Jan.5 (Lotus) Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed his return to a Formula 1 cockpit when he visited Enstone for his first Lotus seat fitting on Wednesday here is a Q&A with him on the day.
Today marked the first time you have been back in the cockpit of a Formula 1 car since 2009. How did it feel?
Kimi Raikkonen: The last time I was at Enstone I quickly jumped into a seat, but this is indeed the first time I have properly sat in an F1 car with a helmet on since the last race of 2009. It felt a bit odd at first because the cockpit seems a bit small, but that’s normal. It’s just like in the past when I have done seat fittings – it feels a bit strange when you first step into the car but you quickly adjust. It will be nice to get back to racing.
How important is the seat fitting?
Raikkonen: It is one of the most important jobs. You spend so much time sitting in the car so the position is really crucial, it needs to be 100% right. I’d rather spend a lot of time getting it right at this time of the year because there are many races in the season and you sit behind the wheel a lot. Getting it right the first time is imperative.
Were you surprised by all the interest your comeback has generated these past few weeks?
Raikkonen: There has been quite a bit of noise in the press about my comeback and there have been a lot of rumours. For me, coming back to Formula 1 is a good thing and I hope it will be for the team and the fans also! I love this time of the year at the factory. There’s a real buzz surrounding the new car, every single department is working flat out in order to have everything ready on time. You can really feel people’s dedication and it’s nice to be a part of it.
There have been a lot of comments about your comeback… sometimes really positive and other times a bit more negative…
Raikkonen: It has no effect on me – sometimes you hear some nonsense and sometimes you hear nice things. The main thing is that coming back is what I wanted and I have a good opportunity with the team so I’m happy. I have never really looked at what people say or think. I do my own thing and as long as I’m happy with it then that’s the main thing for me.