Raikkonen happy at ‘unpolitical’ Lotus

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen says he’s happy at Lotus as they are less political than his previous teams.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Raikkonen enjoying lack of ‘politics’ at Lotus (ESPN)

“I always said that this is a bit of a different team to the others that I raced for before. It’s all about racing and less about politics and I think that’s a good thing for the whole team.”

Ecclestone not planning to slow down (Autosport)

“‘I don’t feel 82, and as a matter of fact I’m now going to Geneva, then to Istanbul to see if we can get back the Turkish GP and [will then] participate at the World Council,’ Ecclestone told Gazzetta dello Sport. ‘And I’m not stopping here, I have a thousand more ideas. Do I look in such a bad shape, two weeks after the USA GP that I wanted and somehow created?'”

Formula One Ruling Body Said to Negotiate Extra Series Revenue (Bloomberg)

“The FIA will increase its annual income to about $40m [??24.8m], an increase of at least 40%, under pacts with series co-owner CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and teams including champion Red Bull, one of the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private. The ruling body said [on] October 23rd the contract governing the sport would be signed in the coming weeks.”

Torrential summer downpours leave Silverstone chiefs counting ??1m refund cost (Daily Mail)

Silverstone Circuits managing director Richard Phillips: “This year’s torrential weather, waterlogged campsites and saturated car parks created a ‘perfect storm’ of unforeseeable issues, to which we were having to react throughout a difficult and challenging day. We are confident that we won’t see a repeat of the events of this year.”

Something to watch for in Asia (Joe Saward)

“The Iskandar development will span 2,200 square kilometres of land around the city of Johor Bahru. As part of the development [Peter] Lim says there will be a Formula 1-spec test facility.”

The Inside Line – on Pedro de la Rosa (F1)

“Q: If you could banish one thing from your life – for the rest of your life – what would that be?
PdlR: The death of my father. Watching him fight against a degenerative neurological disease, watching him get weaker and not being able to do anything about it, to help him, it was horrible.”


Comment of the day

@Aka_robyn on Jenson Button’s potential in 2012:

It makes it more interesting to have different drivers racing in different ways, playing to their individual strengths and compensating for their weaknesses. And after the 2011 season, I will never underestimate Button, no matter what people might say about him!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Four years ago today Honda made the news of their departure from F1 official:

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

64 comments on “Raikkonen happy at ‘unpolitical’ Lotus”

  1. as a matter of fact I’m now going to Geneva, then to Istanbul to see if we can get back the Turkish GP

    Lol. As you do, Bernie…

    As for Raikkonen, I remember how shocked I was when his comeback was announced with Lotus. It seemed to make so much sense, and I always thought it’d be a great combination. It didn’t make it any less expected though, and it’s certainly turned out just as well as anyone could have hoped.

    Here’s hoping for another unexpected driver announcement in the Lotus camp shortly…

    1. @electrolite

      as a matter of fact I’m now going to Geneva, then to Istanbul to see if we can get back the Turkish GP

      Lol. As you do, Bernie…

      Actually, this story appeared in the round-up a few days ago. Istanbul Park has a new promoter, and he’s willing to put up his own money to get the race going again. He’s now got a personal interest in seeing the race succeed, which could be precisely what the race needed before it was dumped.

    2. To be honest, I think the no politics thing has only applied in the post Flavio era though…

      1. and post Alonso era………..everyteam with Kimi went to became unpolitical.

      2. I’d tend to agree with that.

  2. Interesting to see coverage about the Iskandar Development Region. News about this have put us Malaysians and Singaporeans in an inquisitive mood. Here we are questioning what is to become of the Sepang Circuit. Will it lose some business, or worse, relevance? If the facilities are good enough , could we see an alternating Malaysia/Singapore Grand Prix there in the future?

  3. “I have guaranteed minimum 50,000 viewers to Formula One’s race day of Sunday. But I expect about 80,000 audience on the Sunday of the main race.”

    Haha what’s Ak been smoking? How can the seats be guaranteed before the circuit even has a contract. If he had said he hopes, or projections show 50,000 viewers then I wouldn’t mind. But using words like “guarantee” is what makes me really dislike promoters.

    1. The man has 49999 cousins?

    2. Very simple: cheap ticket prices, although I remember a story about the Chinese GP almost giving them away and still having a very poor attendance.

    3. I went to the 2011 race. Race day attendance was already close to 50k, if not more. The grandstands/grass areas might’ve looked empty because the track has a capacity of 150k+ people. That’s a lot of empty space. If the tickets are priced right (like they were in 2011) it’s not hard to reach 80k attendance on race day. It could go over 90 or even 100k with good promotion, which was lacking in the previous years also.

      1. But even then @shrieker, it is not a “guarantee” as the promoter said. Any old promoter can go off last year’s figures and “guarantee” the next year’s would be the same, but sadly, the world almost never works like that

        1. I can’t see why he can’t guarantee attendance, provided he has the cash to make up for the lack of unsold tickets. He simply plans to toss them free so people can come nevertheless. Not good commercially though, I agree.

  4. I really liked the Pedro de la Rosa interview. It turns out he has some interesting things to say, though I wouldn’t know it for the number of times he was interviewed this season. And finally someone gave a good answer to what you would spend your last dollar on: to buy candy for his daughters.

    As a tongue-in-cheek side note, does this make Katarina F1Fanatic’s poster girl?

    1. @adrianmorse The story of Pedro’s father is very sad, rather like HRT.

    2. In a way, that interview’s just a little sad and poignant isn’t it? Could only hapen with the vast experience that he’s had over the years and the ability to reflect on life as a whole without the “it’s all about winning” mentality that the younger drivers are consumed by. Then again, that’s also probably why he’s without a drive for next season, but that’s life.

  5. “It’s all about shampoo, and less about dandruff”

  6. Don’t really see how the Malaysian facility would fit into F1. Would teams really trek that far to do testing over the winter? As testing is so limited these days there wouldn’t be a real way of using it other than the winter testing, and other tracks seem to do the job well enough for the young driver’s test ect.
    As an actual F1 track perhaps? But again the track at Sepang is in my view great, and has produced some great races, and has a contract until 2015 I believe.Why change?

    1. Given the first few races are often in that neck of the woods, it may make sense to at least have a good portion of the teams kit in that part of the world, rather than flying it to some European track, then back to the UK, then off to Australia.

  7. Nothing has me worried like hearing that Bernie has some “ideas”.

    1. Thomas Edison went through a thousand ideas before he finally discovered the way to make a light bulb work. No-one remembers those thousand ideas, though. They just remember the light bulb.

      In the same way, Ecclestone’s thousand ideas don’t have to be good – the important part is the way he is trying to keep the sport fresh. Sure, medals and sprinklers and shortcuts might all sound silly, but don’t forget that when he was running Brabham, Ecclestone was the one who came up with the idea of mid-race refuelling, and in doing so, he totally changed the face of the sport.

      1. FOR THE WORSE!

    2. @brace But somehow he turned F1 into a global sport…

  8. Here’s the thing that makes me VERY curious about the Iskandar development. It’s in Johor Bahru, which, as people in the region would know, is closer to Singapore than KL. In fact, it’s just 5-10 minutes away from the Malaysia-Singapore border. So who is it trying to bump off the F1 scene? It’s targeted more towards Singapore for me, but at the same time, I don’t see a need for two Malaysian GPs either. Also, F1 might be reluctant to move away from KL as it’s the seat of power of some key F1 people (Petronas, and AirAsia with Tony Fernandes).

    It also creates some ripples in MotoGP, as Iskandar and Sepang could go head-to-head there too. And with no race in Singapore, MotoGP might be interested to move down south closer to Singapore.

    1. @colossal-squid Just saw your comment now. You might be interested in my thoughts above. :)

    2. @journeyer I have a feeling Peter Lim wants to tap into the track day business. Sepang gets a good number of Singaporean drivers coming up for some fun (releasing tension perhaps, considering the strict road rules in Singapore). Making it Formula 1 spec is just something to make it more attractive to potential customers.

      1. @scuderiavincero Interesting thought. But will that alone be enough to make money off the project? Surely he’d need to hold at least one major race (F1 or MotoGP) to make it worth his while (and money).

        1. @journeyer I’ve also just noticed that he plans to have it certified as FIA Grade 2, which means it can only host F1 test sessions, so no threat to Singapore or Sepang’s existing races.

          1. @codesurge Tracks can start at Grade 2 before moving up to Grade 1 later. Imola post-renovation is a recent example. It was actually at Grade 2 (or was it 1B? Not sure which) since 2008 and only got Grade 1 back this year.

        2. @journeyer Maybe bring in IndyCar? Or indeed, just some auto-therapy for the Singaporeans.

      2. @journeyer I’d agree with that, especially since it’s a Singaporean behind the construction of the track. Johor offers the cheap land and construction costs to make building a road course that would be much more expensive in Singapore (Changi Motorsports Hub springs to mind). Would be a welcome change from the 3 hour drive (2 and a bit if you drive like it’s the Asian equivalent of the Autobahn) to Sepang and the rather dilapidated state of the current Pasir Gudang track in Johor.

        Of course, if Peter Lim is doing this to make quality trackdays more accessible, it makes me wonder what cars he has in his garage…

        1. I guess it might have a batch of MP4-12Cs, a P1 as soon as its delivered and maybe even an F1 – from his shareholdership of part of the McLaren car business!

    3. @journeyer That is very interesting indeed. You say that it might be more targeted at bumping Singapore. It makes sense geographically. But this park, from what little information there is about it, would offer something completely different to the Singapore Grand Prix. Singapore’s main attraction on the calendar is that it’s a night race in the middle of a city. It’s complete spectacle. I don’t see this new park being a popular (among fans) replacement for that.

      Then again, if it can be branded as the Singapore GP somehow (along the lines of the Luxembourg or San Marino GP’s) it might become very attractive for the Singapore Government. All the exposure F1 brings, and they don’t have to shut down a city to do so.

      1. Almost zero chance that it’ll get branded as the Singapore GP given the historical tensions between both Malaysia and Singapore; the resulting backlash would be immense if Singapore were to let its bitter neighbor host a race bearing its name and reap the economic benefits of doing so.

        1. @codesurge Not much love lost between those two countries at all. This is still both an interesting and strange project in my opinion.

        2. Ah I see. I knew nothing of the tensions between the two countries. As Journeyer says, that makes the project all the stranger!

          1. @colossal-squid Tensions mainly in the political sense. Socially we’re all sharing the sahme roots, roughly. And we’ll never turn down a good business opportunity. With the cost of land running high in Singapore, companies there will be looking to move some operations to Iskandar. This can be backed up by the words of Singapore’s PM, that it’s “very much in Singapore’s interest that Iskandar Malaysia prospers and succeeds”.

          2. @scuderiavincero I’m learning a lot today! :) Do you agree with @codesurge then that, due to the politics of the areas, a race at the Iskandar facility would be unlikely to be branded as a Singapore GP, and more likely to be another Malaysian GP?

          3. @collosal-squid I do agree with @codesurge actually, it would be awkward to call it the Singapore GP, or indeed, the Singapore GP North. If they make the Iskandar name a strong enough brand, it could be just that, the Iskandar Grand Prix.

          4. Sorry, misspelled that @colossal-squid. One of the many disadvantages of working on a tablet.

          5. @scuderiavincero No worries. Thanks for the information. It will be very interesting to see what (if anything) comes from this new track in Iskandar.

  9. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    5th December 2012, 1:44

    The opportunity to see the Turkish GP on the calendar should be worth by bernie more than the money they can bring to his pocket. This 82 year old has more money than what he or his next 10 generations can spend / waste. So his legacy should be to decrease the fees a little and let F1 roll in good tracks, not necessarilly in wealthy countries with boring tracks (despite the fact that this year races in Valencia and Abu Dhabi can prove me wrong)
    Let’s hope more tracks which offer variations like the Austin one can be added. And I would support a good track fund raise more than a driver fund-raise (sorry Kamui)

    1. We are talking about a man that bought his 22 year old daughter the most expensive house in US history, he needs that money, wont last more than half a generation :P

    2. Bernie is just doing what his paymasters want him to – make them more money.

      Also, I guess the hope is that the people that matter see what made Austin work (and Korea/India not so) and try to recreate that. Getting someone different to ‘design’ the track probably made he difference, even if it was a bit of a miss-mash of other tracks, then get the people who know how to make a good facility do their work.

  10. “Do I look in such a bad shape, two weeks after the USA GP that I wanted and somehow created?’”

    Bernie has a hard time remembering how he created the US GP; maybe because somebody else created it??

    1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      5th December 2012, 6:38

      No no don’t you remember the short white haired construction worker that was constantly banging on about “we need to get earl gray” during the tea breaks?

  11. As a Singaporean I would say that the recent Iskandar projects (this circuit, Legoland) is only a response to Singapore’s latest “attractions” such as the F1 race and Universal Studios. It is clear that Malaysia sees the Singapore GP as a threat and want to play a game of one-upmanship. To me it just seems like Malaysia is trying to prove that they are as advanced as Singapore.

    1. To me it just seems like Malaysia is trying to prove that they are as advanced as Singapore.

      Except that Peter Lim, the billionaire funding the project, is Singaporean.

      Your theory also makes no sense because Malaysia already has a Formula 1-standard racing circuit in Sepang. Given how often both Malaysia and Singapore complain that the other’s race is bad for business, Malaysia stands to gain nothing from having a second circuit, unless they have plans to poach the Malaysian Grand Prix from Sepang.

      No, I suspect Lim’s plan is to build up the region as a hub of technical and engineering know-how, the Asian equivalent of “Motorsport Valley”. He’s just had to do it in Malaysia because there is no room in Singapore. This makes sense given that more and more Asian rounds have joined the Formula 1 calendar to the point where flyaway races out-number European events. It’s smart, because Iskandar is a stone’s throw from Singapore, which is a major transit hub. There would also be regional connections to India, China, Japan, Korea and Australia, making those venues far more accessible to developing talent in engineering.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys @journeyer

        Looks like his motive is a bit clearer now – two more articles for your reading here and here.

        The Motorsports City will have a 4.5km Grade 2 GT double-loop circuit, a 1.2km kart circuit and an off-road circuit – for events such as drag racing, karting, motorcycling, truck racing and off-road expeditions.

        There will also be car showrooms, a driving school, bonded warehouses and garages, motorsports research-and-development centres, museum and collector- storage facilities, weekend homes, a clubhouse, a car bar and other entertainment outlets.

        Said Mr Lim: “This is a very interesting project and it’s something that I love. I think I can build a fairly-sound business model. (Together with) the availability of labour in Malaysia, I think this project will take off.”

        The tracks would be a five-minute drive from Tuas Second Link, one of two border crossings between Malaysia and Singapore. Motorsports City will offer race-track driving lessons, storage for car collections and act as a spare-parts hub, according to Barry Kan, who will become FASTrack Autosports’ chief executive officer in January.

        Like I was saying, I don’t think he has hosting any form of F1 race – at this point in time anyway. If anything, it’ll just be a motorsports hub/playground for Singaporeans to pop over the Causeway for cheap track sessions on a modern circuit (cheaper gas too!). Beats the 3 hour trek to Sepang, for sure. I can also see wealthy individuals stashing dedicated track cars there so that they don’t have to pay the taxation and other fees to register them for the road.

    2. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      5th December 2012, 6:42

      as advanced as singapore? did you guys evolve another finger per hand or x-ray vision or something?

      1. That’s not what he meant. Ben never said that he thinks Malaysia is as advanced as Singapore, only that some people want to prove that it is and think that building a new circuit is the way to do that. Whether or not they actually are as advanced as Singapore is beside the point he is trying to make.

        1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          5th December 2012, 18:59

          “To me it just seems like Malaysia is trying to prove that they are as advanced as Singapore.”

          This is a direct quote. What he meant couldn’t be any clearer if it stood behind a pair of glasses wearing vicks vapor rub and a fluorescent jacket whilst having a spot light directed at it by Tien Shinhan

  12. I think CVC are straightforward in their business: make money.
    But I’m disgusted by the FIA: where do they need money for? For a ‘make roads safe’ campaign? Looters!

    1. I fail to see how expanding a campaign to promote road safety is akin to a criminal act.

      1. It’s just another organisation providing especially themselves with funding, to do ‘something good’, which in this case is a campaign. I’ve never seen anything come from campaigns like this – except smiling advertising agencies.
        So called charities are mostly about themselves and while my ‘looters’ was meant as a reference to Ayn Rand, I think criminal is indeed the right word.

        1. I wasn’t aware that good intentions automatically equalled criminal activity.

  13. OMG, Grosjean to participate in ROC!? We’re doomed. Might just not build the circuit at all. :D

    1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      5th December 2012, 18:33

      Guess what he did last time he took part……. crashed! :D

  14. i think that without “Politics” Raikonnen would have never won the WDC i’m not saying that he didn’t deserved his title or that only “Politics” let him won the WDC but in 2007 Ferrari were having an extra amount of “politics” …. & Raikonnen was part of it

    1. Could you be a bit more specific, please? Are you talking about how McLaren was spying Ferrari, yet they didn’t lose a single WDC point? Which “politics” helped Räikkönen to claim the championship?

    2. Alonso was having all the data of Kimi ‘s car (setup, fuel load, pit stop window) on first half of the season…..how is that helping kimi?? Without all these crap, kimi would get it wrap up on Spa….Mclaren would had a junk car that kept failing without F2007 data.

  15. That girl in the pic holding the poster is really cute.

    1. I agree.

  16. Hey, not so good. There’s no moderating on this site?
    People talk about whatever comes into their minds, and there’s v little here about the post headlined.

    1. Yes there is. But if you read the article and not just the headline you’ll see there’s a lot more in the round-up than just the top story.

Comments are closed.