Kimi Räikkönen interview: “I just take all as it comes”

“I just take all as it comes”

Why did you return to F1?
Raikkonen: If you want to race and I have a choice, you go first in Formula 1

But what tipped the scales?
Raikkonen: When I drove one race in Nascar, I realized how much I missed racing with wheel-to wheel battles. That does not mean that I was fed up with rally. I would prefer to do both. But that's not possible.

Was driving in circles in the Nascar series really tempting for you?
Raikkonen: I had a great time there. The teams there are very professional. It's just a different kind of racing. I can imagine that at some point I would try it again. But if you want to do it right, then you have to move to the United States. You can’t compare driving in oval with nothing else. Driving in a tight group, always contact with vehicles, always passing the wall with high speed, that has its own laws. And then still it depends a lot in which team you are.

What is there to expect from you after two years break?
Raikkonen: I have not thought about where I stand and what results I can expect from myself. I'll takes things as they come. Of course I want to win races again, but if that is not possible, we'll just have to work hard to improve the car. It is impossible to make predictions at this early stage. The rules have changed, no one knows what the new cars can do.

What has changed in your absence?
Raikkonen: Apart from the cars, little. I look into the same faces. I know what to expect. What excites me is in Formula 1 is the racing. With the rest I have to live, whether I like it or not. There hasn’t changed anything since my departure, except perhaps that the test work was scaled back somewhat. But that has been looming already at the end of my time with Ferrari.

Did you follow the formula 1 in the last two years?
KR: End of last year I've waiched a few races on TV. The DRS wings seems to me a bit ridiculous. Overtaking isn’t difficult now. You put the wings flat, and you go past easily. The guy in front can not really defend. But I accept that it makes the show better.

You've already achieved everything in Formula 1. What still motivates you?
KR: The people who accuse me that I was not motivated, do not even know me. It's always the same. If I were not motivated, I would have quit two years ago. Of course it's easier if you drive at the front. But the fact that in my last year with Ferrari I no longer fought for the title, was not my fault. You drive your heart out but the results are still disappointing. From the outside that might give the impression that one is no longer motivated. But of course that is nonsense. It is always easy to blame the driver in such situations. I have a feeling I have driven in 2009 better than ever before.

Lotus has slipped to midfield last year. Are you ready to fight at the back?
KR: The last year at Ferrari has already prepared me quite well on it. We are hopeful that our new car is better. Although it is difficult to predict with the new rules. At the far end I won’t drive around. Whatever it will be, I will do my best.

How do you look back on your sacking from Ferrari?
Raikkonen: I have no regrets. This is history and I don’t look back bitter.

Have you already got a feel for the Pirelli tires?
KR: The biggest difference I can see in used condition. Then the rear starts to slide away. For me it's easier to get used to the tires as it was for my colleagues a year ago. They were changing from Bridgestone to Pirelli and of course had certain expectations. For me it's more like a new beginning after my break. I'm approaching the tires unbiased.

Also new for you is the race format. For the first time you start with a heavy car without refueling.
KR: That's no big deal. The pit stop is just a little shorter. The driving with a heavy car is compared to light one not a difference like day and night. I don’t have to learn to drive again. It's still the same sport. There a button on the steering wheel more, here one less. Kers I still know from 2009. For me the DRS button is new. After using a few times it will become ingrained.

Do you want to present yourself at Lotus for 2013? Since many contracts are running out, also at the top teams?
Raikkonen: Guys, the season has not even started yet and you already talk about the next. I have no plans and take everything as it comes.

Were you impressed last year of one of your colleagues?
KR: There has nothing changed. There are still the same faces. That Vettel will become a great driver one could see already in 2009.

Why are at Lotus and not Williams?
Raikkonen: Let me say so. What was offered and what I wanted was too far away.

How important was the money?
KR: That's always important. It’s my job and I want appropiate money for it. But because of the money I don’t have to drive anymore. The main thing is the appeal of driving.

Did you have more time for yourself in the last two years?
KR: Yes, because the rallies are further apart and less work for the sponsors. I enjoyed it to have more time. The only thing I missed a bit was the intense traveling. It sounds funny, but you get used to such things.

Would you become as good as Sebastien Loeb with more experience?
KR: Who can say that about himself? He has ten years of rallying experience more than I have. I've noticed in my second year, that I improved. But to the absolute top I've been missing a few years. But I do not know how far I would have come. It is certainly one of the most difficult sports. But put a rally driver in a Formula 1 car, then they also have their problems. It’s really two completely different sports. Perhaps it would have been different if I had started my career as a rally driver.

What is more dangerous: rallying or Formula 1?
Raikkonen: At the rally you pay for a great price for a little mistake. There is always some rock, a tree, a wall or a ditch in the road. There are no 200 meter run-off areas. You do not get second chance like in Formula 1 where you open the steering after a mistake and you are safe through the run-off. You try your luck more often in a rally car.

Fonte: / Tradução para Inglês: Miezicat

Amo estas entrevistas. Elas são o indicativo de como Kimi sempre tem algo interessante e bacana para dizer. Somente aqueles que o veem como uma pessoa quieta e desmotivada (imagem idiota criada por uma mídia viciada em acusá-lo de tudo) não enxergam o piloto que Kimi é, nem o cara de opinião que ele sempre se apresenta.

As respostas sobre o uso das asas móveis, sobre motivação, sobre contratos, sobre ser tão bom quanto Loeb e sobre o que é mais perigoso (rally ou F1) são realmente muito boas. E a impressão que tenho, é que depois destes dois anos fora da F1 ele está ainda mais direto com relação às críticas que sempre dirigiram a ele. #Paybacktime

Beijinhos, Ludy


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