Kimi Räikkö­nen

The 2007 world cham­pion is on less tac­i­turn form than usual as he ex­plains that life is good, de­spite de­moral­is­ing press re­ports and a bruis­ing year


This seems to have been a par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult sea­son for you so far. Why is that?

It has been a re­ally bad year for me, but that’s just how it goes some­times. We’ve had some bad luck, we’ve made some mis­takes, and we’re not as fast as we want to be as a team. We’ve got some points, but nowhere near as many as I want. And it’s been dif­fi­cult for me with the car – we know where the is­sues are for me but it’s not a small change [ F1 Rac­ing un­der­stands that Kimi is un­com­fort­able with the changes in brake feel re­sult­ing from the ac­tion of power re­cov­ery on the rear wheels]. Un­for­tu­nately it will take time, but hope­fully at some point this year we will nd some­thing that ts a lit­tle bit bet­ter for me. We’re mak­ing changes to try to im­prove things and I haven’t given up on the year; we’re try­ing a few dif­fer­ent things to get it right for next year, and then we’re go­ing to try again. It’s never much fun when you don’t get good re­sults.

There seems to have been quite a lot of crit­i­cism of you over the past few months. Do you feel that your po­si­tion at Fer­rari could be un­der threat next year, or do you feel con­fi­dent that you will be able to sort out all your prob­lems?

Like I said be­fore, I’m sure that we can x them. How fast? I hope we can do it quickly, but it de­pends on many things. I have a con­tract, so I’m not wor­ried about that for the fu­ture.

There were some re­ports in the Ger­man press that you could be leav­ing Fer­rari this year?

It’s not the rst time. You read th­ese things ev­ery year for dif­fer­ent rea­sons, say­ing that there’s no mo­ti­va­tion, or you’re go­ing to this team, or you’re go­ing to get red. They write what they want to write – there is a per­son be­hind the story, just a sin­gle per­son, and what­ever his idea is he’s the one writ­ing it. Well, I never read them and I don’t un­der­stand Ger­man any­way!

So, as far as you’re con­cerned, you’re not go­ing any­where?

No, I have a con­tract. I know I’ve had a con­tract in the past and then left Fer­rari – so I can­not make prom­ises. You never know what’s go­ing to hap­pen in the next half of the year, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll still be in a Fer­rari next year. Life can change very quickly.

We heard that when Fer­nando drove your car at the Barcelona test he got out and said it was un­driv­able. How dif­fi­cult is it to drive the car?

I think he also has is­sues but he can drive round them bet­ter. We’re not very far away and I’m try­ing dif­fer­ent things. If you try some­thing in qual­i­fy­ing and it doesn’t work then it prob­a­bly isn’t the right thing to do, but I’m try­ing to get some of the doubts out of the way. I will keep try­ing dif­fer­ent things. We don’t have much test­ing in For­mula 1, so you have to try stuff [at grand prix week­ends]. In the po­si­tion I am in now in the cham­pi­onship, it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter. Ob­vi­ously I want to get the max­i­mum points pos­si­ble for the team, but we have to nd so­lu­tions for the fu­ture as well. I’ve been in this po­si­tion be­fore when it’s been a bad year and this is just part of the game. Like I said, it’s not fun when you don’t do well but I’ve got through even worse times – life is good, apart from rac­ing!

What’s the feel­ing like with your en­gi­neers and the peo­ple de­sign­ing next year’s car? How much have they shifted fo­cus to 2015?

Ob­vi­ously they’ve started next year’s car al­ready – they started quite a long time ago and that’s the case for all of the teams. There are things we try to nd out at grand prix week­ends to gure out which is the best way to go for fu­ture de­vel­op­ment. If we could do test­ing all the time it would be ten times eas­ier, but now there’s a lot of time spent in the sim­u­la­tor and try­ing to solve is­sues at the cir­cuit. You have to trust your guys – the driv­ers have a big say in it – and I know there is go­ing to be quite a big change. But for sure we can im­prove some things this year… although not as many as we want.

What do you think you’ll do after For­mula 1?

I dunno. I’ve tried many things. I en­joyed ral­ly­ing be­cause it’s so dif­fi­cult, and very dif­fer­ent, and I’d like to do some more for fun like I did be­fore – and ob­vi­ously try to get bet­ter at it. Maybe some NASCAR. I didn’t know what it would be like but I re­ally en­joyed it, be­cause it’s com­pletely dif­fer­ent to ral­ly­ing and For­mula 1. I have no real plans. I’ll try to do as well as I can this year and next year [in F1] – if that’s the last, I don’t know. There may be some more years still. Hope­fully we can ght for the cham­pi­onship again next year.

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