Raikkonen looking forward to racing in Australia

By on Friday, March 9, 2012

Kimi Raikkonen © Lotus F1 Team

Poles, podiums, wins, a World Title; Kimi Raikkonen has been there, and done it all in Formula 1. Now he’s back for more, and hungrier than ever.

What are your objectives on your return to Formula 1 with Lotus F1 Team?
I will try to do as well as I can and see where we end up. For the first race in Australia we want to have a good weekend without any major issues or mistakes. I don’t know where we’re going to be on the grid – nobody knows. If you look at the lap times from testing everybody is very close to each other. We don’t know what everyone was doing with fuel load and that makes a massive difference. We’ll have some idea after practice in Melbourne, then after qualifying everyone will know exactly where we are.

Do you have any idea where you hope to be on the grid in Australia?
We might be last and we might be first – let’s see when we get there.

How much are you looking forward to racing in Formula 1 again?
Everybody wants to race. If you ask the test drivers: they want to race. Racing is the thing that people like. I don’t think that anyone will tell you that testing is more fun than racing. Of course I think that racing has changed a bit since I was last in it with the overtaking, but it’s not a completely different sport. It will be exciting and whoever gets the best out of the tyres will probably be in a strong position.

Do you have personal goals for the season?
No. We’ll see where we are in the first races and go from there. We’ll do the best we can and the best with the car.

You’ve had some good races in Australia – is it good to be starting the year there?
Australia is a nice place even though it’s a long way from Europe. The circuit itself is not the most difficult on the calendar. It was good to score a point on my first time at Albert Park, and the podiums and race win in 2007 obviously made me happy. The circuit hasn’t changed at all so I’m confident I know where it goes…

Do you think Albert Park could suit the E20?
You need a car with good traction and everything from testing says that the E20 has good traction so that will help us. Strong turn-in and stable braking help too, and those areas also feel good with the car so we are well placed. The track can be a bit slippery at the beginning of the weekend and the Melbourne weather is not always very warm; the Melbourne weather can definitely be a bit tricky. This will be the first race so I don’t know how we’ll compare to the other teams. My engineers have been running simulations and looking at the test data so we have an idea of how the car should work at Albert Park, but we won’t know for sure until we get out on track. It’s very difficult to say before we’ve been out on track, but I think and hope we’ll be reasonably strong.


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