Friday, November 16, 2012

Räikkönen's driving is at its best

Good races with a poorer car is a big thing for the driver, although the big audience usually don't notice those kinds of performances

The media scolded Kimi Räikkönen three years ago, claiming he had lost his motivation because that year's Ferrari had no chances to succeed.

Räikkönen himself is of a completely different opinion.

– You know yourself when you have drove well. If you don't have a car you can make it with, then you can be for example 10th in each race although you would have drove better than when winning races. It doesn't mean that your motivation would crumble if you don't get good results with a poor car, Räikkönen says in TS-interview.

– I drove really well that season. If I would quickly compare then I don't think that I would have drove better before that.

Räikkönen probably drove his career's best race when he won the Belgian GP with the Ferrari in 2009.

– Back then we really didn't have a good car. Giancarlo Fisichella should probably had won the race because I couldn't get anywhere with that car. So much depended upon me getting the car to work for myself in that race.

Praisal from Stella

Räikkönen's race engineer from that time, Andrea Stella, works now with Fernando Alonso. He admits that both drivers are spectacular when they get everything out of every car.

– Three years ago Kimi did completely wonders with that car at some point of the season and snatched points in the same pace the leading drivers did. When Fisichella came to Ferrari and got the same car he couldn't even get within a second of Kimi.

– Kimi drove a few completely magical races already in 2007. China was a race like that when his mid-term tires were worn out but still he continued bombing the same lap times.

Good driving in autumn's races

Räikkönen won after three years in Abu Dhabi where he kept Alonso's attacking in check.

– I think that I have drove as good in the last races as I did in 2009. It went well especially in Abu Dhabi. I don't think that anything would be missing from my driving. Of course when you don't have the best cars it's more difficult to get everything in place. You get bigger differences with this car if your setups are in place or not, Räikkönen clears.

– I got the car to work the way I wanted in Abu Dhabi, that's why the qualification and race went so well, Kimi said.

Räikkönen's race engineer in Lotus is Mark Slade.

– The best races are those who are the most difficult to win. While driving they are least enjoyable but afterwards you can then sigh and say WOW, we did a really good job. We remember those victories.

– I put Abu Dhabi in the same class as Suzuka 2005 when Kimi won from the 17th grid. This was a new similar performance, Slade said.

The radio message became a classic

They remember the radio communication with Lotus as well as Räikkönen's victory.
Slade knows Räikkönen and he adviced his colleague Simon Rennie to keep quiet. However he did what he was supposed to do when the tire temperatures were put to test behind the SC.

– The gang pressed him to tell this and that to Kimi. I said to Simon 'don't tell'. I adviced that it's not worth the trouble.

– There's nothing strange about that. It's completely okay that sometimes you have to inform the driver. Of course Kimi is very concentrated at that point. The comment in the radio is just his way of answering. He didn't meant it the way he said. He just expressed that he is concentrating fully and knows exactly what he is doing. That's what Kimi is like when he really is at his best, Slade emphasized.

Now the hunt for podiums continues in America.

– I myself have always had fun in America. The feeling there is different than anywhere else. It's the "America", Räikkönen smiles.

Turun Sanomat


Courtesy: Nicole

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