Friday, March 22, 2013

Topfit Kimi ready for Sepang sauna

Kimi Raikkonen, the winner of 20 Grands Prix, is in the best shape of his life. Just have a look at him and his muscles, he’s really fit. Compared to team mate Romain Grosjean, the Frenchman looks thiny and boyish.

After winning in Australia Raikkonen headed to a gym in Kuala Lumpur. The planned game of badmington against Sebastian Vettel was postponed, while the German were busy elsewhere.

Turun Sanomat met Raikkonen in a good mood, but like every Thursday, approaching every question very critically in this one-to-one interview. While the driving starts on Friday, the Finnish star of Lotus is not that keen to speculate beforehand how it will go.

It will a anniversary of the first ever Grand Prix victory of Raikkonen on Saturday. It’s exactly ten years ago Raikkonen joined the winner’s club.

– Where do you dig all these dates, Kimi comments, while I reminded him about this anniversary.

Do you still remember it well?

– Of course, for sure, I remember all my races, but it doesn’t change anything to what ever will happen this weekend.

You have won twice with Lotus – are there any similarities between Abu Dhabi and Australia?

– No win has any kind of simililarities to some others. Only the position is the same, that’s all. In every race everything, however, happens a little bit differently.

But but TOP3 was in the same order both times?

– Eventhough every single driver would finish the race exactly in the same order, it would not mean, that the races have been similiar – not at least from the driver’s point of view.

Raikkonen is well-known as an athlete, who recordfast is able to leave even the worst disappointment behind. Does the good feeling after winning in Australia disappear as fast from your mind?

– For sure, the feeling is better while you win compared to get a bad result. But it doesn’t change any way how long you feel it – especially now, while a new race is following so soon.

Does Australia then feel as old as a memory like your first victory ten years ago?

– Don’t ask that kind things. Thet feel like questions from a shrink...

Well, let’s change the subject:

You have been working with Adrian Newey at McLaren, with Aldo Costa at Ferrari and now with James Allison at Lotus. Does Allison differ from the two as a technical director?

– For sure, they all have been different kind of people, but the way I have been working with them all, does not differ terribly much. None of them has become more close to me. They all are very good people - without that, they would not be able to build such a good cars.

Allison seems to do well with a smaller budjet, as well?

– I’m certain, all of them would be good. It’s not up to the budjet.

According to team sources Raikkonen has asked to leave his car alone after Australia. Not to touch it, while he wants to carry on like it was in Albert Park.

– But we don’t set-up the car between the races, any way, while it would not help at all. Something small we do for every circuit, but we didn’t touch the car last year, either between these two races. Only on Friday we drive it and then we know, do we have to change something.

Is this the best car you have started the season with?

– I cannot tell. It’s pretty tricky to compare, while every year is a little bit different. Now we have different tyres. And you have to remember, everything is not depening on how good is the car. You can get a bad result with a good car and you can get a good result with not that good car, if something surprising happens.

What is going to decide the championship this year - and, please, don’t answer whoever has the most points?

– What else would then decide it? It’s not up to the mercy given by the others to win it. It is, like it is, who has most points after race 19, will be the champion. It’s like it is in every other sports, too!

Turun Sanomat, Kuala Lumpur


Courtesy: Nicole

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