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Kimi is still better than Sebastian in badminton
Vettel is not surprised about Räikkönen
F1 | Turun Sanomat 26/03/2012 11:48
All of six F1 world champions have opened their points score, when the first two races are over. Five of them already got points in Australia and the sixth, seven times champion Michael Schumacher, got a point in Malaysia for P10 spot.
Mercedes, which started this season with high hopes, got it's first point by Schumacher. From third place started 43-year-old German veteran's race was ruined by Kimi Räikkönen's team mate Romain Grosjean.
- It was a shame to end up just to one point, when I finally started from so good position. I was run over after the start, the car spun, and in reality my day was spoiled by that, Schumacher thought sulky.
The series is lead by 2006 champion Fernando Alonso before 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton and 2009 champion Jenson Button.
2011 champion Sebastian Vettel has only two points more than 2007 champion Räikkönen.
Räikkönen beat Vettel on Saturday's qualification and was charging his mate hard in the race until he passed when Red Bull's rear tyre exploded because of Hispania's Narain Karthikeyan.
- I'm not at all surprised of Kimi's speed. We have seen that he has a car which has been fast everywhere. We knew before the qualification, that Lotus is one of those with whom we'll have tough competition, Vettel reassured after loosing qualification.
Vettel has been training hard to beat Räikkönen finally in badminton. When the two friends had a match, after two years break, against each other in a gym at Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, Räikkönen was still better.
- Sebastian has developed in that game. But he still does not beat me, Räikkönen hinted.
Four cars are quite close to each other
In championship Vettel has now two points more than Räikkönen. The last season's Red Bull domination has disappeared together with it's superior blown diffuser.
At the moment there are at least four cars very close to each other in qualification speed. In long Sepang track, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull and Lotus ended up inside little over two tenths of a second. This promises very exciting coming races - and possibly a number of different winners.
- I do not yet know how competitive our car really is. Hopefully in China we will just have a normal weekend, so that the qualification as well as the race will take place on dry track - and without penalties, first corner crashes or some other stupid blunders.
- Well, at least with this car it was easy to follow Red Bull. It was nice to race. If the visibility just had been better. Now, I could not quite drive on the limits.
- We will get new parts to China and we have to figure out something to those other curves there, to get more grip, Räikkönen explained.
From Malaysia Räikkönen flew for the first time in his life to Beirut, where there is waiting Lotus Cars' public relations job.
raikkonen4ever wrote:What about this picture guys?
Is his fingers crossed or is he giving a finger to the photographer or planning to stick his finger through somebody's sun glasses
Kimi has now more points than he had in first 5 races in 2009 season, even when calculated with current point system
Slade: Raikkonen back at the top of his game
After two solid race performances in a row, Kimi Raikkonen’s race engineer, Mark Slade is convinced that the Finn is back at the top of his game despite being away from Formula 1 for two seasons.
“I think he’s the same young kid who was a superstar when he arrived on the scene. He looks as fit as he’s ever been and is absolutely at the top of his game as far as I can see,” Slade said in an interview with Autosport. The Briton also believes that Raikkonen’s true pace was masked by a mistake in Q1 during qualifying in Australia, as well as the five place grid penalty due to an unscheduled gearbox change and the changeable weather conditions in Malaysia.
Slade was also quick to downplay the magnitude of any similarities between Raikkonen’s steering problems in Australia and Jarno Trulli’s power steering issues at Caterham last year. “In Melbourne he was still finding his feet a little bit and there were some things to do with the set-up that I thought, well, once you’re up to speed you won’t want it like this but we’ll leave it for now. This weekend [in Malaysia] though, he’s making the sort of comments about how he wants it changed that I was expecting. That means he’s properly on it again,” said Slade.
Describing Raikkonen’s driving style, Slade said: “He’s very smooth actually, and that means he can often handle a car that’s a bit sharper than other drivers, who are more aggressive with their steering inputs, would be able to cope with. I think that’s a strength of his.”
Slade goes on to describe the unique and independent nature of the Iceman, saying: “He’s not fazed by what goes on around him and he’s very good at giving feedback in terms of what we need to improve. He’s very independently minded and doesn’t want people doing stuff for him. He wants to put his own helmet on, to sort the radio connector out himself… doesn’t want people fussing around him. That all gives him a single-minded determination that is very good for the job. There have been times when his car’s been on high stands with a minute to go before his qualifying run and he’s just sitting there assuming we’ll get it all sorted. Other drivers would get all flustered but with Kimi you almost have to tap him on the helmet to wake him up, and off he goes.”
Slade, has worked with several Formula 1 world champions in the past. Slade was race engineer to Mika Hakkinen from 1998-2001, Kimi Raikkonen from 2002-2006, Fernando Alonso in 2007 and Michael Schumacher in 2011.
However, Slade considers Raikkonen as the driver he has gotten along with best. “Kimi is probably the one I’ve had the closest relationship with, although I felt I got on well with all of them. With guys of that calibre you know that the effort you put in is going to be returned in spades by their commitment. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.”
Although many have questioned Raikkonen’s commitment to Formula 1, Slade knew Raikkonen was serious about returning when he received a phone call from the 2007 world champion himself. “I think some people were not sure Kimi was coming back for the right reasons but I was pretty confident that if he was calling me up to ask if I wanted to get involved, he wasn’t going to let me down and was completely serious.”
Never a fan of PR obligations in the past, Raikkonen is now showing an increased level of maturity with dealing with the press after a two year stint in the World Rally Championship. The Iceman has made appearances on behalf of Lotus on the BBC television series Top Gear and at the Geneva Motor Show to unveil a special edition Lotus road car, to name a few.
“He just wants to get in the car, drive it fast, work with the engineers and drive it faster. The rest of it he just sees as an annoyance and a distraction. It is necessary to do the other stuff and, as I understand, once he’s been convinced that he needs to do it, he’s very good at it. But he just wants to do as little of that as possible. I can understand that. I’m not saying I agree with it completely, but I can understand why he would see it that way. And at the end of the day teams take him on, they know what they’re getting and have to work with it,” Slade explained.
Contrary to the Finn’s ice-cool public demeanor, he was on the radio with his race engineer shouting about blue flags during the Australian Grand Prix, which can be heard in the video clip below.
“When he wants to get a point across, he makes it very strongly and it can sound somewhat agitated. He’s not, though; he simply wants to make sure that nobody’s in any doubt as to what he wants. I can imagine that some people might take that the wrong way,” said Slade.
When asked about his radio message after the race, Raikkonen replied: “I was just wondering what was going on as they kept showing me the flags but I knew the gap to the leader was nowhere near a whole lap! I assumed it was for the car behind that I’d just overtaken but it seemed to go on for a while, so I was trying to find out why they were still waving at me!”
KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN LAUNCHES LOTUS IN LEBANON
Fresh from the Malaysian Grand Prix, Kimi Räikkönen joined Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar in Beirut last night to celebrate the return of Lotus to Lebanon.
The legendary marque is opening a new dealership in Beirut in partnership with leading Lebanese automotive dealer RYMCO and luxury real estate and management company Zardman. Lotus’ acclaimed Evora, Elise and Exige are set to quicken the heartbeat of one of the most exciting cities in the Middle East.
Lotus Cars Lebanon welcomed the 2007 Formula One World Champion to Beirut in style, throwing an exclusive party at the MAD nightclub and toasting the future of Lotus in the region. The ‘Lotus is Back’ event was also attended by a few lucky F1 fans, who got to press up against Lotus’ speediest models.
Kimi Räikkönen, racing driver, Lotus F1 Team: “It was a great first visit to Beirut and a lot of fun to join the Lotus Car Lebanon team and launch the marque here. Lotus is a really special car company with big ambitions and part of that is returning to Formula One, another is spreading the word around the world.”
Dany Bahar, CEO, Group Lotus: “The Middle East is a market of huge potential to Lotus and Beirut is a very strong location for us. There were a lot of competitive bids to host Lotus here, and I am very happy that we’ve agreed to partner with Zardman and RYMCO who I’m confident will represent our brand perfectly and give customers a fantastic experience here in Lebanon. This is an important step in Lotus’ international sales plans.”
Fayez Rasamny, Chairman, Lotus Cars Lebanon: “This is a very exciting night for sports car aficionados in Lebanon, and indeed for racing fans. Thank you to Kimi Räikkönen for his special visit, and thank you to Group Lotus for returning to the region and bringing their wonderful cars. We really wanted to be the ones to bring this legendary automotive brand to Lebanon. The Lebanese are massively into premium sports cars and Lotus’ racing heritage. I’m confident Lotus Cars Lebanon is going to be a huge success.”
http://www.lotuscars.com/sa/news/corpor ... us-lebanon
Maybe Kimi now remembers where he is driving
First wish on the list fulfilled for cancer sufferer Will
10:12am Tuesday 27th March 2012 in Latest News
CAR enthusiast Will Gibney has crossed the first item off the wish list he compiled after being diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer.
The 28-year-old, who grew up in Old Town, was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma last year and has compiled a wish list of things he would like to do while he still feels healthy – and the list revolves mainly around his love of cars.
One of the items on the list was to appear in the audience of a filming of Top Gear and last week, Will’s wish was granted.
He said: “It was exactly as I pictured it. What was a surprise was the number of people in there. On television it only looks like a couple of hundred people.
“Right at the beginning, Jeremy told us that as it was the end of the series, we were in for an extra-special show, and he certainly didn’t disappoint.
“The first guest was Kimi Räikkönen, Lotus F1 Team’s number one driver. If you’ve ever seen Kimmi being interviewed before, you’ll know he’s a man of few words, but he was thoroughly entertaining and seemed like the kind of guy that would be good to go for a night out with.
“Worryingly though, when asked about his car, he didn’t really seem to know who he actually drove for – Lotus or Renault.
“We were then treated to the most car-focussed Top Gear I can remember. It went from Kimmi, to the new BMW M5, to Chris Evans’ Ferrari California, to a great feature about how much better Rallycross is than golf.
“It was a great day and really interesting to see how it is all done. I was really impressed with Jeremy Clarkson. I’d like to say a massive thank you to all who helped make this possible.”
To view Will’s list, visit http://www.willgibney.co.uk.
Maybe Kimi now remembers where he is driving
Thank´s for all the pics about Kimi! So nice to seem him in a suit and without a hap; but his hair doesn´t look nice. Funny that in the first pics he wears a tie and later he had put it away and wears sunglases ;-)
Emerson Fittipaldi shares his thoughts on last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix
Steve Davies Tuesday, 27th March 2012 |
Double world champion and Lotus Brand Ambassador Emerson Fittipaldi was interviewed by Group Lotus following last weekend’s Malaysian GP. In the interview he shares his thoughts on Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Formula One, and takes a look at the performances of Romain Grosjean, Michael Schumacher and Sergio Perez.
Somewhat surprisingly, there’s no mention of Fernando Alonso, who won the grand prix and now leads the drivers’ championship.
Anyway, here is what he said:
Double world champion and Lotus Ambassador Emerson Fittipaldi gives us his thoughts on last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix..
Lotus: This season is shaping up to be a classic. Have you been on the edge of your seat too?
Fittipaldi: The racing is better than last year and it’s good to see the teams closing in and in some cases being even faster than the Red Bulls. Of course it’s a great field with six world champions and a lot of new talent.
Lotus: Just two races in, and Kimi Raikkonen looks like he’s lost none of his speed. Are you surprised how quickly he’s got back to grips with F1?
Fittipaldi: I am surprised that it has taken no time for Kimi to be back at the top of his form. Michael Schumacher is on form this year too, but it took him two years to get back in the groove. Kimi was on it from the very first test.
Lotus: Romain Grosjean once again qualified strongly but ended in the gravel within four laps. What advice would you give him?
Fittipaldi: The same advice I’d give any driver, especially a young one: first you have to finish, then you can finish first.
Lotus: As a driver pairing, how good a partnership do you think Kimi and Romain make compared to the teams around them?
Fittipaldi: There are good pairings all around, and Lotus is no exception. With Kimi racing so well and Romain showing a lot of speed the pair will keep each other honest and the results will come.
Lotus: We had a red flag period for nearly an hour due to rain. How difficult is it for a driver psychologically when a race is suspended?
Fittipaldi: I’m totally in favour of stopping the race in critical aquaplaning conditions. There is nothing the driver can do to defend himself in these conditions. I actually believe the red flag period in this case to be beneficial to the drivers, they can enter again and re-start the race at their best.
Lotus: Lotus once again proved they are quick, but due to Kimi’s gearbox penalty they perhaps don’t have the optimum result. How do you think the E20 ranks compared to the McLaren, the Red Bull, the Mercedes and the Ferrari?
Fittipaldi: Lotus has made the most progress of any team. I am happy to celebrate the 40th anniversary of my 1972 World Championship with Lotus and see the marque becoming a serious contender in F1 again. I know so many of the people involved I am sure that they will get the job done. I have a lot of respect for the new management and especially for my friend Eric Boullier.
Lotus: In mixed-weather conditions, experience usually comes to the fore. How impressed were you with Sergio Perez, in just his second season, challenging for the lead like he did?
Fittipaldi: I have known Sergio since he was in karting, and he’s always been fast. He is Mexico’s new hope in F1, and this is great news. His strategy was perfect and he drove like a veteran, turning in the fast laps when it mattered and making everybody follow.
Lotus: You achieved success in F1 at an incredibly early age. What do you think is going through Sergio’s head right now? And how much is he daydreaming about Ferrari?
Fittipaldi: I think that he is taking things one at a time, and trying to do his best this season. Today he showed again that he is very focused, so I wouldn’t say he’s daydreaming just dealing with the present.