After returning to the podium in Singapore with a superb drive through the field having nursed a back injury, Kimi Raikkonen is aiming to keep the momentum going as the Formula 1 circus heads to Korea for Round 14 of the World Championship.
How’s the back?
It’s better than it was on Saturday in Singapore which is when it didn’t feel too good. The important thing was that I was able to race and we did a pretty good job with the podium finish. It’s not the first time I’ve had a problem, as there have been some issues with my back for a long time. For sure, we will have to see how it is when I get out on track on Friday in Korea.
What are your hopes for Korea?
Let’s hope we are able to maintain the strong form from Sunday in Singapore. The car felt good for the whole race and it was a nice feeling racing too. The main focus is to keep this positive feeling and benefit from it in the next races.
What do you think of the Korea International Circuit?
Last year was my first visit there and it’s quite a tricky circuit to learn quickly, but I felt comfortable with it after a few laps. When the car is right, you can go well there. Last year we saw it’s a good place to race with a good car.
How satisfying was your return to the podium in Singapore after two difficult races?
You always want to get the best finish and the most points you can, so it was certainly better than Spa or Monza. I had pretty good speed and could overtake a few people, then at the end I was following Jenson [Button] and could see that his tyres were going off so I just applied some pressure. I knew I had to get past him because obviously some other people had changed to new tyres and they were catching us quickly. I managed to pass him and pull away and luckily nobody managed to catch me in the end. So it was not too bad; especially after a weekend where we had some problems with my back and not the ideal setup. To finish third with all those things and where we were on the grid, I don’t think we could have asked much more.
Your pass on Jenson looked pretty good, around the outside at Turn 14…
Maybe it looked more tricky than it was. Obviously you have more grip when you brake on the racing line and you know more or less where you have to brake; much more than you do on the inside. It wasn’t an easy one but we managed to get past and that’s the main thing.
Once again the E21 seemed to enable better tyre performance in the race that some of its rivals; how much does this help you?
It’s pretty normal that different cars and drivers use their tyres differently. We had a plan and we knew that if the safety car came out we would have to try to run until the end. Luckily some other teams couldn’t manage it and had to pit.
What’s your objective for Korea?
The main target is to have a better weekend overall compared to what we saw in Singapore. Obviously, we didn’t have the best qualifying and it makes things easier if you start in the top ten.
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