GP Monaco, commenti post libere–23/05/2013
Kimi Räikkönen Pleased with Improvements on Day 1 in Monaco
How was your first day on track in Monaco?
I was much happier at the end of today than this morning. We were working on getting the steering right in the first session and it wasn’t great at the beginning, then we changed a few things on the car and it felt far better. We’ve still got a few other areas to improve, but it was feeling stronger with every run. To get pole we have to make the car a bit faster overall and I have to drive a bit better, then we’ll have to see what happens.
How does the car feel with the different tyres and configurations?
With the high fuel it didn’t feel too bad but for sure we can improve, and the same with low fuel too. It didn’t feel like a massive difference between the tyres to me, so maybe we didn’t get either one working as well as we should. It’s something we’ll be looking at before qualifying and the race. The main thing is the car feels pretty good and we’ve got a few ideas about how to make it better. I think if we get everything right we can still do something good.
How well can we fare in qualifying and what can be done in the race?
We haven’t had enough time to look at all the data yet to work out strategy possibilities for the race, but if you want to win here you probably need to qualify very near the front so we’ll see where we end up on Saturday.
Monaco GP: Kimi Raikkonen sure Lotus can match Mercedes
Kimi Raikkonen believes Lotus has the pace to match the single-lap speed of rival Mercedes in Monaco following the first two practice sessions on Thursday.
The Finn finished the morning session over 1.3 seconds off pacesetter Nico Rosberg, but reduced the gap considerably in the afternoon, finishing seven tenths behind the Mercedes driver.
Rosberg, who has started from pole in the last two grands prix, was the only man to lap in the 1m14s in the second session.
Raikkonen, however, sees no reason why Lotus cannot match Mercedes’ pace in qualifying, although the Finn is refusing to make predictions.
"I think yes, if we get all the things right," Raikkonen said when asked by AUTOSPORT if Mercedes’ lap time was within reach.
"We will see. Why not? We see what happens on Saturday.
"You would think they will be very fast. Today they were very fast, but things can change. We have to wait and see. I have no interest to start guessing what can happen on Saturday."
He added: "We have to see how it is in the morning. If it’s like this morning then it’s going to be a disaster. But we improved a lot and it’s getting better and better all the time.
The Lotus driver said starting from the two first rows of the grid will be crucial if he wants to have a shot at winning the race.
"If we want to win, probably yes," he said.