No concerns for Raikkonen on first visit to Korea

2012 Korean Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen says he isn’t concerned about driving on a circuit he hasn’t raced at before this weekend.

While championship rivals Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel have raced at the Korea International Circuit twice before, Raikkonen is making his first appearance at the track.

“I’ve never been to Korea, but it doesn’t make a difference for me,” he said. “Since I was very young I have always been able to pick up circuits very quickly. This has not changed.”

Raikkonen said he prefers gaining real-world experience when learning new tracks: “I know some drivers work hard in simulators to learn a new circuit, but they are not for me.

“I have never played the Playstation or spent too much time in the simulator and it doesn’t seem to have affected my performance in the past.

“We have three hours’ practice on Friday and a further one hour before qualifying on Saturday so all the drivers will know the circuit very well.”

Raikkonen said he is looking forward to his first experience of the circuit: “It’s always interesting to race at a new venue and I enjoy going to different places. It gives me a good feeling.

“It is exciting to be going there for the first time and to start work by walking around the circuit and checking all the corners.

“I’ve seen a Korean Grand Prix on TV, but we’ll have to wait until the first laps of FP1 on Friday to get to grips with the circuit. Hopefully we will have normal weather there and will not miss any track time on Friday because of rain or technical issues.”

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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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    37 comments on “No concerns for Raikkonen on first visit to Korea”

    1. I love Kimi’s attitude. He’s so old school.

      1. Actually, pretty much all the drivers have the same attitude. When Jenson Button was doing a spsonor event at Mount Panorama a few years ago, he said that it usually takes him two or three laps to learn most modern Formula 1 circuits enough to start setting competitive lap times (the difference being that he reckoned it would take him half a day to learn the Mountain).

        1. TheManyHamiltons
          9th October 2012, 19:10

          … all drivers have same attitude … Jenson Button…said that it usually takes him two or three laps to learn most modern Formula 1 circuits

          I think this is NOT the same as that expressed by @Tyler. Surely, he’s referring to the overall ‘i-dont-give-a-damn’ attitude of Kimi’s as against your summation that most drivers, like Button, can pickup a circuit very fast irrespective of whether they have had exp or not.

          The point was about attitude, not ability.

          1. Quite :-)

      2. Nothing beats the good ‘ol way of doing it for real ;)

    2. Kimi is a legend. But I’d advise him to spend some of his precious time working in simulator.

      I’m looking forward for the US GP because it’s new to everyone like Fuji was back in 2007. That’s why I’d like to see Bernie reserving a slot for a “non-permanent” circuit, i.e., some venues should get a one year deal to stage a race without being committed with a long term deal, one year it could be Jerez, the next Portimao, then South Africa and so on…

      But it’s hard to seel, isn’t it?

      1. The problem with Kimi and simulators (or any video games) is that he tends to get sick watching a large screen without the proper motion/G-forces; at least that’s what he said in an interview a few years ago.

    3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      9th October 2012, 8:17

      Thus, the beauty of the simulator. An amazing tool.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        9th October 2012, 8:19

        And a track walk. Would love to see Raikkonen win this weekend.

    4. Korean track tends to be one of typical technical track. So as far as one gets grip of every corner radius and speed, think getting quickly accustomed to it should not be that challenging.

      1. @leotef Indeed – Korea is not exactly Suzuka, is it? It’s basically just Buddh or Yas Marina with the corners in a slightly different order.

        1. @keithcollantine, Yes I agree. It’s also interesting that HAM is not that fast at Suzuka and Brazil where the radius of corners tend to change to a certain degree, or call it subtlety, ergo demanding more concentration and familiarization.

        2. @keithcollantine – I’ll admit that I’ve always found the circuit to be an interesting one. It’s easy to write it off as standard Tilke fare, but I think each of the sectors is very exaggerated. The first sector is all long straights and heavy braking areas. The second sector is fast and flowing and contains the only elevation on the circuit. And the final sector is a slow and meandering labyrinth. Each sector demands something different from the car and the driver, and I think it was Tilke’s intention to force the teams into a situation where they have to play to their cars’ strengths, which means they will be strong in two sectors, but weak in the third. We saw this last year in qualifying – drivers were setting comparable lap times, but wildly-different sector times. If that’s the intention, then I think it’s really quite a clever idea, even if the final circult layout looks awkward and ungainly.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys I dont dislike it either, my main problem with it is the depressing backdrop.

            1. @george – I believe the plan was to use the race to trigger growth in the region. However, that is a long-term project.

      2. BTW, so far GRO took out ALO, HAM, WEB to name among the top dog. RAI, VET, and BUT remains far from his harm’s way if me fading memory is still serving me. Or were they taken out too this season?

        1. @leotef He hit Button in 2009 at Les Combes at Spa. That crash also took out Hamilton and Alguersuari.

        2. @leotef

          One can never remain far from Grosjean’s harm’s way.

          1. TheManyHamiltons
            9th October 2012, 19:14

            …or Maldonado’s!!

    5. He’s never concerned about anything other than his steering.

      1. I think at this weekend raikkonnen will get on podium if he needs to win the champion ship

      2. He’s never concerned about anything

        Any article titled “No concerns for Raikkonen…” could be nominated for non-news of the month :-)

        1. Non-news, but supremely enjoyable non-news at least.

        2. could be nominated for non-news of the month

          I thought the information that Raikkonen prefers driving circuits to using simulators and games to learn then was interesting.

      3. Interesting article on Raikkonen’s steering issues…

        1. *previous steering issues

          1. Just to point out the “small print”, that article was written on the april fool’s day..

            1. … Congratulations, you have won yourself a free cookie for pointing that out!!!!

              Seriously though, what has the date of the article got to do with its credibility for crying out loud…

    6. Hi Keith.

      Is there any list of how many engines has every team left? I think Ferrari has one more than rivals, and could be in good benefit for them coming the last couple of races.

      1. Pre-Suzuka Ferrari and Redbull were on their 6th engines. Button was on his 7th engine. Not sure about Lewis. And I have no idea where I read this

      2. @keithcollantine – I’d be interested to know the answer to this too if you know where to find out?

      3. Engines are no so important nowadays, like gerabox are. And set-ups, and tyres. I don’t think if anyone retire because of engine problems, this year.

        1. +1. Bookmarked.

          1. Drop Valencia!
            11th October 2012, 7:19

            Just remember that it is not nessasarily representative, just because Maccas have used all theirs does not mean they are in trouble, it just means they prioritised new engines differently.

    7. Simulator is great tool but track walk either and a couple of laps on real world outweight them. That’s for sure. Surely Kimi did at least 10 laps in simulator which I think enough for top guys. Still there’s something to gain in simulator either. Performance of new parts, setup direction, etc…Maybe Kimi is not so interested in such things?

    8. Simulators are probably useful for helping with set-up and things but I imagine that the best thing for a driver to do is just go there and drive around it a few times. It’s probably one of the easier parts of their job.

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