GP Cina, conferenza stampa giovedì–14/04/2016
Q: Kimi, before the start of the season, in testing, you and Sebastian and the team in general were quite positive about the improvements made with this car – I wanted to get an idea, from your point of view, where those improvements have come from. In what areas is the car more to your liking, more suited to your driving style?
Kimi Raikkonen: We’re still positive about what the team has built over winter, that hasn’t changed at all. Obviously it hasn’t been ideal, the first two races, for us as a team. We had two podiums but two not scored, not finished. That’s not what we want. Obviously there is quite a bit of work to be done on that side – but the speed is there. Not in qualifying exactly – if you take the last qualifying in the last race. Until that it was pretty OK. I think we have a good package, we just have to improve it and make it even better but, the car has improved in all areas: it’s not just one thing that has improved over the winter. It’s a brand new car again: engine has improved, the car itself. It’s the teamwork that has brought us a better package. Still not as good as we want to be, not the best that we wanted to be – but this is definitely a good car and we go from there. If there is something I would prefer more, we prefer it when we have a better car and a faster car so that’s good and obviously some handling things we weren’t happy with last year we tried to improve – and have improved. But there’s always things to improve and do things better.
Q: You once famously over the radio said that you wanted to be left alone in the car. That wish has slightly come true with the restrictions on radio traffic. Has that made a big difference to the amount of work that you have to do as a driver in the car? Is it a positive? Do you feel more in control?
KR: I think a normal race, no issues, everything running smoothly, shouldn’t really make an awful lot of difference but unfortunately you don’t often have those races and if there’s something going wrong obviously it will be more difficult to sort them out and fix it – but I think the first few races we’ve been pretty OK, no issues on that side. For me, I don’t mind. Some races you want the radio when you need it – but I think there are ways of… certain things are allowed to be discussed and so far it’s been OK. At least for me. It’s fine.
Q: (Alex Popov – NTV/Match TV) For the three guys who were at the drivers’ dinner yesterday, it was a big buzz on the social media about this dinner. So, first of all, who has the idea, if it was just fun or it was something to discuss among the GPDA. And to Kimi and Kevin, if you regret to miss it due to certain obligations.
Kimi, do you want to start with that? You missed the drivers’ dinner…
KR: I don’t regret anything. I had my work to do and it goes way forward in front place rather than dinner. You have to ask the people who were there what happened. I was in Taiwan.
Q: (Zhu – Top Driver) The weather is going to play a part in this weekend, possibly wet qualifying. With Lewis’s gearbox penalty, it bodes very well for a good race. Do you think you are prepared for the changeable conditions for this track?
KR: I think we have quite often had some rain here so it’s nothing new. We had it in Australia, obviously if it rains in qualifying and practice it changes the game a little bit but I don’t think the end result will be affected an awful lot. It will be more exciting, more difficult, we will see how it pans out. If it rains, hopefully it rains the proper way and not in the middle because then you will not see a lot of cars running.
Q: Marcus, it’s quite a challenging track technically, in terms of the configuration. Is it a place that you would miss if it went away?
KR: I think it’s a good race circuit for making good races. As for driving, it’s nice but we go where the races are, we don’t decide it. I think Bernie decides where the money comes from so we go, we follow.