Raikkonen says Lotus can rival wealthier teams

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Melbourne, 2013In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen believe Lotus can punch above their weight.


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2013 Australian Grand Prix – Post Race Press Conference (FIA)

“There was a big question mark last year in our team whether we can keep up with the bigger teams. Of course it?s not going to be easy for us. I?m sure we have the people, all the tools to make it. The money is a big part of the thing. For sure we don?t have the same budget as Ferrari or Red Bull or Mercedes but we could show last year that?? we did pretty well on the money and the things we have. I have no doubt we have the people and the tools but of course if we get more money it will help and it will give us a better chance and more fair play against the bigger teams.”

Red Bull blames tyres and temperature (Autosport)

Christian Horner: “Seb [Vettel] got a good start, he built up the lead that we wanted and then it was quite clear that the car was pretty heavy on the tyre.”

Sutil: More days like this (Sky)

“I was amazed that we could actually be competitive at the front. I gained my first position back after the first pit stop so the pace was really there. I could pull away from Vettel when he was running too close behind me, maybe he destroyed his tyres.”

Red Bull RB9 – hidden brake fluid cylinders (F1)

“For the first time in Formula One racing, the two brake fluid cylinders (shown in the inset picture) have disappeared from view in the Red Bull RB9.”

Ferrari finds new front wing is an improvement (F1 Technical)

“Ferrari have used their new front wing debuted at the final Barcelona test throughout the entire Australian GP weekend, showing it confirmed the new part to be an improvement for the car.”


Comment of the day

Cranberry has reservations about Pirelli’s choice of tyres for yesterday’s race:

I applaud Pirelli for acknowledging that the tyres are important in producing exciting races and their campaign to produce tyres that challenge the drivers to balance the way they push their cars around the track, but after seeing Sutil’s super-softs immediately melt under him and ruin what was a great performance I hope we don?t see the super-softs compound too much over the course of the season.

There?s so much negative comments about the tires but at least they?re the same for every single driver. Each driver can control the way they drive, and thus degrade their tyres, and push/conserve where needed. I really hoped for a weekend where they would have DRS completely disabled just to see one weekend where drivers did not have the option of waiting for the DRS zone to make their “pass”.

DRS often forces drivers to maintain the gap until the checkpoint so they do not get re-passed on the DRS zone, to think of how many potential exciting moves the drivers have decided not to make because of this unfortunate fact.

Pirelli tires, love them or hate them, are still much better for “the show” than DRS will ever be.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Former Marussia driver Timo Glock turns 31 today.

Image ?? Lotus/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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  • 76 comments on “Raikkonen says Lotus can rival wealthier teams”

    1. Oh wow, Vettel looks so goofy in that pic, and Alonso and Raikkonen look like terminators.

      The super soft was the wrong choice for this track, this seems fairly obvious. Hopefully Pirelli will learn from that.

      1. Haha, yeah, my thoughts exactly; those shades on Vettel look ridiculous. :)

      2. And Hamilton’s facing the wrong camera.

      3. It was quite an odd choice to go for supersofts, however Kimi made it work. Imagine everyone had been on a two stop. Nobody would complain… So I wonder how much of that was due to Kimi and the basics of the car, and how much everyone else threw away with a setup that was possibly a bit too hard on the tyres.

        I hope this isn’t the start of another early 2012 with the winner decided on who (accidentally) gets his setup just right, to not have the rubber hanging of the wheel in tears after 5 laps.

        1. Yeah, those early 2012 races, when you watched a race and weren’t sure who was going to win after 20 laps. Where multiple teams were competitive. That was AWFUL.

          1. @red-andy

            Rewatch the races in Melbourne (Button winning from pole), China (Rosberg winning from pole), Bahrain (Vettel winning from pole), Spain (Maldonado winning from pole), Monaco (Mark Webber starting from pole) …. …. ….

            I’m not saying the races were particularly boring, but they were more tyre-lottery than Grand Prix racing.
            I rather have teams actually fighting for it, than somebody lucking out with a setup. Like Maldonado in Spain.

            1. Setting up the car to your liking is a legitimate driver skill. Otherwise, run spec cars with a fixed setup. There, it comes down to adapting your style to the car and still some people will ‘luck in’ with their driving style perhaps naturally fitting the spec car better.

              It’s nice to have some added complexity – it makes for more value being placed on the best driver overall and not whoever simply ‘lucked in to having the best car’. See where Grosjean ended up for not having had time to set his car up.

              And we all know anyway that at the crunch time it’ll end up being durable one stop races and probably Red Bull will outspend everyone to secure a quad-double. Bring on 2014!

      4. Is that Razia next to Chilton? How odd is that…

      5. I disagree with you. I think Pirelli was right to bring super soft tyres in Australia, because we saw fantastic race which made me sit on the edge of my chair for the last 20 laps. If Pirelli brought soft tyres we were facing two stop race for everybody and strategic options weren’t such flexible.

      6. Vettel clearly just farted and the gas cloud is going towards the right. You can see that Webber, Hulkenberg and Hamilton are distracted by the smell.

      7. Wannabe Vettel! Kimi don’t swear so Vettel won’t swear as well. Have anyone noticed the lack of animosity between Kimi and Fernando, icy relation there.

        1. JEV stop eyeing Webber! Hamilton is on top of Mclaren….

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      18th March 2013, 0:24

      Releasing my new avatar. I’m so happy for Kimi’s victory!!!

    3. looking at that class of 2013 pic, is it a coincidence that the only ones with sun-glasses are the ones considered to be the best? the cool guys get the glasses!

      1. LOL, too coincidental to be an accident!

    4. Chilton consistently 1 second off Binachi’s pace, despite having much, much more time in the car during pre-season testing.

      Finished race a lap down on him.

      When will the excuses stop being made?

      1. . . . when the money runs out.

      2. @fishfingers

        When will the excuses stop being made?

        It’s only the first race! Give the guy a break!

        1. It was also Bianchi’s first race and…

          1. Bianchi has had a lot more testing in F1 then Chilton.

          2. @tmekt
            Perhaps , Bianchi has more experience in an F1 car than Chilton has, though not exactly in a Marussia.

    5. We all know Team Enstone has ability win the championship. They actually won 4 titles with Benetton and Renault name. So certainly, everything works fine and some mishaps from top teams, they could challenge the title. But I’m not sure this year is the one because Red Bull and Ferrari, Mercedes all do their job fairly well. Maybe it would help them if they’re consistent as Ferrari did last year but I believe it would be pretty hard.

      1. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
        18th March 2013, 5:25

        if they can get result like Brawn, it’s possible. if they can’t… well, developing cars need money!
        I hope this victory can re-attract sponsors and partners to Lotus. Honeywell, please sign that goddamn contract!

        1. Honeywell won’t sign it. It’s a bad company too. Wait for better offers.

          1. David not Coulthard (@)
            18th March 2013, 10:55

            Red Hat?

      2. Enstone definitely have the ability to make good racing cars but in all 4 of those years they won the title they got caught up over the season having started the season with the best/one of the best cars. In the Schumacher years Benetton were a much more professional racing team in terms of strategies and really understanding the value of good pitstops, (with Ross Brawn behind the scenes) particularly in 95 where the Williams was clearly the quicker racing car (of course Schumacher’s brilliance and the turmoil of Senna’s death also played a role.) It wasn’t uncommon for them to be more than 5 seconds quicker than Williams in pitstops. However nowadays everyone is professional, has great strategy and more cars are capable of winning so it is really going to be a tough ask to win with their smaller budget. In 05 and 06 respectively Mclaren and Ferrari had a quicker car than Renault at the end of the season too.

        If and it is a big if, Raikkonen is to mount a serious title challenge then I think he needs to maximise his points and race winning opportunities early in the year, ala Button in 2009 as Ferrari and Red Bull will catch up. I am particularly interested as to how Alonso will perform in a Ferrari which clearly has a much stronger base package to work from than last year. However as you highlighted, unlike Mclaren who have had multiple cars capable of winning championships in the last 15-20 years, and have a very poor number of world titles to show for it whenever team Enstone have produced a decent car they have made the most of it and won the championship. And Raikkonen is an excellent driver who has been there and done it before.

        I really think it is too early to say at the moment though. Yesterday was pretty unrepresentative in terms of the ambient and track temperature, and if Horner is correct and that is what caused Vettel’s high tyre degradation then Vettel is still probably favourite with Alonso. I’m sure Kimi and Lotus won’t mind being the outsiders though, and if he can consistently have strong results then who knows…

    6. I’m getting tired of the DRS comments. Yes, we have heard you loud and clear: you don’t care for DRS. Find something else to complain about, if only to mix it up.

      1. You forgot the Tyres, I complain tirelessly about both, that’s the way we get our message to the ringmaster, If you don’t like it write something constructive or just dont read it.

      2. thatscienceguy
        18th March 2013, 7:24

        Pretty sick of the drs whining too, and this fallacy that drivers supposedly wait until the drs zone to pass. Plenty of overtaking and battling happened on Sunday outside the drs zone. In fact we saw a lot of battling at the two right handers at the end of the lap, and thats right before the drs detection point!

        1. That’s because the two DRS-zone straights in Australia were very short.
          The two consecutive +1.0 km straights in Malaysia, both having a DRS-zone each, is going to be a disaster I’m afraid.

          1. David not Coulthard (@)
            18th March 2013, 9:46

            There’s this thingy called gear ratios, though.

            And instead of banning DRS drivers hould be able to use them regardless as to what is in front of them.

            1. David not Coulthard (@)
              18th March 2013, 10:56


    7. It took me a while to realise that “Pic” in Keith’s tweet did not refer to Charles…

      1. I have that problem all the time! Especially when it comes to HAM sandiwiches…

      2. @adrianmorse If it was a quote, I’d’ve used quote marks.

    8. Re COTD: Surely even those not in favor of DRS can’t have been displeased with it at Melbourne? I didn’t see anybody breezing past another car under DRS, with only a few successful passes happening into T3 (and I don’t recall any shown into T1) and those passes that did happen were tightly contested. Plus, sectors 2 and especially 3 seemed to get the majority of head to head action.

      1. I also think that it was pretty well balanced this time @darak, although even last year it was not all that powerful at this track either.

      2. yes it worked pretty well yesterday. Id say keep the one on the home straight, to get cars close to each other for run to turn 2(without DRS).

      3. It’s worse in other places, certainly, but it’s still infuriating to see this system, which we were told was transitional as the FIA explored ground effects and other aerodynamic options, entering its third year with no sign of disappearing.

        With the new engine formula, 2014 would be a great opportunity to shake up the aero rules as well. But ground effects have been shelved and it looks like DRS is here to stay. Sadly for those of us who like to see driver skill deployed in attacking and defending positions.

    9. Re COTD, rightly states that the tyres (and the temperature) were the same for everyone.

      So its a bit typical of RBR to see Horner mentioning how the tyres (and the cool weather) held them back, instead of saying that their car failed to work optimal on them, and the team did not make the best choices. In hindsight, Vettel should have backed out of that last lap completely to save the tyres. And maybe a slightly different setup could have helped them. But to state its tyres that ruined it for them would be like Sutil stating that the tyres cost him a podium.
      Instead he shows maturity by standing by their strategy that helped him into the spotlight and helped him get a solid points haul.

      1. To be fair, he did mention that the car was a bit hard on the tyres in the article and that they were out of the window in these conditions.
        It’s also the case this time that 21 cars appeared to have tyre problems, and the other guy won. So I don’t think his comments (this time) are so exceptionally outrageous.

        The wording of the headline yet again is quite harsh, as Horner never said the Red Bull couldn’t win, because the tyres were bad.

        1. Sure enough the headline of the article makes a bit more of it than what Horner mentioned, but I would say that Ferrari also did a good job of making their tyres work, be it not as good at Lotus.
          But I see it as a bit of a learning experience for everyone, as it was the first race with the new tyres. I expect everyone to learn from it for next races.

          1. Ferrari certainly was better, but they as well were nowhere near Kimi. When Räikkönen is able to drive the fastest lap in the second to last go-around, he probably had much, MUCH more reserves, while I could imagine Alonso was trying to go for it, and stay with the Lotus. While this is just speculation on my part, at least look at the end of the first stint.
            When Kimi caught Alonso by the rate of a second a lap on supersofts, it was quite obvious that it’s not only Red Bull we struggled to make the tyres work in comparison.

            I mentioned in another post. I can not wait to see how the teams perform in the next race. I hope it wasn’t just an accidentally good setup on the Lotus.

      2. Surprised that Horner did not blame Renault, as Red Bull usually do when they struggle.

        1. but as Lotus use Renault engines as well, that would read very strangely.

        2. Surprised that Horner did not blame Renault, as Red Bull usually do when they struggle.

          Like when the alternator manufactured by Renault fails?

          1. Like when the alternator manufactured by Renault fails?

            The alternator is supplied by Renault, but not made by Renault @tdog.

            Manufacturer of these alternators is Magnetti Marelli who also supply Ferrari in F1.

            1. Naturally they supply Ferrari, since MM is owned by Fiat ;)

        3. @red-andy Blamed McLaren instead (for Webber, who usually starts so well…)

    10. David not Coulthard (@)
      18th March 2013, 9:43

      Those who visited the podium on Sunday wore glasses here.

      It would be wonderful if Webber, Massa, and Bianchi get to wear them this week, for the sake of the podium :)

    11. Has anybody wondered how the hell team Lotus with half (if it isn’t 1/3) the resources of Ferrari and Red Bull and maybe Mercedes is able to challenge them in both constructors (theoretically it is possible if they have another top driver but practically with Grosjean it’s difficult to challenge Ferrari & Red Bull) and drivers championship.
      I know that you will say that they have some clever people like James Allison but so does the bulls(Adrian is arguably one the best designers of all time) and Ferrari , another thing that Lotus upgraded their wind tunnel last year and they have a new simulator(which Kimi doesn’t like!!) for this year, that means they are still behind the Bulls in terms of infrastructure, and i’m not talking only about this year but last year also Lotus had the fastest car in race in the first half of the season.
      Is it something that isn’t going right in the system or what ??????

      1. It’s only the first race, which means the money is not yet an issue. Let’s talk about that very same problem at race 17, 18 or 19, when there have been months after months of development. This is where the money goes into mostly. And this is where the infrastructure has it’s impact. That’s how both Red Bull and Ferrari improved their cars so much during the course of the season.

        It’s a stupid phrase, but it fits. You can’t ‘buy’ success. You can make it more likely to come by, but in the end, somebody with a brilliant idea (Double diffusor for instance) can make you look pretty stupid.

        1. let’s talk about that very same problem at race 17, 18 or 19

          I know that but last year they won the Abu Dhabi GP,it is true that it was due to exterior factors (Hamilton retirement,Vettel penaly) but they had a car that was capable of podium at the end of last season

          1. I think they improved, but I wouldn’t say they were able to reach the podium on their own in late 2012. McLaren had the fastest car and Red Bull as well as Ferrari were close behind. Kimi was usually best of the rest (6th in US and 10 in Brazil) and consistent, which helped him finishing third. It was a matter of Kimi being brilliant, and not so much the Lotus.

    12. Can anyone please answer me this, do Kimi’s last two wins get added to the tally of the original Lotus team?

      1. I’m asking cause some sites have it seperate, but others like even here with Kieth’s graphs of the teams, it’s Team Lotus, Lotus (Then Caterham), and this now Lotus as one.

        So confusing…

        1. OK, thanks for the reply.

          On the official F1 site however, they have this present Lotus team as part of Enstone, which includes Renualt’s two WDC, but not Benetton’s, eventhough their listed together.

          And it clashes as Renault seperately are calso redited with those 2 WDC on their own?

          Whilst on Wiki it has them a seperate identity. So this Lotus team has only 21 races and 2 wins.

          It feels like FIA needs to clear this matter so all results are consistent.

          1. @ivano The FIA’s season entry lists do make it clear, and that’s why I use them. The current Lotus are entered under the constructor name Lotus just as Tony Fernandes’ team was from 2010 to 2011 and just as the original Lotus was before that.

            I’m not saying I agree that the two recent Lotuses should have been allowed to call themselves Lotus (more on that here), but I think it’s quite clear they were allowed to do so.

            1. Fair enough. Still wish FIA either recognizes the Lotus name as a single entity and add these two last wins to it, or keeps them completely seperate, like Benetton Renault, Renualt, Team Lotus and this Lotus as individual teams.

              To be honest though, I’m probably in the minority that wishes the Enstone team would then drop the Lotus tag, and just call themselves like Enstone Racing…

        2. When a female athletes changes her name after a marriage, we have no problem giving her credit for her older achievements. I think that F1 fans (smarter than the average bear, ehm, fan) would have no trouble handling dynasties in F1 either. Even Shakespeare thinks we should do it that way (“Rose by any other name…”).
          While I acknowledge that you have your reasons for not doing it, I think that lumping results together by name is even worse. The clean solution (which is what I do) is to recognise several different entities going by the name Lotus, ditto for Mercedes etc. That way there is no confusion at all and statistics is meaningful.

          1. @ph I was not patronising the intelligence of F1 fans as you suggest.

            But as I mentioned in the comment I linked to I’d be interested to hear how you’d apply your approach to dynasties such as Toleman/Benetton/Renault/Lotus and (Tyrrell?)/BAR/Honda/Brawn/Mercedes and their related former factory teams (Renault 1977-85, Honda 1964-68 and Mercedes 1954-55).

            1. I was not trying to suggest patronizing on your side, I appologize if it sounded that way. Rather, I was obliquely (and tongue-in-cheek) referring to oft repeated observations that to appreciate F1, one should have a reasonably good knowledge of quite a few things.
              Anyway, as I said, I respect your position on dynasties, that is why I suggested another approach, to treat the current Lotus as “Lotus 2012-?”, a distinct entity from “Lotus 2010-2011” and “Lotus” (the genuine “real Lotus” for us older fans). In this way the statistics actually make sense and if somebody wants to add them, they are free to do so, all the data is there.

    13. Does Kimi have a twitter?

      1. Just found out. https://twitter.com/Kimi_Raikkonen

        And guess what only 31 tweets, last one was more than a year back.

      2. @aish No, Kimi Raikkonen is not on Twitter.

        That account is fake, as was pointed out here over a year ago.

    14. I’m pretty sure that if RB can make their set-up less harsh on the tyre they will lose performance, their hope must be not to lose as much performance as Lotus and Ferrari seem to lose by setting the car to hurt the tyres as little as they can, well let’s hope everyone can find a reasonably good ground between performance and race pace, if not some guys may need to give up or build a new car entirely suited properly to reality.

      1. This is quite an important thing to remember for next race.
        Kimi was 1.3 seconds slower in Q3 than Vettel. Alonso a whole second. In the race Kimi was almost untouchable on the long run, and Alonso was also quicker than Vettel.
        I wonder how much all of that was due to the setups!! Will be interesting how Malaysia turns out.

      2. They seem to be convinced that at the optimum temperature – a temperature many degrees higher than that which existed in Melbourne – the tyres will show less degradation and they won’t need to alter their setup. They may be wrong in that of course, but I believe they are not planning any setup changes for the next race where the temps will be in the low to mid 30’s Celsius.

    15. For sure we don’t have the same budget as Ferrari or Red Bull or Mercedes

      I’ve never been able to find any budget figures for F1 teams. Does such data even exist?

    16. Thanks! Keith.

    17. … and the only thing missing is Heikki Kovalainen. He still could replace Grosjean !

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