Raikkonen: “It’s fantastic to come back with a win”

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen said his victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a “fantastic” result after several difficult races.

Raikkonen’s victory was the first since he returned to F1 at the beginning of the year. It was the first for a Lotus since 1987, and the first for the Enstone team since 2008, when it was Renault.

“I’m very happy for the team, and for myself also,” said Raikkonen. “You never know what’s going to happen during the race; the safety cars made it quite tricky, but I’ve had similar races many, many times this year. Today we had a clear circuit to be able to use our speed.

“Perhaps we were not the fastest at the end, but we were quick enough and consistent enough to win so it’s great for the team. We’ve had some difficult races in the second half of the season so it’s fantastic to come back with a win.”

Team principal Eric Boullier said: “I have one word first of all: Great.”

“Then there are many words such as ‘relief’ and ‘deserved’. It’s obviously a very well deserved result for the team. I’m pleased for Kimi and he did a very good job. We’ve been pushing very hard all season and we’ve nearly had it before.

“There’s a little frustration not to have had a win sooner, and we have been waiting for it, but it’s a fantastic feeling to finally take that victory and a superb reward for the team. It’s great for Formula 1, it’s great for Kimi and it’s great for our team.”

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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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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40 comments on “Raikkonen: “It’s fantastic to come back with a win””

  1. No one will be giving Kimi “****” for this one!!

    1. That really was the most potty-mouthed podium ever!

      1. It sure was, maybe the lack of strong stuff in the bottles brought out the best in these guys! Thoroughly enjoyed both the race and that podium ceremony @dirgegirl!

        1. @bascb I hate it when TV apologises for swearing but I thought DC did a very elegant job of blaming it on English as a second language… :o)

          1. DC sure did a really nice job too today, yeah.

          2. I found it ironic, remembering back to David telling Louise Goodman he was going “Kick a few colours of **** out of the little ******* (Felipe)”

          3. I’d forgotten about that!

  2. I didn’t believe that he will have this kind of consistency and pace this year. So I’m very impresed and happy that it was Kimi who gained benefit from HAM misfortune.

  3. His consistency is very impressive. Without some qualifying mistake(and some E20’s horrible characteristics), he would habe fought with Alonso and Vettel now. If Lotus produce consistent 2nd or 3rd fastest car next year, he should be title contender. I’m not sure Team Enstone could manage it though.

    1. @Eggry They might benefit from Hamilton leaving McLaren, who knows.

    2. Probably that Kimi lost some points at the beginning of the season as well … He was quick to get back into buisness but he has been outqualified (quite by some margin) several time by Romain at the beginning, and now he is at least level if not in front …

  4. not bad from unmotivated, lazy and non-fitted driver

    1. some, calls him World Champion…

      1. Or the Iceman…

  5. Trenthamfolk (@)
    4th November 2012, 19:07

    Longest statement EVER from Kimi… great to hear the National Anthem of Great Britain again… Loved the tantrum over the radio…

    1. Speaking of the national anthem. No disrespect to the British national anthem but I thought Lotus team was French :S

      1. They are Enstone-based. But RBR is also based in England yet they play the Austrian anthem for that team if i’m not mistaken.

        1. @dmw Correct. RBR race under an Austrian anthem.

          @davef1 Renault pulled out at the end of last year so there is no French manufacturer backing now. Plus, they have no backing from Proton now so their only real identity in the sport is British!

  6. He deserves it.
    It would have been a shame if Lotus and Raikkonen ended their season without a win. It’s strange that it came so late in the season, when they seemed to have lost their performance.

    1. Not many people expected that one, they money was on Spa, but this was the perfect way to do it.

  7. Great to see him win again.

    Kind of a poignant contrast to Schumacher who hasn’t come close to winning in his own comeback and has already received the bum’s rush.

  8. Keith has anyone else besides kimi won a race on the first year with every team he has been with?

    1. If anyone, I would say it might have been Fangio. And Clark as well as Hamilton did so too (both just for the one team they drove for though, at least so far.)
      Oh, and before we go there, lets not forget that Kimi never won a race for Sauber @f1andy83

      1. And in a sense you could say Vettel did so too, because he won in his first full race season with STR and then with RBR. But the single race for BMW keeps him from really having achieved that.

      2. Was he at sauber for a full seasons? Trying to figure out how many drivers got a win on their first year in multiple teams

    2. Afraid Raikkonen didn’t win a race with Sauber in 2001.

    3. @f1andy83 Kimi hasn’t. He didn’t win with Sauber, and he didn’t win with McLaren until his second year with them.

      1. Plus he won no races in 2006.

    4. Lotus:
      21-06-1987 Ayrton Senna
      04-11-2012 Kimi Raikkonen

      How’s that?

      1. I’m curios if those fans of Lotus, in Senna’s period, watched this race.

  9. I don’t like it how this win is considered the next one for the name ‘Lotus.’

    It could be confusing for those not very involved with F1 history though I’m sure most of us here on F1F are. Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1995, period. No F1 cars are produced in Hethel, the crew was disbanded. Lotus Cars is not running an F1 team since. They just happen to sponsor an entirely different team, one which is based in Enstone, had a couple of owner changes and had various names through its history. Toleman, Benetton, Renault and now Lotus. It is confusing enough when one points out the current ‘Lotus’ team actually operated parallel with the defunct old and real Lotus team between 1981-ish and 1995 under the names of Toleman, then Benetton.

    What I’m trying to say is that I think this win was actually achieved by a team the core of which actually has relatively more vivid memories of winning a race than the real Lotus had. They did it with one Fernando Alonso back in 2008. They won back-to-back titles with the guy in 2005-2006.

    1. I know, but it’s still awesome to see the Lotus name itself being back on top nevertheless. The E20 really looks especially great in the John Player Special style livery, looks classic.

    2. That’s because this is their first year as a full team lotus ecuippe, if I’m not mistaken last year Renault still had some shares left in the team that have been sold to genii capital. I think it will take some years to recognize this team as the legitimate revival of the Lotus team, thanks to the brawl between the Enstone team an the current Caterham team

    3. The real Lotus team :
      Constructors’ Championships 7 (1963, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1978)
      Drivers’ Championships 6 (1963, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1978)
      Race victories 73
      Pole positions 102
      Fastest laps 65

  10. I really really like Kimi Raikkonen now. Not jumping on a bandwagon though.

    During his ‘first career’ I more like sort of admired him. He was devastatingly good when he was on song. I think his best year was 2005. He did wonders in that year. But apart from that I think he was somewhat inconsistent; he had a lot of ‘down’ periods, which usually lasted for 5-8 races, like much of the second half of 2008 or the first half of 2009. He had his ‘ups’ as well – 5-8 races too, like the second half of 2007 and 2009, I think he was pretty good at that time scoring a number of podiums and a win in a below par car.

    I think he had an uncanny ability to turn himself up when sensing a very quick car beneath him. It sort of inspired him to great things. Also, unlike Alonso and a number of other drivers, he actually became better and better when taking more and more responsibility in the team, i. e. had his teammate underperforming. I point at the carefree JPM of 2005-2006 and the vacuum Massa’s injury meant in the second half of 2009. Massa actually was a top driver before his accident: he had that edge; consistently extracted 120% from the Ferrari, usually finishing 4th-5th in that mentioned below par car. And then that disappeared on that Saturday at the Hungaroring – and Kimi took up the gloves and delivered.

    But I also think Raikkonen became sort of reckless when not getting a top package. His focus often lost and he did not perform to 120%. All in all I admired his potential which he glimpsed from time to time, but I thought he was not matured enough to kind of be complete.

    …Whereas now, after two years off, I think he calmed down and did mature. Look at him now, fully focused, delivering every single time on 120%, no matter how good or bad his package is, no errors whatsoever, no DNFs, always in the points – and still devastatingly quick when given a very good package. What I want to say is that I think he balanced out his weakness without losing his strengths. In my eyes, he is now a lot more complete, a true professional and one of the sports true greats – and he did it this year, not in 2005, not in 2007. I don’t judge him by his results but by his attitude.

    1. On a sidenote, it is actually because of the last line, I think Fernando Alonso will have a place among the very best (even more so than Raikkonen), despite the odds not on him for a third crown. The way he is able to do what Raikkonen does this year for… years now, since the second half of 2010 is simply out of this world.

    2. I don’t think his ‘down’ periods in 2005 was much of his fault really… If you actually could recall, the MP4-20 back then was really infamous for reliability issues, allowing for the slightly slower but more consistent Alonso and his reliable Renault to clinch both titles.

      Just take Monza 2005 for example… Raikkonen managed to clinch pole with a heavy fully fueled car, to offset some of the heavy pain caused by the 10 place grid drop engine penalty. Respect to the Iceman really, he certainly deserves more than just his single world title.


      Truly inspiring lap, from here you could really tell what makes him so great.

      1. On the opposite, I think in 2005 he had no ‘downs’ at all. That’s what I began with. I said apart from 2005, he was inconsistent. It may be easy to misunderstand however, my English is not perfect.

  11. Classic Kimi, in the Press Conference:

    Q. (Leonid Novozhilov – F1 Live) Kimi Raikkonen, how and with whom and how many days will you celebrate this win?
    KR. I have almost two weeks. As long as I manage to get myself to the next race I think the team is happy. I try to get home at some point.

  12. I was so happy to see Kimi win this one! I became a bit if fan when he started racing Ferrari a few years back. He just seems like such a nice fun loving guy in all of the interviews. I’m sure now that has a win under his belt we’ll be seeing more out of him in future races.

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