Raikkonen: You’re never happy until you win

2012 European Grand Prix - Sunday Valencia Street Circuit, Valencia, Spain 24th June 2012. World Copyright:Steven Tee/LAT Photographic ref: Digital Image _A8C2339

Kimi Raikkonen in parc ferme after finishing second in Valencia

Jun.25 (FIA) Kimi Raikkonen is not a man of many words, and after an impressive drive to take second place in the Grand Prix of Europe, the Iceman was visibly morose as it dawned on him that he missed another opportunity to score a victory in his comeback year with Lotus, this time at Valencia. He spoke to media in the post race press conference.

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 in the Press Conference. Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Race Day, Valencia, Spain, Sunday 24 June 2012.It’s a third podium position of the season for you. Was a victory possible for you or were the tyres just not there at the end?
Kimi Raikkonen: I think everybody had quite old tyres at that point. I just didn’t have enough tyres. I had enough tyres to get past Hamilton on I think it was the second-last or third-last lap. We didn’t really have the speed to challenge for the win. I think on the start already I got a good start but got blocked by Maldonado in the first right-hander and lost quite a few places because of that. I was a bit behind already at that point. We made a good recovery from that position. I had quite a hard fight with people and overtaking and then second place. It’s OK of course, but not what we wanted.

Quite a busy race for you too, what with battles with Maldonado and Hamilton.
KR: Yeah, I got a pretty good start but then in the first right-hander, the little kink, I got blocked by Maldonado so I had to back off. I lost quite a few places there, so at that point onwards it was a case of trying to catch up and try to get past people. I managed to pass some, but it was difficult to pass in the race. I got sight of Maldonado a few times but he pushed me wide. I tried and tried and then in the end I managed to get past some people and after the safety car I managed to get past people also. On the restart, I lost a place to Hamilton. I just got too much wheelspin out of the corner. It was quite a busy race actually. Then, when I was in the third place, a few cars retired and I thought I would try to save the tyres a bit and try to get Hamilton at some point. I saw him sliding a bit. So I think it was the second-last lap or something but I got him in the end. OK the result second after all things we went through in the race but of course you’re never happy until you win. And for the team, bad luck. It would have been much nicer to have both cars on the podium.

And your tyres. Were they shot at the end?
KR: Yeah, the rear tyres were pretty bad. Especially in the middle of the circuit. There were three or four corners that were really bad. The rest was not so bad. I think everybody had similar issues.

Is it realistic to believe that if you had overtaken Hamilton before that you could attack Alonso?
KR: I would have overtaken if I could. I was not waiting for the last or second last lap. I just didn’t have the speed. I just had to wait until he ran out of his tyres. Then I got the chance. I tried to get closer and closer but I was not fast enough earlier on, otherwise I would definitely have tried to overtake. But basically I let him past at the restart. After the bridge, I made a mistake and he got past me. It was my own mistake.

  • Kimi4WC

    Good race for Kimi. He certainly getting his share of wheel to wheel action as he wanted before his return. And it’s a pleasure to watch.

    But gap between teams so small it’s impossible to dominate, so if Lotus can put their car on first two rows consistently for the rest of the season, Kimi might have a chance at WC.

    If you not in front, leader will run away with victory as it happened quite a few times this season, while you trying to overtake slower cars.

    Lucky for all candidates, Vettel did not score, it will take time for him to get those 25 points back. It also shows, if you have one DNF you take a huge hit in standings, just look at Hamilton.

  • Butterfly

    Kimi doesn’t look quite as fit as he used to be.

  • Kimi4WC

    @Butterfly
    It’s actually his program and he is fit as ever. I’d imagine you referring to his extensive sweating it always looks like hes hot. (Hotman lol :D)

    This is same fitness schedule as likes of Zidane (pretty much whole French team). I noticed that many 30+ athletes using this “sweaty” program to keep in top shape.

    Any way if you notice, Kimi is one of few drivers who have his fitness/nutrition trainer everywhere with him.

  • dimitris

    Kimi had reached a flat part on his learning curve in Monaco and Canada, as happens to most of us who have to absorb many new things. He seems to have largely resolved his qualafying problems in Valencia and to better manage the tyres. I expect that he will be on top of his game for the second half of the season, as he did with Ferrari in 2007. Alonso said then that Kimi drove better than anybody in the second half and deserved the championship. There are a lot of races left, and he surely has a chance for the WC if Lotus remains competitive.

  • george

    Well done Kimi!!!!Race victory is surely coming soon

  • Jody Renza

    Kimi will win races soon…what I like about him is he is in the same mould as James Hunt..Alan Jones..real racers.

  • Kevin

    I figured Kimi for 4th to 8th all season, and that’s where he’s been finishing. In fact he now sits at exactly the same position in the WDC he was when he departed Ferrari (6th). His finishing this season so far looks exactly like that of 2009. He’s simply not as aggressive and as deeply involved and committed as some now in the field, like Vettel, Hamilton, and Alonso, who have grown up in skill and knowledge of these cars while Kimi was ignoring the sport and racing in the woods. Personally I believe F1 has evolved a great deal over the last few years, to the point where anything short of complete immersion and obsession won’t get you on the podium regularly, let alone a win. Vettel makes Kimi look like a gird girl when it comes to commitment and immersion in the sport. If Kimi wants the win, he’s going to have to do the deep dive and stop wishing it to be true, and equal the likes of Vettel, Hamilton, Weber, Button, Alonso, and even Grosjean in focus and depth. I don’t think he’s capable of it – the days of the show up and drive approach are just over.