Apr 05

Raikkonen to ‘have his say’ on 2013 Lotus design

F1 comeback easy with ‘good car’ – Raikkonen

2012-03-24 - Lotus F1 Team - Malaysian Grand Prix - Kimi Raikkonen 002012-03-24 - Lotus F1 Team - Malaysian Grand Prix - Kimi Raikkonen 01Just two races into 2012, Kimi Raikkonen has already sat at the wheel of Lotus’ car for 2013. His race engineer Mark Slade revealed that the Finn was at Enstone on Wednesday to sit in “a basic mock-up” of the single seater for next season.

“There’s some rethinking in terms of the driver position for 2013, and we wanted to test it out before committing any further to the concept,” said Slade.

“It may seem early, but it’s better to do these things sooner rather than later otherwise it can hold up the whole design process.”

A report by the Finnish broadcaster MTV3 said that Lotus’ 2012 car was essentially complete late last November, when Raikkonen joined the team.

So “Raikkonen can have his say on the car for next year”, the report added. 

F1 comeback easy with ‘good car’ – Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen has a simple theory as to why his return to formula one was much smoother than fellow former champion Michael Schumacher’s.

After two less competitive seasons in 2010 and 2011, seven time title winner Schumacher, 43, is finally back up to speed this year.

Finn Raikkonen is more than a decade younger than his German rival and he was off the grid for only two years, not three.

But he thinks there is a simpler explanation as to why he has returned immediately to the pace, while Schumacher took more than two full seasons.

“It’s just about whether you have a good car or not.  It has made life much easier for me,” said Raikkonen, who has returned with Lotus.

“He (Schumacher) was not so lucky,” the former McLaren and Ferrari driver told Germany’s Sport Bild.

“The (Lotus) car is good,” the 2007 world champion added, referring to his black and gold E20.  “Whether it’s good enough for victory or not, I don’t know.

“At least we are not far away from the top.”

Raikkonen insists not much has changed in F1 since he left for a world rallying foray at the end of 2009 — not even his friendship with Sebastian Vettel.

“He has won two titles since then but it didn’t change him,” said Raikkonen.

“Sebastian is a great racing driver but he’s also a really nice guy,” he added.

As for himself, Raikkonen insists he is just the same.

“Maybe people see me as more relaxed, which I think is down to the (Lotus) team,” he said.

“It’s a different atmosphere to what I’ve experienced before.”

source: GMM