@KimiFanPage Raikkonen: “I interpret racing and life in my own way. I think it’s what my fans like.”
What do you expect from Monza 2013?
I will try to do better than the last year, and we’re improving a little. Last year we had a few problems, but we always tried to improve our weakest points. Our aim is, obviously, to keep fighting for winning races and the championship, but we understand we’re not as competitive as some other teams, and we have to be realistic. It’s frustrating for me and the team not being able to do better, not being able to win more races, but in general I don’t think we’re doing too bad, so all we can do is to keep concentrating on improving. We know we’re not the strongest on the track where aerodynamics don’t matter much, but we expect to be lower on the track to understand how we’re doing. I think it will be easier and we will be more competitive here than the last season.
What conditions you want the least for this race?
Probably the area where we are suffering the most is humid conditions, we don’t achieve the spead we want because of the lack of grip or aerodynamic pressure or anything like that. But I think our car doesn’t have any detected precise problems in any specific field, so all we have to do is to improve everything bit by bit to be faster.
Any particular strategy?
No, it all depends on how the free practices will go. I can only aim to be on the podium, and we’ll see what happens.
What do you think of the next year’s car? And is Lotus satisfied with it?
(Laughs) It will be a difficult challenge for everyone. There are so many new technologies that interest the factories, and that’s why so many of them eagerly want to be in F1. I guess they will have to develop these technologies, and we will have to integrate them in the new car. After seven years without drastic changes in the technical rules we are at a turning point, and one of the most critical aspects is that the motorists have to balance the financial resources between this year and 2014. I believe that the new rules will be interesting and it’s a positive change for the factories and the sport. It’s a pity that it’s so pricy and we have to face consequences.
What do you think of the next year? Who will be the favorites?
It’s difficult to say. Because of the rules change it’s impossible to predict who will be fact and who won’t. Of course it will be much easier to make a great car or to fail it completely. There will be more difference between some teams that are currently on the same level.
How much the motivation matters for an F1 driver? There are many talks about a driver in the battle for this year’s championship (Alonso) thinking of abandoning F1 for a pause. When you took a break from F1 in 2009, was it an issue of motivation?
My break in 2009 wasn’t caused by lack of motivation. I never said that, it was a thing that was attributed to me but it wasn’t like that. So many things happened, and I just stopped being happy from other stuff. I’ve never stopped having fun and I never lost the passion for racing. Sadly, in Formula 1 there are so many aspects that don’t have anything to do with racing, and I stopped doing that. And I am happy. Speaking of other drivers you have to ask them about it all.
What did you feel in 2007 after winning the championship?
Obviously I was happy. It was an aim I always dreamt of achieving, and in the last laps of the last race, when I understood that everything was going like it had to, I continued to keep pushing. I was so happy and everyone was so happy, I don’t really know how to express the feelings I had at that time.
Are you as hungry for winning as back then?
Well, certainly things change. When you win a title the satisfaction doesn’t last long, and then you want to win another one, but the pressure is lower, you don’t feel obligated to do it. You work hard to win once again, the determination is the same, but you know that if you don’t achieve it it won’t be the thing that will follow you all your life. That’s why I enjoy everything maybe even more. It’s not so easy to do it at this level, but it’s psychologically easier.
You’re back in F1 and it created a new wave of adoration from your fans. Maybe even more than when you were in Ferrari. What do you think of that?
It’s wonderful to have fans… certainly better to have them than not to have them. I am always on the track to try to win a race, to do the best I can, and I think it’s what my fans like. Of course, it’s natural to have more fans when you’re doing okay, but I interpret racing and life in my own way, and I think my fans like this aspect of mine. I don’t try to please everyone, I am not here to make myself loved by the public, but it’s awesome to have so many fans that support me.