Formula 1 News

Raikkonen looking to cut the gap

The finn arrives to Silverstone with good memories aiming to get back into the championship hunt.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 25th, 2013 (F1plus).- Lotus has had a couple of rough last two races, and its championship contender driver, Kimi Räikkönen did not scape that fate. First in Monaco, a late incident with Perez forced him almost out of the points and he could only salvage one unit, and then in Canada, the E20 simply had not the pace to challenge for a top finish (9th place).

However, now that Formula 1 comes back to its traditional roots in Europe, with tracks a bit friendlier to the E20 specifics, things might get better for the Finn, who aims to shorten the distance of 44 points that Sebastian Vettel -standings leader- holds over him.

Below, Kimi Räikkönen shared his views ahead of the British Grand Prix that will be held at Silverstone this weekend. F1plus decided to keep the content as it was published by Lotus F1 team in order to keep its original context.

Your championship potential has taken something of a hit in the last two races; is this a big concern?
Obviously, it’s not been that great and we haven’t got the results we wanted. The last couple of races have been more a question of surviving not attacking and that’s not what anyone wants. That said, Monaco and Montréal are both street circuits; they’re quite different from a lot of tracks we visit and there are quite a lot of variables. You never know how you’re going to go at those two tracks but we do now and at least we got a few points.

Does returning to a permanent race circuit bring any positivity?
Silverstone is a more normal circuit and we’ve been okay at every other permanent circuit so far this year. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be back to the positions we should be with this package. We just have to be patient, do our very best over the entire weekend and step by step we can start catching the leaders.

How challenging is Silverstone as a race track?
Silverstone is all about long sweeping high-speed corners and high downforce levels. It’s one of the fastest circuits on the calendar; it’s very challenging and the flowing corners are pretty good fun to drive. Hopefully our new parts will help us; particularly in the faster corners. If that’s the case, it could be a good weekend. 

Have you always liked Silverstone?
Yes, it’s always such a good feeling going to Silverstone. It’s a great place to race and it has been a good circuit for me since the very beginning of my career. I have a long history there. It was the real base for the start of my international racing career in Formula Renault in 1999 and 2000. Since then I've always enjoyed racing at Silverstone. I don’t know why; there must be this nostalgic feeling that I have every time we go there.

You won at Silverstone in 2007 and have been on the podium five times altogether; how does it feel when everything goes right there?When you win in Silverstone, it gives such a good feeling. You have to get everything exactly right. I won there in Formula Renault and then in Formula 1 with Ferrari in 2007. It would be fantastic to win again there, especially with the factory just down the road. I’m sure we would have some fantastic celebrations.

What about the British summer?
It’s always windy at Silverstone. Often it rains too, like we saw last year in qualifying. The track conditions change very quickly, which makes the car more tricky to set-up. Obviously when you are running at the front it’s best to have stable conditions, but I don't mind really. The weather is just a part of the fun of racing in England. I’ll enjoy the weekend whatever the weather will be. 

How’s the feeling from the team?
The team has worked 100% to have a really competitive car for the home race. Silverstone is the closest circuit to the factory so hopefully we can celebrate a good result with all of the factory personnel and their families who bring their support every year
 

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