was by far the busiest man on day two in Mugello having completed 144 laps. His best effort though was only good enough for P8.

McLaren, who have opted not to run race drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, were down in 11th place with Gary Paffett managing a 1:24.480 as his best effort.
The team later reported that they focused on "improvements to aero correlation and broadening our understanding of tyre temperature and behaviour" while "progress was brought to a premature end at 15:00 when a gearbox issue ended the day's running".

It was a tough day at the office for Force India's Paul di Resta as he could only manage 14 laps as he was forced to spend most of the day in the garage with a suspected hydraulics problem.

01. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:21.603
02. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:21.603
03. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1.21.825 +0.222
04. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:21.997 +0.294
05. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:22.257 +0.654
06. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:22.422 +0.819
07. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:22.588 +0.985
08. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:23.404 + 1.801s
09. Charles Pic Marussia 1:23.982 +2.379
10. Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:24.312 +2.709
11. Gary Paffett McLaren 1:24.480 +2.877
12. Timo Glock Marussia 1:24.610 +3.007
13. Paul di Resta Force India 1:24.749 +3.146
14. Bruno Senna Williams 1:24.842 +3.239

Source: Planet-F1

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Alonso quickest after afternoon wash-out

Fernando Alonso finished Tuesday's first day of in-season testing at the top of the timesheets after the rain caused havoc on the afternoon session

The Ferrari driver, who is testing new parts for the team's under-performing F2012 at the Ferrari owned track, clocked 1:22.444 during the morning's session.

That opening stint took place on a drying track with drivers swapping from the full Pirelli wets to the intermediates and finally onto the slick tyres.

However, in the afternoon it was all about the wets as the skies opened and a deluge was dropped on the Italian circuit. Such were the conditions that at one point the circuit had to be closed as the medical helicopter could not take off due to poor light.

The weather severely limited running as most of the 11 teams present opted not to put in any laps as the risk of going off was too great. And, with a limited number of tyres available to each team, it made more sense to wait until Wednesday when better weather has been forecast.

The dismal weather in the afternoon meant Mark Webber finished in second place and was not able to close the gap, down by over a second, while Jean-Eric Vergne, who brought out the red flags early in the morning, was third quickest.

It was a solid day's running for Lotus test driver Jerome D'Ambrosio who was fourth quickest ahead of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.

The German finished with a 1:24.100, which was just under two seconds off the pace, before handing the car over to his team-mate Michael Schumacher for the afternoon session.

"It was good. We learned some valuable things this morning in the wet," Rosberg told Sky Sports. "Lately, we haven't been that strong in Malaysia, so that was useful.

"We even got some dry running in in the end; we did some useful tests there already, so we learned something, which was great, so it was a good start to the test here.

"It's an impressive track. It's very, very fast and fun out there and it's good preparation for Barcelona, for the high-speed corners there."

Kamui Kobayashi was sixth quickest ahead of Oliver Turvey, who was in action for McLaren, while Jules Bianchi was eighth fastest for Force India.

01. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m22.444
02. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m23.648 + 1.204
03. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.891 + 1.447
04. Jerome d'Ambrosio Lotus-Renault 1m24.048 + 1.604
05. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.100 + 1.656
06. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.736 + 2.292
07. Oliver Turvey McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.303 + 2.859
08. Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1m25.475 + 3.031
09. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham-Renault 1m27.197 + 4.753
10. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.359 + 4.915
11. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m29.179 + 6.735
12. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.898 + 28.454
13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes No time

Source: Planet-F1