Fittipaldi and Lauda impressed by Raikkonen return

Emerson Fittipaldi

Emerson Fittipaldi

Apr.2 (PVM / GMM) Double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi is impressed by how rapidly Kimi Raikkonen has re-adapted to F1, in light of the Finn scoring points in the first two races of the season.

Fittipaldi, world champion in 1972 and 1974, said, “I am surprised that it has taken no time for Kimi to be back at the top of his form. Michael Schumacher is on form this year too, but it took him two years to get back in the groove. Kimi was on it from the very first test.”

The 65 year old added, “There are good pairings all around, and Lotus is no exception. With Kimi racing so well and Romain [Grosjean] showing a lot of speed, the pair will keep each other honest and the results will come.”

Raikkonen finished seventh in Australia and fifth in Malaysia, although Grosjean qualified well he retired early in both races.

Fittipaldi’s advice to the Frenchman, who is also making a return to F1 after a two year break, is: “First you have to finish, then you can finish first.”

Meanwhile Niki Lauda, the plain-speaking triple world champion, praised F1’s 2007 title winner for driving “as though he had never been away” in the early phase of his return this season, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

Subbed by AJN.