GP Germania, commenti giovedì–04/07/2013
Kimi Raikkonen sure changes to Pirelli’s F1 tyres won’t hurt Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen says he has no concerns that Pirelli’s new Formula 1 tyres will hurt his Lotus team’s form from the German Grand Prix.
Pirelli is introducing revised tyres featuring a Kevlar belt in order to avoid the problems seen in the British Grand Prix last weekend.
Lotus was among the teams that lobbied against tyre changes for the Canadian GP as it felt the move could hurt its form.
Raikkonen feels there is no reason to worry, as he says the tyres he tested in Canada felt fine.
"They have to do some changes and that is what has been decided," said Raikkonen in Germany. "If they are similar tyres to those we tried in Canada it actually felt better.
"So, I don’t know if it is going to be the same but I have no concerns.
"I think we had one run, but it was OK."
Team-mate Romain Grosjean welcomed the move on safety grounds after his scare at Silverstone, where Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso suffered a blow-out right in front of him.
"I am pretty pleased about how we changed things from Silverstone, when the safety issue was needed," he said.
"It was a little bit too much. When we were behind the Toro Rosso on Hangar Straight and we had the tyre blowing in front of us, it was a bit scary if you imagine at 300 km/h you can have a massive piece of rubber flying to your head."
Raikkonen unfazed by Red Bull interest
Kimi Raikkonen says interest from Red Bull will not affect his chances in the world championship battle.
With Sebastian Vettel failing to finish at Silverstone, fifth place saw Raikkonen close the gap to the top of the standings to 34 points. However, more interest has surrounded Raikkonen’s chances of moving to Red Bull since Mark Webber announced he would leave the team, but having already fielded questions about his future Raikkonen said he won’t be affected by the extra media interest.
"It’s been like that for ten years so it’s not going to change now!" Raikkonen said. "I do my things and you guys do your stuff but I’ve never had to worry about those things. I’ve got good people to look after me and they always make good choices for me, so I’ve got no doubt that they will do so again."
Having lost out on a podium finish at Silverstone by not pitting under the final safety car, Raikkonen is aware that his championship hopes mean Lotus needs to raise its game.
"We cannot make the mistakes that we made in the last race. Obviously we could have scored much more points and we need to put two cars in the points to change the situation. It’s easy to say but it’s not easy to do."
With Mercedes showing itself to be a threat to Red Bull in recent races, Raikkonen said it would help him if it kept taking points off Vettel but that he’s wary of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton passing him in the championship.
"Sometimes [it will help] yes, but at a certain point [Rosberg and Hamilton] will overtake us and it’s not going to help us then. So we have to improve and try to get more strong results ourselves."