Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Shanghai, 2013

Raikkonen: Lotus must work harder to catch Red Bull

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Shanghai, 2013Kimi Raikkonen says Lotus must work twice as hard as Red Bull to catch them in the championship.

Raikkonen is second to Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ championship by ten points and Red bull lead Lotus by 16 points in the constructors’ championship.

“It’s going to be hard to catch Sebastian if he keeps taking good results,” said Raikkonen. “So we need to start taking more points from him, but you never know what can happen.”

Raikkonen said “more wins” were needed to close the gap. “To catch the leaders, we have to work twice as hard as they are,” he said.

“It?s no secret that we want more speed from the car in qualifying; it?s so tight up there at the front and we really need to be on the first two rows to fight for victories every time.

“It?s good to be able to start the European season where we are as this is when you see teams starting to push on with lots of new parts for the cars.”

Lotus’s updates for the E21 at the fifth round of the championship will include revised front wing endplates, rear brake drum aerodynamics and upper rear wing element as well as changes to the diffuser.

“We need to keep scoring points in the same way – even if it?s a bad weekend for us, we need to keep finishing as well as we can,” Raikkonen added. “That’s how we will fight to the end of the season.”

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Keith Collantine
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57 comments on “Raikkonen: Lotus must work harder to catch Red Bull”

  1. From Kimi’s words you can sense that he is really fired up and determined to fight for victories and championship. With Kimi’s consistency he can keep in the fight for championship until the last race. Especially guven, that Vettel does not do so well in European races. Last year all his victories came outised Europe, so if he keeps similar trend, rivals will catch him.

    1. @osvaldas31

      Last year all his victories came outised Europe, so if he keeps similar trend, rivals will catch him.

      But keeping with trends, Vettel will then spend the last 3rd of the season hauling back the points defecit and just enough to win the championship anyway. : )

    3rd May 2013, 15:37

    The only chance for Kimi to catch Seb is for the Lotus to continue to get better than expected results and for the RedBull to start having the unpredicted mechanical failure.

    1. too bad Redbull changed their alternator supplier from magneti (italian) to Tag.

      1. Did they actually change supplier? I thought magneti marelli updated their alternator to stop those malfunctions.

        1. haha, you wish.

          It seems magneti ‘s alternator couldn’t keep up with newey ‘s EBD effect.

    2. That’s not the only chance Kimi has, don’t forget he has “the lap one nutcase” on his side!!

    3. I think that’s grossly inaccurate: the Lotus may have a small deficit in qualifying but Kimi hasn’t exactly flattered it expect in China.

      In Bahrain, the average qualifying improvent from Q2 to Q3 (excluding Räikkönen) was 0.292s. If Räikkönen had mirrored that improvement instead of going 0.181s slower, he would’ve started (even factoring out Hamilton and Webber’s penalties) he would’ve started 5th, with penalties applied 4th.

      Then we get to the races, and Räikkönen has managed one stop fewer than Vettel on three occasions, which speaks for itself really in terms of tyre preservation and hence race pace. Which is why he has finished second twice (I reckon had he qualified better in Bahrain and made a better start in China he could’ve possibly challenged for wins there) and won.

      So really, Lotus don’t have to catch Red Bull on pace, they just need to have a more consistent second driver (with the same upgrades as his teammate) and a better qualifying performance from their lead driver!

      1. Yeah, cause starting 5th is a great result which doesn’t need improving on *rolls eyes*

        He admitted he made a small mistake. Big deal. Point remains, the car does not have the pace to go for pole and thus he needs to be lucky with an alternative strategy to make some gains.

        1. @patrickl naturally you always want to improve, but bear in mind that he started second the previous week whereas Vettel didn’t feel the Red Bull was quick enough to bother setting a lap in Q3: things can change quickly, particularly when the grid’s this close.

          The Ferrari also isn’t quick enough for pole, yet it and the Lotus have superior race pace to I’d say even the Red Bull’s on balance. So Lotus hardly have to work “twice as hard”, unless working twice as hard is necessary to keep pace with Red Bull’s development with their resource.

          Back to the point though, I think Mercedes have shown pretty conclusively that this season qualifying speed really isn’t all that important: race speed is far more important.

          1. Conclusive?? By you??

            If Lewis qualified on pole in Bahrain, judging by his race pace, he could’ve finished on podium albeit the penalty will push him down to 6th grid.

            There you go, the importance of qualification speed.

          2. He had better race pace than Vettel in Australia and China for sure, and I highly doubt had he qualified well enough Hamilton would’ve come close to challenging him for second even if he started where he should’ve penalties removed.

            I’m not saying they shouldn’t try and improve the car as Red Bull will be hard at work doing just that also, but he’s making it out to be the Lotus is much slower which I don’t believe is the case.

          3. They certainly do, in Bahrain at least.

            James Allison said in Skysport F1, even if they managed qualified well, Sebastien would still win that race. He got so much pace in hand in which Rocky had to kept on reminding him to calm down and drive into the target lap time.

          4. That’s the key thing there, “in Bahrain at least”. I agree with you I don’t think anybody was going to beat Vettel there, but Räikkönen beat Vettel in Australia and China by a fair margin.

            So really, it’s two all in the pace stakes; that to me says that Lotus only need to keep pace with Red Bull if Räikkönen is as good as Vettel. If that is the case, Räikkönen could just be hinting at the fact Red Bull have superior resources and a much better development record than Lotus…

          5. Haha, last year ‘s lesson when the team owner almost sold the team got him thinking.

            Kimi said, “we have to work twice as hard”, sounds fairly reasonable to me. Vet will always start on front row, qualifying improvement is definitely on the list. And more downforce with less softer suspension will help that.

      2. FYI, Romain got new front wing and new bits in China while Kimi had to wait until Bahrain.

        James Allison said their rear wing couldn’t generate enough downforce to be competitive on wet condition, qualified 7th in melbourne and Malaysia were basically the maximum considering the Big 3 were just in front.

        In china, the team ask kimi change the clutch setting and costed him the start. They apologize at the end of the race.

        Kimi only made 2 stopper in melbourne and Bahrain. In Bahrain, Sebastien was hitting 1.40 mark on his first stint when kimi was hitting 1.43. On Seb ‘s 2nd stint, he started hitting 1.39 and decided to cruise around. James Allison said in The F1 Show that Vettel could easily finished the race with 2 stoppers. Superior race pace??? How so?? Alonso with DRS failure only lap 8tenths slower than vettel. Still, Vettel already pulled out more than 2 seconds gap to him on the opening laps.

        Kimi is right to push his team further. Albeit he admits his quali lap wasn’t perfect in Bahrain, however judging by Vettel’s race pace, it’s not like he could cacth him despite stopping less.

        1. “Alonso with DRS failure only lap 8tenths slower than vettel.”

          “only”? You do realize Vettel, being in front, had no DRS either?

          1. “only”? You do realize Vettel, being in front, had no DRS either?

            DRS failure = loss of downforce

            What has it got to do with Vettel upfront despite no usage of DRS?? Its not like you can use DRS all the time during the race unlike the qualifying.


          2. I did find that mightily impressive but if we actually look at it logically, with those fuel loads and the fact they would’ve been being slightly conservative with the tyres would it actually make that much difference? Obviously it slows you down, but he still had the rest of the downforce and was quicker in a straight line.

  3. we have to work twice as hard as they are,

    The headline was misleading in so many ways.

    1. “To catch the leaders, we have to work twice as hard as they are.” Raikkonen is a member of the Lotus team and the only team leading them is Red Bull. The headline is accurate.

      1. ok then, roger that.

      2. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
        5th May 2013, 16:16

        Is not accurate at all. Why didn’t you quote exacly? You put that headline to underline that Raikkonen is blaming the team, which is not. Big diff from saying “Lotus have to…” and “We have to..”. Let the others to make the math. You have to quote exacly.

        1. @sorin

          You put that headline to underline that Raikkonen is blaming the team

          No I didn’t, that’s just how you’ve chosen to interpret it.

  4. Is there a feud going on between Kimi and James Allison? Whereas Kimi keeps complaining about lack of speed, James always says things along the lines of “the car has plenty of speed” or “we don’t need to improve the car very much to keep us in the title hunt”, as he told in a recent Sky interview. Clearly, there is a dichotomy here.

    1. Team aim to finish 3rd in WCC.

      Kimi aims to finished 1st in WDC.

    2. James Allison said similar stuff last year, however his precious DRD proved to be failure. And compromised the development on the car after Hungary.

    3. James Allison said similar stuff last year, however his precious DRD proved to be failure. And compromised the development on the car after Hungary.

  5. Does this mean Kimi will lead by example and do the Thursday track walk at every track??

    1. His teammate did more simulator run back in factory when he did none.

      His teammate also did many track walk in which he did none.

      And the results suggest kimi that none of these tricks could improve your on track performance. All is good. A short nap before the race sessions will continue as usual.

      1. So just beating your team mate makes you world champ? Thats di Resta logic.

        1. Nope. If you can learn the track in 3 laps, simulator is basically useless. More useful for the team to pre – setup the car with than improving your driving. Reason why simulator drivers remain as simulator drivers instead of F1 drivers.

          Track walk is the same, unless its new track, there’s little point doing it.

          1. For the sake of a few hundred jobs, please don’t ever run an F1 team.

          2. I’d join Manished’s team over Spinmastermic’s any day.

          3. @scratt I wouldn’t: they seem to be the slacker type…

            Hard work and total dedication wins you championships, just look at Red Bull.

          4. The fastest car wins you championships. Period.

          5. The fastest car wins you championships.

            Actually I will qualify that a little…
            Probably the fastest most consistent river in F1 right now (and for quite some time) is Alonso. And yet he has not won a championship since Renault.

            And whilst Seb has certainly improved in the last couple of years, his first championship (at least) he won because they had an extremely dominant car. Any number of other drivers were faster and more dedicated to the championship that year.

            Kimi was a championship contender and probably one of the fastest drivers out there during his time at Mclaren. But he didn´t win a single championship. And many (not all) would argue that he deserved at least one, perhaps two, during that time.

            Mansell, whilst a legend in himself on the race track, was never of the supreme calibre of someone like Senna, and his championship came from a year when his car was simply light years ahead of anything else out there.

            This year, leading into next, will be when we see if Red Bull really have what it takes to keep their amazing roll going.. But no matter how much hard work and dedication any of these teams put in, if you have a driver of the quality of Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Kimi etc. etc. it all comes down to who has the best (fastest) car.

            “Fastest” car can be qualified in a number of ways. How hard it is on tyres. How well its race pace compares to qualifying pace. And so on..

            This year we have fast RedBulls, but not as fast as previous years, and a reasonable Ferrari, and a Lotus which is pretty quick but supremely good on tyres.

            And this year we are seeing Vettel, Alonso and Kimi basically fight it out over the margins between their cars.

            Alonso works the hardest overall of the three drivers I think. Vettel is somewhere in between. And Kimi, well he´s Kimi.

            But each of those drivers, with their different approaches, some working “harder” than others are the main championship contenders this year.

            *Everyone* in F1 works “hard” by definition. Not every one, or every team, is competent though. And not every one or every team works the same way.

            Bottom line.. If you have a top tier driver the championship comes down to the car and the team and the drivers. Not how many times they driver a simulator, or walk the track, or how many of how few ice creams they eat when a race is delayed…

  6. He’s been massively impressive and consistent in the last 2 years, and with James Allison by his side, shouldn’t be a problem to be competitive all year long. Qualifying needs to be sorted though, needs to be up there like in China. The team can’t expect him to be on the podium every single race from 8-10th on the grid, especially in places like Monaco.

  7. What I read from this is that Kimi needs a better car than Sebastian to catch him in the championship…

    1. This^^
      Kimi is a good driver but he was best in McLaren, 2003 and 05 just wow he was like Ham 07 level. 2007, 08 and 09 although x1wchamp in those years he was not great. I do not think he is the driver of years ago, he is extremely fortunate with tyre wear I mean they can do 1 less stop and on some tracks be just as quick as teams on fresh tyres lol which in Pirreli era is unheard of. If Grosjean was not so silly last year to the point where his confidence was gone, Kimi would not be thought of as highly imo, because Gro was well on his pace and was good in Qually against Kimi. The top 3 on the grid does not include Kimi im afraid. Kimi of 2003 and 2005 then yes id say he would be in that top tier. Top 3 are Vet Alo Ham, the reason I hope a few agree is can you imagine Hamilton in that car which is easy on tyres lol it would be like the bridgestone era and Ham would dominate imo, a man can only dream lol.

      1. Fantasy F1 much?

      2. Hahahhaah, i ended up laughing on your comment.

        Kimi is famous on not stressing his tyres much. E21 ‘s characteristic just enhanced the feature. Last year in Hungary, Kimi managed to set fastest lap time consecutively on worn out soft compound while the rest on fresh tyre couldn’t.

        That’s his strength. Lewis will not achieved what kimi have with E21. He will ended up lIke grosjean, stress the tyre too much and couldn;t do 1 stop less.

      3. And people been exaggerating on Lotus ‘s tyre advantage. They could do longer stint yes, not going flat out all the time, tyre will still gone. Look at Romain, James Allison claimed he was too rough on rear tyres.

        Only Kimi could do that by driving consistent lap time, in other means, drive into the specific delta.

      4. Kimi was driving 2002 chassis in 2003, Mclaren failed to provide him the new car, he ended up challenge michael for the title.

        Kimi in 2005 was crazily fast. He often qualified on pole with much heavier fuel load.

        Kimi in 2007 could’ve got 4 more poles in china, silverstone, france and brazil. however, he qualified with heavier fuel load again.

        Lewis Hamilton had never gone into that level. Like never ROFL. Look at how many track records that Lewis hold currently, a big fat zero.

        1. Lewis Hamilton had never gone into that level. Like never ROFL. Look at how many track records that Lewis hold currently, a big fat zero.

          Most track records were from 2004/2005 when the cars were at their fastest and refueling was allowed, so cars could at various points run with fresh tyres and low fuel during a race, as opposed to worn tyres + light fuel near the end of a race nowadays.

          Though I don’t believe LH holds any lap records from the tracks recently added.

    2. Isn’t that every drivers’ dream??

  8. Vettel would have won if he had the Lotus in Bahrain. He would have qualified the Lotus top three and pulled away for a win.

    1. Err, nope.

      Lotus compromised too much on aero side to compensate the mechanical side to run softer suspension. Hence the gentleness on tyres.

      That showed the sign of lacking downforce. You are dreaming if you think Lotus could ended up on top 3 in bahrain.

      1. Top 5 absolutely though without question, which with that race pace may have been enough to mount a challenge for the win (although it’s not a certainty).

    2. Lotus is just obviously not such a good qualifying car. Lotus has secured two front row starts in 2 years, and both Allison and Boullier have clearly stated that they lack pace in qualifying. Lotus is like Mercedes only in reverse. The advantage for Lotus is that you actually score points in the races not in qualifying, and Kimi is able to overcome their qualifying deficiencies in the races.

      Lotus simply was not as fast as Red Bull in Bahrain, but Kimi still got the best results he could with the car. It could have ended worst, take Vettel in China for example he start 9th and he wasn’t able to make the podium.

      1. Getting to 4th with what was a poor strategy was a great performance by Vettel. He had at best the third fastest car in China.

        Kimi had the optimal strategy for his car in Bahrain, but failed miserably in qualifying. Kimi is not a noted qualifier like Vettel though so you have to cut him some slack. He should have been at least 4th though. Even Boulier acknowledged publicly that the Lotus drivers had failed in getting what they should have got out of car in qualifying.

        1. 3rd fastest car??? the rbr managed to make soft tyre last more than 5 laps and cutting the gap upfront by 3-4 sec per laps.

          Yea right, 3rd fastest car.

          Err nope, Eric BOullier said they face balance issues on medium compound. Kimi had to push very hard in Q2 to get 1.31.+++. For a guy that qualified 2nd when merc, ferrari and rbr were much faster in 1 lap, prove how great a qualifier Kimi can be.

          1. Vettel is great on tyres. We know that given how quick he figured them out in 2011.

            He was able to make the softs last longer because he ran them in the LAST 5 laps with a near empty tank of fuel, rather than in the FIRST 5 laps like the other top runners did (with enough fuel onboard to last 90 minutes).

            LOL you’re comparing apples and oranges there.

            Kimi should be up on the front row all the time given he has a championship winning car. It’s up to Kimi to deliver. He’s been inconsistent all his career, and that’s why he has one championship, Vettel has 3 and Schumacher 7.

        2. and how is Kimi getting great strategy btw??? the team left him out on 1st stint too long. They underestimate how far kimi could go on hard compound.

          Kimi was complaining why they pitted him so early when he feels great with the tyre.

          Without kimi, such strategies would not have work.

          1. It was the optimal strategy for the Lotus. Kimi made a mis-judgment in not getting what he should have out of the tyre.

            Whether or not there’s life still in the tyre isn’t relevant to the optimal strategy. An old tyre with life is slower than fresh tyres.

    3. Vettel would have won if he had the Lotus in Bahrain

      Yeah Right.. and Chilton would have lapped the entire field in an RB8

      1. Well, both Lotuses were on the podium, and 2nd was only about 10s off the win in the end, though of course Vettel wasn’t pushing towards the end in the RB9.

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