Lotus atmosphere helped Raikkonen shine, according to Gerard Lopez

Lotus owner Gerard Lopez believes Kimi Raikkonen managed to deliver so much for the team last year because it gave him the atmosphere he needed to thrive

Lotus atmosphere helped Raikkonen shine, according to Gerard Lopez

Lopez is convinced that Raikkonen dug deep to get the best out of himself, even though from the outside it was not always obvious.

"Everyone who had muttered that he wasn't motivated now comes around to tell me they knew Kimi was still super strong," said Lopez in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It amuses me. I knew it would have ended up this way. Raikkonen has added hard work to his talent, and the results are the fruits of this cocktail."

When asked if Raikkonen was doing so well simply because of the freedom Lotus had given him, Lopez said: "It's not just the freedom. Raikkonen in Lotus feels utilised for what's most important, while he is free for everything else. He has found balance.

"Keep him under control? Not even in my dreams. I talk to him every week and he feels good, he is enthusiastic and charged up. I want drivers, not robots."

Lopez has also expressed his full support for Romain Grosjean, whom he reckons was unfairly criticised at times because of his involvement in a number of early race accidents.

"Romain didn't do all the mess he's been accused of," he said. "They [the critics] exaggerated on his account: in 2012 there were four drivers who were reprimanded more often than he was, however they were able to take part in every race.

"Grosjean instead was banned for the Italian GP. He paid for many others. But he has always shown he is quick. I expect a lot of him this year."

Translation by Michele Lostia

shares
comments
Analysis: F1 teams facing dilemma over passive double DRS in 2013

Previous article

Analysis: F1 teams facing dilemma over passive double DRS in 2013

Next article

Gerard Lopez not looking at selling Lotus F1 team

Gerard Lopez not looking at selling Lotus F1 team
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Team Lotus , Lotus F1 Team
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Plus

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to STUART CODLING, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
May 14, 2021
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?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
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