Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Valencia, 2012

Raikkonen expects no problems adjusting to F1’s changes

2012 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Valencia, 2012
Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Valencia, 2012

Kimi Raikkonen says he isn’t expecting a hard time returning to F1 after two years away.

Speaking at the launch of the Lotus E20 he said: “I’ve driven with KERS before and DRS is just a button. Once you’ve done it a few times it will become automatic.”

Asked about the introduction of the Drag Reductions System last year he said: “In 2010 I didn?t really follow Formula 1 but I saw more races last year.

“It doesn?t really look different, but there is overtaking in some different places where people can just drive past by opening the rear wing and the driver in front has no chance to defend himself ?ǣ so is this really overtaking? I don?t think it counts all the time. But for sure the show is better.

“The tyres make a difference too, as there is a big speed difference between when the tyres are new and when the tyres are old. In the old Formula 1, you had to be so much faster than the guy in front of you to have any chance to overtake, but now with the tyres and the DRS, it?s different.”

He said his brief appearance in NASCAR last year reignited his passion for racing:

“When I did the NASCAR races, I enjoyed the racing and I want to do more racing. I still want to do rally and if I could I?d do them both at the same time ?ǣ but this isn?t possible.

“For sure I will do rallying again in the future. I want to do racing as I had a really good time in NASCAR racing against other people and I realised that I was missing this ?ǣ that?s when I decided that if there was a good chance to return properly that I would do it.”

He also refuted claims his motivation suffered after winning the world championship in 2007: “There?s always talk about my motivation, written by people who don?t know me and couldn?t have an idea on how strong my motivation is.

“If I didn?t feel I had the motivation, I would stop. My feeling is that I probably drove some of my best races in my last season in Formula 1 and I was very happy with my performance. I?ve never had any issues with motivation.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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34 comments on “Raikkonen expects no problems adjusting to F1’s changes”

  1. Lets hope his fans wont be disappointed as much as like schumi’s return.

    1. I don’t think you can say Michael’s fans were “disappointed”. I for one didn’t expect him to come back, blaze Rosberg and stick the W01 in positions it didn’t deserve to be in. It is a process to re-adjust which was clear to see in the back end of last season with his impressive drives.

      If Raikkonen can beat Romain on points come the end of the season then that will be a good achievement, and I’m sure all the Kimi fans will be happy with that. He is younger than Michael, so should (in theory), get himself back into full swing come the 2nd half of the season.

      Don’t go saying that collectively that all of the Schumacher fans were disappointed. Not all of us are that naive.

    2. Your post can’t represent all of Schumi’ fans. I’m big Schumi fan, as much as i want him to win but happy enough to see him comeback and racing-wheel to wheel with other drivers.

    3. Well Kimi’s return isn’t as hyped as Schumacher’s return.

      Schumacher fans were all geared up for a brilliant Brawn designed car and a championship chance. Kimi fans know Lotus isnt going to have a race winning car and they have all kept their hopes in check.

      IMHO I do not think Kimi will have a season as poor as Schumacher’s 2010 season, but I do not expect him to set the world on fire from the get go.

    4. Michael left in 2006, came back 2010 which has many changes. New tires, cars, limited testing. Michael wasnt racing during the 3 years away either other than ferrari roadcar testing and motogp tests.

      Kimi left 2009. Car had already changed to new downforce levels, kers, slicks. 2010 was pretty much the same. 2011 was change to drs and pirelli. Drs is a button press at a certain part of track, only thing he needs to adjust to is tires. He was still racing in rally/nascar.

      1. Also, I don’t expect that anyone will be prediction ‘KR…2012 WDC’ like Brawn did upon MS’s return in 2010.

        And…KR, even though he drove for Ferrari, never got the type of golden treatment that MS enjoyed moreso than any other driver in the history of F1…anything less than that has no doubt been difficult for MS to adapt to, given how he had it in his hayday. And KR is accustomed to competing teammates which has been new territory in the last couple of seasons for MS to have to adapt to.

        1. Oops…that should read ‘will be predictING…’

  2. So, what he says is that SF sucks?
    Well, we all knew that!

      1. @keithcollantine SF = Scuderia Ferrari (I’d assume)

        1. But Raikkonen doesn’t say anything about Ferrari.

          1. From the nick we could expect loveless words when about Scuderia Ferrari

      2. I think that refers to Ferrari. Which has no relevance to the article….

        1. Not that I fully agree with Kimifans deduction as much as his conclusion, but Kimi is talking about his last season in F1 – which was with Ferrari. So implicit he is talking about Ferrari, or at least that he didn’t feel that his motivation had failed him in that last season.

  3. “It doesn’t really look different, but there is overtaking in some different places where people can just drive past by opening the rear wing and the driver in front has no chance to defend himself – so is this really overtaking? I don’t think it counts all the time. But for sure the show is better.

    So, nothing like how you won spa ’09 then…

    1. He would’ve made that pass with or without KERS. The nature of Eau Rouge makes it so speed differences can be vast and the slipstream he got was immense. Even the straight line speed of the FI wasn’t going to stop the inevitible.

      1. And the nature of the 2009 cars meant that you couldn’t use the slipstream effect to make passes… Otherwise fisi could have used his straight line speed to retake.

    2. @Hairs There was nothing stopping Force India from building a car with KERS, they just chose not to.

      1. @keithcollantine Really? Nothing at all?

        In 2009, how many teams attempted KERS? The big names: McLaren, Ferrari, Renault, BMW, Williams. Of those, only one managed to get the system packaged properly, reliable, and functional. I don’t think Williams even attempted to package the flywheel into the car.

        KERS was a hideously expensive addition to the 2009 regulations, not only in terms of development costs to the engine manufacturers, but in terms of the unit cost to the teams, and the packaging costs associated with getting it into the car. Not a single midfield, or budget-limited team even attempted to run KERS.

        Renault, BMW and Ferrari all had massive budgets and couldn’t get KERS working. What chance did a midfield team have? Ferrari couldn’t get the COG right with their packaging, and they admitted their car suffered terribly as a result.

        So yes, there was nothing stopping Force India from building a car with KERS – apart from lack of money, engineering resources, questionable reliablility of the systems, the design tradeoffs you’d have to make, evaluate and live with, and finally the fact that you have to decide long before you can physically run the car whether or not you think that the extra weight and problems associated with packaging a new, optional, technology would be offset by the deliberately limited power of the KERS system.

        So in short, I don’t think Force India “chose” to do anything with regard to KERS – it was never financially or technically feasible for them, and wasn’t a logical design route to go down. Apart from McLaren, every team that *did* implement KERS regretted it – and some of them killed the system off or removed it after they had installed it.

        1. @hairs None of that makes passing another with KERS analogous to passing with DRS.

          The rules forbid a driver with DRS using it to defend his position from a driver who’s attacking him with DRS.

          But there’s nothing in the rules preventing a driver with KERS using it to defend himself from a driver who’s attacking him with KERS.

          You can’t pretend KERS is unfair the same way DRS is.

          1. @keithcollantine But, simply, one situation involved a driver behind pressing a button on his steering wheel, that triggered a mechanical system to give him an artificial speed boost, which the car in front couldn’t have any access to.

            The difference is that in 2009 the regulations *priced* one car out of the advantage, and in 2011 the regulation enforced it.

            Come to think of it, in 2011, Fisichella would have had access to DRS – so he would have been able to use it to regain the place he lost to KERS, an opportunity he couldn’t get in 2009 because he was kept an artifical 1 second behind Kimi….

            So no, in this particular case, KERS was more unfair than DRS would have been.

          2. @Hairs You could make the same case you have made about KERS about any technological innovation in F1 that creates a divide between the haves and have-nots. One year it’s exhaust-blown diffusers, the next it’s a flexing front wing or something else the richest teams can develop and the smaller teams can’t afford to replicate as quickly or as successfully.

            F1 is expensive. Not all teams can afford the latest technology. There’s nothing new about that. KERS is no more or less “unfair” than any other innovations that have gone before it.

            DRS, on the other hand, enshrines in the rules that one driver may have an advantage that is denied to another. That is something wholly unprecedented, entirely unfair and not in any sense analogous to the development race in F1.

          3. @keithcollantine I don’t agree with your assessment of what DRS “enshrines” in the rules – not in terms of the technicalities, but in its intent.

            DRS is a technology whose effects rely wholly upon how the Race Director chooses to implement it. He can implement it in a fashion where it has little or no effect, where it has an extreme effect, or any point between. From the outset, DRS has been intended as an offset to an existing advantage (aerodynamic wake) that one driver (the leading) has over another (the following). In some cases, it worked exactly as that. In others, it did not. But that’s down to how it was/is implemented.

            In exactly the same way, KERS in 2009 was not part of the “development race” or “innovation” that F1 teams take part in. It was a technology that was *forced* upon the teams by the rulemakers, for entirely artificial purposes. Some teams (BMW) wanted it to make their road car programmes more relevant – then couldn’t get it working and dropped out of the sport entirely. Other teams would be forced by the regulations to accept that some teams would have an advantage that they wouldn’t get access to because the development costs were too high.

            The fact that KERS attracted such criticism, and was scrapped for the following year, tells you how poorly thought out its implementation was.

            Poor implementation of KERS regulations left one driver totally at the mercy of another through no fault of his own, and robbed him of a “rightful” place.

            Poor implementation of DRS regulations *can* leave one driver totally at the mercy of another through no fault of his own, and rob him of a “rightful” place.

            So the situations are actually quite similar. The wording of the rules, and the intent of the rules, might have been different, but the results, if you want to compare “Kimi vs. Fisi Spa ’09” with “pick your most indignant Driver A robs Driver B using DRS ’11” is exactly the same.

    3. In reality Kimi won by overtaking outside the track during the start – highly unfair that it was allowed and possible, but good move by Kimi in the situation. Looking forward to seeing him this season – and as dry and unemotional as ever during interviews.

  4. JamesC1991 (@)
    5th February 2012, 18:50

    Kimi making it as sound as simple as anything
    It won’t be,that is for sure
    Will take him time to get to used to the Pirelli tyres even with the 6 days he will get in testing,and hopefully doesn’t struggle like Mark Webber
    A car that collects some points every race would be good because I think that’s the maximum Lotus can do this year.
    Needs to beat Grosjean as well to show he still has that raw speed

  5. there is overtaking in some different places where people can just drive past by opening the rear wing and the driver in front has no chance to defend himself – so is this really overtaking? I don’t think it counts all the time.

    After reading this, I think I like Kimi by at least 28% more than before.

    1. absolutely agreed.

  6. Sadly, Kimi says it as it is currently here

    “I’ve driven with KERS before and DRS is just a button. Once you’ve done it a few times it will become automatic.

    A shame we will probably see far to many of those automatic passes on track Kimi!

  7. I like his comment about motivation. It’s so true: you can’t drive these cars when you’re not motivated, let alone, drag it to the places Kimi did with that dog of a car.

  8. I don’t think Kimi would disappoint fans as Schumacher did, but also I’m not sure he would be front runner immediately. All depend on performance of car and his learning curve…

  9. Kimi has terrible bags around his eyes. I think he should get that looked at.

  10. I’m baffled by the amount of words between the quotation marks in this article.
    Did Kimi really say all that? Or does he have a spokesperson interpreting his 3-syllable-replies?

    Good thing Kimi’s back.

    1. Yeah, he really is a PR machine. LOL.

  11. I really can’t see Kimi struggling too much to be honest.

    I know people are making comparisons to Schumacher’s return but Kimi has at least had the chance of racing with what is undoubtedly the best collection of talent an F1 grid has ever seen. There was just not that level of talent throughout Schumacher’s dominant years, plus Raikkonen hasn’t been away THAT long.

    I would love to see him do well, I consider myself a fan.

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