A proposito di Kimi

GP Cina, conferenza stampa giovedì–06/04/2017

PART TWO: DRIVERS – Antonio GIOVINAZZI (SAUBER), Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN (FERRARI), Carlos SAINZ (TORO ROSSO)

Q: Kimi, let’s start with you… you finished fourth in Melbourne despite a few handling problems during the race. How confident are you of challenging at the front this weekend?

Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Well, I think we learned a lot, we understand quite a bit and kind of everything came a bit late. And obviously then you don’t get a very good result. I mean comparing to the last few years it was far from a disaster. Yes, we had some difficulties and we know afterwards that we could have been much faster but still, as a team, we did a pretty solid job and yeah, we got some points – but new place, new circuit, so we’ll see.

Q: Sebastian said a moment ago that he thinks Mercedes are still favourites coming into this weekend. Is that how you see it – or will the rain mix things up?

KR: I don’t know who it will be. We haven’t driven a single lap with the new cars here, so who knows. I think we have had a pretty good package, and feeling with the car whichever place we’ve been but it’s pointless to start guessing who’s going to be in front, who’s not. We will see over the weekend and Sunday we’ll hopefully be a little bit smarter.

Q: You haven’t driven the new cars here but you have driven yours in the wet when the track was artificially watered in the Barcelona test. How was it then?

KR: It wasn’t like proper wet. It’s always hard to make the same conditions if it’s raining outside like it is now or just dumping water on the circuit, so it’s a bit tricky to get the best idea. Plus we have different tyres here for the wet. It’s a bit unknown but the same for everybody. Usually if the car is good on try it’s not too bad in the wet either. We have to wait and see but I think in any condition we should be OK.

Q: Kimi, coming back to you, a lot has been made of the physicality of this new breed of Formula One car; how does it compare to the cars that you drove in the mid-noughties, 2005, 2004? Are they more physical than back then?

KR: It’s very hard to compare. It’s a long time ago, I suppose. It depends a lot on the different circuits, conditions and everything and how the tyres will last and obviously these last better and you can push more. I think the key point is that as we do more running, more racing, we get used to it and it’s not a big deal but at the start of the year, when you do the first test, it’s a bit of a surprise but that’s how it usually is after the winter. At least in Melbourne it didn’t feel any different but it’s amazing how quickly you get used to all the things and it feels absolutely normal. I’m sure somewhere it will be more harder than last year but that’s how it is.

Q: (Michael Lamonato – Class Act Media) To all three of you: there’s a lot being made about the difficulty of overtaking this season. There was maybe only a handful of passing manoeuvres in Australia. Do you think the new regulations will make attempting an overtake maybe a bit more of a braver thing; will you have to put more on the line now to pass a car and will that contribute to the spectacle of racing?

KR: Every circuit is different, obviously. Melbourne has always been difficult to overtake and of course when you maybe have the fastest car and the slowest car you get round it very easily but I think in China here, usually overtaking is easier so I think we have to wait and see how it is here and then see if it’s harder or less easy than we expected but I think when you have two fast cars against each other, it doesn’t matter if it’s last year or this year, it’s always going to be hard to get past. The other factor is that there is less tyre drop-off so obviously after the pit stops there is a much smaller difference between the speed of the cars because of that so there are all those things which in the end make a difference.

Q: (Veljko Jukic – Auto Focus) Kimi, when we look at a race today, how of your concentration is spent on taking care of tyres, on fuel consumption and on pure racing?

KR: Obviously it depends a lot on the conditions and the circuit that we’re on. Some circuits you have to do some fuel saving, some not at all. Obviously it is a big part of those races and it’s the same with the tyres, some circuits are much better for tyres that they don’t degrade so much. You can’t really say that every place is the same. Each place is a special place and it’s different to the previous race and the next race so some days you can go full out for the whole race, some you have to take care of things or maybe if you have an issue then obviously that creates another story. So to really go full out is not an awful lot during the year, it is not often for the whole race. It’s a nice feeling for all of us, I think, when we can really go full speed all the time and not really worry about tyres or fuel, just try and race against it.

Q: (Veljko Jukic – Auto Focus) Do you have to take care of fuel consumption?

KR: Sometimes, it depends on the circuit, obviously. I think it’s the same for all the cars. Between the engines and the cars there’s small differences but I’m sure the places that we have to fuel save the others will also, it’s the same for them.

Q: (Veljko Jukic – Auto Focus) Kimi, when we look at a race today, how of your concentration is spent on taking care of tyres, on fuel consumption and on pure racing?

KR: Obviously it depends a lot on the conditions and the circuit that we’re on. Some circuits you have to do some fuel saving, some not at all. Obviously it is a big part of those races and it’s the same with the tyres, some circuits are much better for tyres that they don’t degrade so much. You can’t really say that every place is the same. Each place is a special place and it’s different to the previous race and the next race so some days you can go full out for the whole race, some you have to take care of things or maybe if you have an issue then obviously that creates another story. So to really go full out is not an awful lot during the year, it is not often for the whole race. It’s a nice feeling for all of us, I think, when we can really go full speed all the time and not really worry about tyres or fuel, just try and race against it.

Q: (Veljko Jukic – Auto Focus) Do you have to take care of fuel consumption?

KR: Sometimes, it depends on the circuit, obviously. I think it’s the same for all the cars. Between the engines and the cars there’s small differences but I’m sure the places that we have to fuel save the others will also, it’s the same for them.

Q: (Marc Surer – Sky Germany) Kimi, in Barcelona you seemed to do easily the fastest time. It didn’t work out in Melbourne in the race. Are this year’s cars more difficult to set up?

KR: In the race I did fastest lap. It was only one lap and I was a bit light but… No, I don’t think it’s any more difficult to set up this year than any other year but I don’t also think it’s ever going to be easy to find the best set-up. Sometimes you might end up when you go on a new circuit that just happens to be right and you just fine-tune it a little bit but for many different small reasons we never really got it right and it just makes a big difference, at least on circuits like Melbourne, the corners that there are. If it’s not right you’re going to give an awful lot of lap time. That was really the end story. Obviously with big enough understeer you have a little bit more unknown stories from testing still, you never have time to do everything plus you do testing in one place so you kind of end up being in a similar area with the car all testing long, so going to a new place you have to be much more and obviously they are much more experienced now and I think it should be fine now.

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