GP Singapore, conferenza post gara–22/09/2013
Q: Kimi, you had a back problem in qualifying. Has that affected you during the race?
Kimi Räikkönen: Luckily not too much but now afterwards it’s not 100 per cent but it doesn’t matter: we have two weeks’ time to rest and get it right. I think we did the best that we could and finished third, so I don’t think we could have achieved much more today.
Q: You had to be patient through that race. You really had to believe that you could still be there at the end and take the places when they were there and not make mistakes.
KR: Yeah, I think I had pretty OK speed and then I could overtake a few people and then in the end I was following Jenson and I could see that his tyres were going off so I just gave some pressure and then I have to get past him because obviously some people changed to new tyres and they were catching us quickly. I managed to pass him and pull away and luckily nobody managed to catch me in the end. So not too bad.
Q: You say very calmly “I managed to pass him” but it was around the outside at Turn 14. It was at tricky one.
KR: Yeah, maybe it looks more tricky. Obviously you have more grip when you brake on the line and you know more or less where you have to brake. Much easier than inside. So, not an easy one but we managed to get past and that’s the main thing.
Q: Kimi, when you put those tyres on, did you know you were going to try to go on the finish on them – and what in your mind did you think was possible at stage?
KR: We had a plan and we know that what moment, if the safety car comes, we try to go until the end, so I knew what will happen and luckily some other teams couldn’t do it and had to pit. I was kind of stuck behind Jenson for most of the race but then I tried to give him some pressure and keep him pushing so I noticed that he started running out of his tyres and I could start to get in closer and closer. In the end I decided to try to pass him and managed to get past – because there were people who stopped for the fresh tyres who were catching very quickly but luckily once I got past I could push a bit more and keep the gap big enough to end it in third place. After the weekend where we had some problems with myself and not the ideal setup with all those things and where we were yesterday, finishing third, I don’t think we could have asked much more.
Q: Can you describe the back problem you’ve been suffering from and how do you feel right now?
KR: I didn’t feel it too much during the race but obviously afterwards it’s not ideal and yesterday it was pretty bad. I almost didn’t drive, so between that and finishing third I think we have to be happy – and hopefully we can sort those problems for the next race. It’s not the first time. For a long time there have been some issues with my back. I know that I have some work to do at the end of the year so we have to see what we do.
Q: (Heikki Kulta –Turun Sanomat) Kimi, was this the most painful race weekend you have ever had?
KR: Yes, I had some pain yesterday but for sure there have maybe been some more painful ones where something goes wrong, it doesn’t always have to be physical pain, there can be something… you don’t finish the race which is more painful in a way. Other things sometimes happen like this weekend and you have to live with it.
Q: (Frederic Ferret – L’Equipe) To all three of you: today we saw the Red Bull was good, the Lotus was good and there were two failures. Do you have an explanation as to why the failure often happens to the other car, not the leading driver?
KR: I have no idea what happened to Romain.
KR: It sometimes happens. I’ve had some issues. It can happen to anybody and then it’s up to us, up to the team to try to make sure we don’t have any issues but although they do everything to 100 percent you can have a failure, even the cheapest part of the car can fail or the most expensive part. It’s just one of those things that happens, even though we do the best we can to make sure there are no failures.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Kimi, do you think that you will be fully recovered for Korea and what do you target there?
KR: For sure, we will have to see. I think it should be OK and we try to do a better overall weekend there.