GP Germania, commenti post libere–05/07/2013
German GP: Raikkonen says Lotus stronger, but rules out pole
Kimi Raikkonen is optimistic that the Lotus will prove more suited to the Nurburgring than it was to Silverstone this weekend, but does not expect to be in the pole fight.
After a muted British Grand Prix, from which he still might have taken second had his strategy been different, Raikkonen was in the top five in both Friday sessions in Germany.
"It is more or less the same car as we had last week. I think part of it is for sure the circuit, it is a bit better [for Lotus]," said Raikkonen.
"It is a more high downforce circuit and probably suits us better than the low downforce, and also it is a long time since we used the soft tyres on a normal race circuit, which was at Shanghai. For some reason they seem to be a bit better for us."
He said a top-six spot is the most Lotus can expect for qualifying, but is more optimistic for the race.
"The front four cars will be very fast in qualifying, but the race is always a different story," Raikkonen said.
"I think the weather will get much hotter, so that should only help us.
"If we can put our cars in the top six tomorrow then that is a very good starting place, then we have to see where we end up in the race.
"We have to work on the cars a bit to get it a bit better – the long runs felt bad but the car wasn’t with the right set-up.
"I think you can expect more or less similar to what we have done in previous races, where we qualified and we were a bit better in the race."
German GP: Kimi Raikkonen would ignore any boycott over F1 tyres
Kimi Raikkonen says he has no intention of boycotting the German Grand Prix, despite the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association’s threat.
The Formula 1 drivers’ body, of which Raikkonen is not a member, met on Thursday and issued a statement saying drivers would withdraw from the race if there were similar tyre problems to those suffered in the British Grand Prix.
Raikkonen, who was one of the drivers who withdrew from the 2005 United States Grand Prix following the tyre drama, says he will race on Sunday regardless of what happens.
"I haven’t seen it, I heard," said Raikkonen of the GPDA statement. "I am sure it is not going to happen anyhow.
"I was once involved in 2005 and funnily enough there were some guys that didn’t stop and they drove, so for sure I will race whatever happens this time."
When asked if he had been invited to the GPDA meeting, the Lotus driver said: "Yes. But I am not part of it, sometimes I go – but I hear about it as quickly as you."
Raikkonen said he had no fears about the tyres, even before Pirelli introduced the revised ones for this weekend.
The Finn agreed with Pirelli that other teams were using the tyres wrong.
"I would race. The problems are not just because of the tyres – there can be a lot of influence in why it has happened.
"We haven’t had a single problem all year, so I have no feeling. [Motor racing] is dangerous anyhow, anything can happen.
"The reason why they exploded was that the teams were using them wrong. I am fine with it."
Kimi Räikkönen Insists He Will Race at the Nürburgring
How was your Friday at the Nürburgring?
We tried quite a few things today; some were good and some were not, so we have a good idea of what to do tomorrow. Our long run pace wasn’t as good as it could have been as we were running with a different set-up which would have taken too long to change back in the session, but we now know which setup works better so it’s not a worry.
What do you think about the latest tyres?
There’s no difference in the tyres when you drive with them; no difference at all. We’re not comparing them any more as we only have the latest specification here. When we did compare the older ones with these ones in Canada they were more or less the same so we didn’t expect any surprises.
There are new constraints to what the teams can do with regards to car setup concerning the tyres; is this a concern for you?
It limits the setup changes you can make, but luckily we’re constrained more or less to the range we were working to anyway so it’s shouldn’t harm us too much.
There’s been some talk of a possible driver boycott of the race if there are more issues like in Silverstone…
I will race whatever happens.
Your position on the timing monitors looked good today; what could be possible in qualifying tomorrow?
You never know. It wasn’t too bad today and hopefully we can improve, but I’m sure everyone else will also improve.