Kimi Raikkonen promises Abu Dhabi win is just the start

Kimi Raikkonen has promised there is more to come from him and his Lotus team following their victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen promises Abu Dhabi win is just the start

The Finn, who returned to grand prix racing this year after a two-season absence, held off Fernando Alonso at Yas Marina to claim his 19th Formula 1 win after several near-misses earlier this year.

Raikkonen was confirmed at Lotus for the 2013 season just ahead of Abu Dhabi, and the 2007 world champion believes his win shows he has made the right decision.

"It's a pretty good way to show that everyone's made the right choice," said Raikkonen. "We've shown all season how good we can be, and in Abu Dhabi we showed we can win.

"There is more to come, I promise."

Raikkonen had finished on the podium six times before winning in Abu Dhabi, and he thinks Lotus's persistence was the key to finally taking that elusive victory.

"We didn't give up," he said. "We had a period where new developments for the car weren't working exactly as wanted straight away and when you have to test new parts during practice sessions it's very difficult to make progress, but we kept pushing.

"We continued with the exhaust developments we made during practice in Korea and India and the pace was promising all weekend in Abu Dhabi.

"I was never out of the top 10 all weekend and with that in mind I think we had a good idea that we could be competitive if we could just get qualifying right, which has been the big issue all season long. This time though, we got it right."

Video analysis: The developments that helped Raikkonen to victory

The Finnish driver said he will not change his approach despite the victory and claimed he never felt he had to prove anything.

"I've never cared really what people think - if I don't finish the next race, then they'll think that I'm as bad as that race. I'll just do my thing, and if I'm happy with what I'm doing and it's the best it can be for the team, then that's that.

"So it doesn't really bother me if people are thinking differently of me now, than what they did three hours before the race."

Raikkonen's blunt radio messages to his team - including an instruction to "leave me alone" when informed of the gap to Alonso - became a sensation among fans after Abu Dhabi.

The Lotus driver said he was simply trying to stay focused.

"Apparently there were a few of our radio messages broadcast on TV and I think in those moments you could hear how much I just wanted to keep my head down, do my job and win the race. All I needed to know was the gap to the guy behind me.

"I think you can probably find other messages from me in the car if you search YouTube; even from my short time in NASCAR."

Raikkonen has made 500 T-shirts displaying his radio message to give to the Lotus team.

shares
comments
United States Grand Prix: Lotus preview quotes

Previous article

United States Grand Prix: Lotus preview quotes

Next article

Lotus 'never doubted' Kimi Raikkonen would thrive

Lotus 'never doubted' Kimi Raikkonen would thrive
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Author Pablo Elizalde
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021