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
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023