Q & A with Kimi Raikkonen

Q. Are you happy with that result?

Q & A with Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen: I mean it is fourth place. It is not much to be happy about, but what we have we need to be happy that we finished even fourth.

Q. You did not gain any positions at the start even though you had KERS. Was that disappointing?

KR: No. We chose to start with the harder tyres, so you are always going to give up a little bit of grip at the start. It is not really a long straight to the first corner. But we kept our place and, of course, you expect to gain a place but with the end result it didn't make any difference.

Q. Your second stint, even though you were heavier, was much quicker than your first stint. Was that down purely to the tyres?

KR: Well, we had different tyres. We need to use both of the tyres and when you don't have as much downforce as the others, when you run the harder tyres you keep sliding. When you run the softer tyres you have a bit more grip and the car was much better.

Q. Was there no chance to get Lewis Hamilton at the restart after the safety car?

KR: No. It is pretty hard to get close enough, even at the restart. We were sliding around, and they are much faster than us in a straightline. So even without the KERS, there was no chance for me to get him.

Q. You have maintained third place in the championship, so it is good isn't it?

KR: Yeah. I don't know how much the difference is - one point. But they seem to be faster than us so it will be difficult to keep them behind, but there are two races to go. Anything can happen, we will try and we will where we end up.

Q. Back in 2007 you headed into the final two races with a 17-point deficit to Lewis Hamilton but still won the title. Sebastian Vettel has a 16-points deficit now, is it easier for him knowing that he just has to go out there and go for the win?

KR: I don't know if it makes much difference. The Red Bull is definitely a fast car, as we have seen this year. The Brawn - who knows what they are doing? I think the car is better than what they achieve at the moment. For sure, he [Vettel] has a chance but in the end the Brawns need to make quite a big mistake to lose it any more. But you never know. You need a few mistakes, a few accidents, and it all looks different.

Q. Did the car feel better on the softer tyre?

KR: Yeah. Overall the balance is the same, but you just have more grip across the tyre and then it improves a lot. It is a bit of a similar story to the last race, but with the hard tyre it was not as bad as the last race - but it was the same there. With the soft you gain grip and got faster.

Q. Will you resolve your future in a few days?

KR: No.

Q. So in Brazil will there be the same questions?

KR: I don't know. Like I said, I have no contract for next year. I am looking at different options and we will see what happens in the future. I don't know when we are going to tell anything - or if we have anything to tell.

Q. We saw this weekend quite a few big accidents, mainly from rookies. Some drivers complain that this is a bit of a dangerous circuit. What do you think?

KR: I think it is a dangerous sport. This is more a kind of old-style circuit. The new circuits have a lot of run-off with asphalt, so it makes no difference if you make a mistake, you can usually get back on the circuit. Here, if you make a mistake you are usually going to hit the wall and I think that is how it should be. You get punished for the mistakes and it makes it more exciting, and I think you need to be more precise.

Q. What are the criteria that you would like to use to choose your team for next year?

KR: There are many different choices what you want. But first of all, you want a contract you are happy with, and a car that you have a chance to win the championship with. There is no point to go to a smaller team and just drive. I get nothing from that.

Q. So you are not going rallying?

KR: I have no interest to drive around just in 10th place. I get nothing from that. I would rather stay home and do something else. If I cannot have the proper team, with a proper winning car, then I will think about it.

Q. Is rallying more appealing now that you have done it?

KR: No. It is the same story. There is no point to go there if you don't get a good car and a good team. Whatever you do, you need to give yourself a chance to be up there, and have the equipment to fight for the best possible positions.

Q. Do you think you are ready to compete at the top level in rallying?

KR: I don't know. I have never driven the world rally car. I have some idea from the rallies that I have done, but for sure you need a lot of practice. You need to give yourself time to be up there, and I think in F1 speed wise if you don't have the experience it is not a problem. But experience there is everything. It is a different story.

Q. Having done both, what is easier - to go from F1 to rallying, or from rallying to F1?

KR: Of course, for me, there is only one direction to look. If I am doing F1, for me, it is an easy sport. I don't know you would feel if you have never driven the car. But I would still say that the rallying is more difficult. You have more things changing there, you have the co-driver, you need to make the notes and understand what they are doing. In F1, you are doing the same circuits lap after lap, and there every kilometre is different. In that way, for me, it is harder to go rallying than F1.

Q. There is talk of Sebastien Loeb coming to F1. Which would you think would be the easier switch?

KR: For me, I would say coming to F1 is easier than us going there. But, like I said, doing F1, you can have no experience if you have never felt what an F1 car feels like to drive. It is a difficult question.

Q. You have two races left with Ferrari. What provides your motivation?

KR: It is the same thing that I said before. I have no interest in driving for a bad team next year. If I race here, I always try to finish as high as I can. I don't need anything to motivate me. If I drive, I drive to do my best and that is it.

Q. Do you want a winning car from day one, or do you want to go to a team you can build up and make a winner?

KR: No. Like I said, if I want to race, I want to have a car that is ready there next year to win the championship. I want to have at least given myself the chance - and then it is up to me and the team to see what happens. But at least you have to have a car in the first part that gives you a chance to win.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Author Jonathan Noble
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