Q: Kimi, ten years on – we all remember it very, very well from that dramatic day when you won the World Championship here in Brazil, probably the widest smile you’ve had as a sportsman at least. Can you share some special memories of that day?
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: It’s a long time ago. Obviously it was a great day but it wasn’t just about the day, it was the whole year. Obviously it ended on that day but there were some great moments, some not very nice moments but in the end it worked out OK and I was very happy with it but – I don’t know – I haven’t really thought about it too much; obviously after that, yes, but not for a while because it doesn’t really change my life today, thinking about it. I don’t really try and make a big story out of it.
Q: This year, you’ve had a very good car and kept developing it very effectively so where does it go from here for Ferrari? You’ve talked a lot this season about a few fine details here and there which have been the things that have stopped you but tell us a bit about that, where the team goes forward next year and what your personal ambition is in 2018?
KR: Obviously I want to be fighting at the front every weekend, to be able to fight for the championship next year. I think we started pretty badly – we were not really where we should have been – a personal feeling on my side – we’re not really happy where the setup was and it took quite a long time to figure it out and then since then it’s been better but then we had too many DNFs for many different reasons but I think, as a team, we’ve come a long way from year to year and also from last year, made a good step, obviously not enough for what we want but as Ferrari we want to win both championships. But I think we had all the tools this year, we just need to tidy up things and not make mistakes nor have issues on any side, not from our side as drivers or from the team side. These are just small things which in the end played a big part this year, who won the championship and which way it went but I think we have all the people, we have the tools and we have a great car. There are still two races to go and even though the championships are done we try to do the same work we always do and try to win races and then, obviously, we start from zero next year so hopefully we will be up there.
Q: (Gustavo Faldon – ESPN Brasil) Kimi, Felipe Massa is retiring; you were his teammate for quite a while. What can you say about him? How was your relationship and do you feel like he helped you win your title ten years ago?
KR: He’s retiring again, so let’s see if it actually happens or we will see him in the first race next year. I always had a good relationship with him, great atmosphere when we were at Ferrari together. We won two championships for the team as teammates and I think it was a great time. Obviously it was very fast, very good but I wish him all the best if he ends up (not) racing in F1 anymore. We will see what comes in his life in the future.
Q: (Andrea Lopez – Motorlat.com) Kimi, there are only two races left this season; what is the summary you can make of your season this year?
KR: I think it’s very simple that we are in the championship, that’s how good or bad it’s been. That’s how it is this year and obviously we need to learn and make better things next year but we all start from zero next year and it depends on many things over the winter and over the testing at the beginning of the year. We will then get some idea of where we are going to be and then we see in the first races what will happen, but obviously the aim is to do better, to fight for wins and championships – that’s, as a team, what we want to do and as a driver I want to do that. This year, for sure, in many ways could have been better but I guess it can always be worse also.
Q: Start with a question to all of you. Clearly a painful moment in Singapore, three cars eliminated on the first lap of the grand prix, how do all three of you assess it now and how do you move forward?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Not really anything. Obviously moved on since Sunday, since the weekend.
Q: And Kimi, it’s the 19th and last Malaysian Grand Prix. You’ve raced in most of them, all but three, and you got your first win here. What do you think this event has contributed to the world championship over the years?
KR: I think to start with it’s a very nice circuit, I think there’s been quite good racing over the years here. I think the layout obviously helps that, and conditions have been always tricky. I think everybody has got more used to it since the early days, but nevertheless I think the racing has been good and that’s the main thing. Obviously all the rest, it doesn’t matter because we are here for racing and if that’s good then that’s fine.
Q: (Jonathan McEvoy – Daily Mail) Leaving aside yourselves, who would you each nominate as the most able driver out there, the best?
KR: I think it’s pointless to answer this one. It’s up to you guys, you’re very good on it at least over the years, so do it again and we can obviously read it then.
Q: (Ysef Harding – Xiro Xone News) Question for all three of you. Nineteen years of Malaysian Grand Prix, this is the final one. What have been some of your fondest memories of this race?
KR: Obviously I won my first race here, it was a while ago now, but it obviously meant a lot. Then there was the win in 2008 with Ferrari, I mean it was a good fight with Felipe and obviously good memories, some bad memories over the years, but that’s when you go many times in the same place that will happen — you have some good years and some not so good. But it’s been pretty good.
Q: (Lennart Bloemhof – Volkskrant) Question for all three drivers. How do you guys cope with the heat during a race weekend like this? Do you have any tips and tricks during the race? Is the preparation different?
KR: I don’t think it’s an awful lot different, really. It’s obviously a bit more hot than other races, Singapore is quite hot. At least myself, I don’t feel that we do an awful lot different things and it’s probably drink a bit more, but that’s about it. It doesn’t feel too bad in the past, at least in the car, you more feel it in the practice when you keep stopping in the box and all the heat comes from there, but during the driving it’s not too bad.
Kimi, your perspective.
KR: Not really different. Singapore, Seb was first in the qualifying, I was fourth. So, if you purely compare to Mercedes, it was better. Obviously the race didn’t go that way but I don’t see why you would look at everything so negative. It’s your question, obviously. It’s up and down: some circuits are better for one guy and others for other guys – but it’s a normal story, every year it’s the same thing: some races go better, others not and there’s so many reasons for those. In the end the whole season is one season and in the end wherever the points are, are the best. It’s pointless to look at one race here, one race there. It’s over the whole year.
What’s your feeling Kimi? Is this a track that you think the Ferrari, as you feel it, will go well around, compared to Mercedes?
KR: Very hard to answer. It’s like any weekend when we go we don’t really know our self any more than any of you guys. You are always guessing a bit how it’s going to be and hoping the best – and then we will see tomorrow some ideas. To be honest, some weekends you seem to start a bit better and more straightforward and everything seems to go more easily, and some you have to… you struggle a bit to find the right way and then come Saturday it turns out to be pretty OK, so, it’s impossible to really answer. I’m feeling we should be OK here, but I might be wrong. I might be right. I don’t know.
Q: (Louis Dekker – NOS) for all drivers, what will you miss from Malaysia next year when we are not returning?
KR: To be honest, I don’t know if we’re going to miss it. It’s a nice circuit but the only thing you see is the airport, the hotel next to the airport and the circuit, so you can choose from that what you’re going to miss.
Ferrari’s Raikkonen insists he can still win F1 races and titles
Kimi Raikkonen says he would not have committed to a fresh Formula 1 deal with Ferrari if he did not believe he could still win races and championships.
Ferrari confirmed earlier this week that it had extended Raikkonen’s contract for a further season.
Raikkonen, who has not won a race since returning to the outfit in 2014, says he is still capable of being competitive and that he would walk away from F1 the moment he felt he could no longer race hard.
When asked what aspect of F1 convinced him most to stay, the Finn said: "It’s purely the racing.
"I enjoy the racing, and obviously I want to do well.
"If I didn’t feel that I can go fast, and I wouldn’t be happy in myself, I wouldn’t be here.
"As long as I feel myself that I can win races and fight for championships then that is why. If I didn’t feel that, I will be the first guy to do something else."
Raikkonen said he was not aware of the specific reasons behind Ferrari’s decision to award him another contract.
"You have to ask them," he said.
"Honestly, the only thing I was interested in was to be here next year.
"I don’t really care what the rest is thinking. The team feels the same way.
"What are the reasons? You have to go and ask them. What else can I say?"
Raikkonen said he hoped his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, whose contract with Ferrari comes to an end later this year, would also commit to a fresh deal with the outfit.
"We work very well together, as does the whole team," he said.
"It’s a good way of working but obviously I am not the one who decides.
"I have no idea what will happen in this case. Hopefully it will stay as it is now."
Q: Kimi, congratulations on your new Ferrari deal. Why is it the right thing for you and your career?
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Well, I wouldn’t do it if I wouldn’t want to, and be happy with it and obviously the team feels the same way so, y’know…
Q: You’ve qualified third or higher on the grid at the last four races and you’re tied three-all with Vettel in the last six qualifying sessions and obviously we all saw you had the pace to win in Hungary. Are we seeing the highest level of challenge from your since your return to Ferrari, do you think?
KR: I don’t know. It’s so difficult to… everybody has their own view of things and obviously we want to do well, we want to improve and I guess you always find things to do better and, that way, find more speed. Lately it’s been a bit better, we’ve been feeling a bit more comfortable and been able to drive as want and obviously the result suddenly looks a bit better. I’m confident we are doing the right things and getting where we want to be.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) To Valtteri and Kimi: two Finns on the podium in two successive races for the first time ever. Would it mean anything to you to make a new kind of history with a hat trick?
KR: Obviously we must try to win races. If you don’t get that then you get the next positions and would it really make us happier? I don’t think I know. I think you’re happy if you win but less if you come second or third but obviously it’s been great for Finns, for us, but I don’t think it’s something that you aim to purposely do or you get more satisfaction from that I think is purely if you do better than worse.
Q: (Marco Privitera – LiveGP.it) Kimi, in Austria Sebastian said that Kimi is my favourite teammate for the next season. Do you have the same opinion? Do you think that Sebastian is your favourite teammate for the future?
KR: Yeah, I’m sure he is. I think we work very well together, as the whole team, a good way of working, but obviously I’m not the guy who decides who does what and obviously I have no idea what will happen in his case but hopefully all that stays how it is now and it would be perfect.
Q: (Graham Harris – Motorsport Monday, Motorsport Weekly) Kimi and Valtteri, one of you has been confirmed for next year, one of you is still waiting to be confirmed. You are both at the sharp end of the grid. Do you think, Kimi, the fact that you’ve got next year out of the way and we won’t be asking you these questions any more eases the pressure on you? And Valtteri, do you think that because you haven’t been confirmed and you don’t know what is actually happening next year this puts added pressure on you in addition to winning races?
KR: I don’t think it’s serious, you know. Maybe this weekend again you guys will not ask at the next race but start again, so that wouldn’t be a big surprise for me. Obviously it’s more easy to deal with that side of the stuff and we can put all our effort into pure racing. It just doesn’t change the end result, it doesn’t guarantee better results or worse results. It doesn’t work like that but it’s a good thing to be done.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) To all drivers: how do you imagine will be your flying lap on Saturday with cars that have a minimum 30 percent more downforce, tyres 25 percent wider and ultrasoft tyres?
KR: We’ve driven these cars all year so far; some circuits you feel that for sure you will go faster everywhere and obviously it’s quite a high speed circuit so we expect to be feeling a bit faster but I think it’s good for this place to have the grip and the speed through the corners and it makes it more exciting so I would guess that it’s quite a nice feeling.
Q: (Luigi Perna – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, what is making you carry on racing, considering that you said that you would retire at the end of your contract with Ferrari 2015? It’s because you have the same excitement as you had at the beginning or just because you have the right car to compete?
KR: It’s purely the racing. The rest not but I enjoy racing and obviously I want to do well. If I did not feel that I can go fast I wouldn’t be happy in myself. If I wasn’t driving, I wouldn’t be here. I have zero interest to waste my time or the team’s time to be a part of it, it’s not the most nicest place to just hang around. So the racing is the main thing. Yes, there’s a lot of other sides of F1 but as long as the racing is the biggest part, then that’s it and as long as I feel myself that I can win races and fight for championships then that’s fine. When I don’t feel like that I will be the first guy to do something else.
Kimi Raikkonen ‘threw it away’ in Hungarian GP F1 qualifying
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen believes he could have beaten Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel to pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix but for a mistake when it counted.
Raikkonen qualified 0.168 seconds slower than pole-winner Vettel, and rued a big moment at the Turn 6 chicane.
"Actually not too good," said Raikkonen of his fastest lap.
"I mean, the start was good, and the end was not too bad, but in the chicane I braked on the outside kerb and got loose and really threw it away there.
"It was decent enough still for second place, but it’s a bit disappointing, I felt I had it, but I couldn’t really finish it.
"You try to always find a better way of driving, so it’s very normal to discuss something like that, and I was pretty happy with the last lap apart from going into the chicane, where I got sideways and lost some time.
"Yesterday wasn’t the easiest day and definitely today we can be pretty happy with things.
"In qualifying, I must say we are happy how we’re handling [it] now.
"So far so far good, tomorrow will be a long race and hard battle. We have to keep this going."
Vettel scored his 48th career pole, despite failing to match his opening run by 0.002s on his final Q3 lap.
"It was seamless in terms of we didn’t have any problems," said Vettel of his qualifying.
"I felt quite good with the car straight away from Q1 onwards, we did the laps we had to, I was confident.
"We had a debate about what to do with the car, I was happy with it but knew there was more from the car, so went flat out – but arrived in last sector and maybe asked too much from the tyres early on.
"Happy with first lap, second could be better."
Q: Kimi, that was a superb lap, absolutely sensational. Listen to all you fans, massive fan base in from Finland. How good did that lap feel?
Kimi Raikkonen: Actually not too good. The start was good and the end was not too bad but in the chicane I braked on the outside kerb and got loose and really threw it away there but you know, it was decent enough for second place but it is disappointing. I felt I had it quite comfortably but you know I couldn’t really finish.
Q: Is it too easy to say that this is a track naturally should have suited Ferrari?
KR: If you purely looked at lap times, yes, but then if you look from yesterday it wasn’t the easiest day and today we have definitely been pretty happy with things. I managed to improve my car for the qualifying and I must say we are happy with how they are handling now. So far, so good but tomorrow is going to be a long race and a hard battle, so we have to keep it going.
Q: Kimi, it is a Ferrari front-row lock-out. You came on the radio at one point and said you were unhappy with your braking, so was there more to come from you? Had you been happier with the car?
KR: No, in the end it was OK. Obviously when you lock the front, it’s not ideal but there is nothing wrong with anything, it’s just you try to always find a better way of driving and doing things, so it’s a very normal thing to discuss stuff like that. I was pretty happy with the last apart from going into the chicane, I dropped the wheels on the left kerb and got sideways. I lost an awful lot of lap time. I really felt I had a good chance to put it in first place but anyhow it was decent enough for second place, so obviously great for the team. But it is only Saturday. We have a long way to go tomorrow, both cars, and we try to keep the positions and see what happens.
Q: (Péter Vámosi – Vas Népe) Question to all drivers. Since 2005 there is a tendency here, if you win the Hungarian Grand Prix, you will be not the champion at the end of the year. What do you think about this?
SV: I don’t know what happened in 2004?
Michael Schumacher won here…
SV: 2003? I don’t know. Statistics! I think if you ask us, we all want to win tomorrow. That’s it.
Kimi, Valtteri, anything to add?
VB: No. Nothing to add, we all want to win tomorrow.
KR: I’ll happily take it. See what happens.
Kimi, you remember back to the Spanish Grand Prix?
KR: Yeah, obviously it was a sad moment at first, so not very happy memories of the first part but then the second part cheered me up and cheered up the little guy and his family up a lot, so obviously it was great. Can’t expect to happen every time, just by luck it all went like that, I guess. It’s great if we can please somebody. Had quite a hard time with me going out so, yeah, it turned out to be OK and that’s the main thing.
Kimi, anything to add about the balance of your car and the track temperature?
KR: No, that’s perfect.
Q: (Zsolt Godina – F1vilag) Kimi and Sebastian: F1 teams will have two days of testing at the Hungaroring next week. So how important will those days be for Ferrari in terms of upgrades and in terms of fighting with Mercedes during the second half or the season?
KR: Obviously it’s important. We don’t get an awful lot of track time so you can do simulations and stuff like that but when you get track time, it’s definitely the best option and obviously we have two days so we will see what we come up with and what we try and find out but it’s definitely helpful and we can obviously have a bit more freedom and time to try things and learn about certain things.
Q: (Luis Vasconcelos – Formula Press) To all three: given how difficult it is to overtake here and recent history at starts, how much risks are you all prepared to take in the first few moments of the race?
KR: Obviously, if you could chose, you would take the left hand side but I don’t think it’s really going to destroy your day, it’s more about making a good start rather than which side you are and try to do that and see what happens in the first few corners.
Kimi, you were in Formula One back in those… the halcyon era of 2004; how does this compare?
KR: Obviously very difficult to compare. I think the biggest improvement comes from resurfacing the circuit and it improved the grip like in Austria. It’s very smooth and a lot of grip. Obviously the cars are faster this year than last year but no way to compare. It feels very normal for us because we get used to it. Done it for a lot of races that are actually a lot faster circuits so it’s not suddenly like… even if the lap time is a lot faster, it doesn’t feel like… it just feels normal.
Q: Kimi, if we can start with you. We’re back at a street track this weekend. You took pole position in Monaco a couple of races ago – how confident are you of a repeat here?
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Unfortunately it doesn’t give you any guarantees. It’s in the past, and a completely different circuit. Not really any similarities than Monaco, but nevertheless I think we have a good car everywhere. We’ll see how it goes, we can only give our best. Hopefully we’ll be at the front again; we’ll see what happens.
Q: Pirelli are turning up this weekend with slightly harder tyre compounds than in Monaco. How do you think that’s going to affect the battle between Ferrari and Mercedes?
KR: I don’t know. It’s been close, more or less every race this year. Obviously, like I said, the circuits are so much different and it’s not a big surprise that the tyres are slightly different here. I don’t know. I’m not really interested in guessing what will happen, but I guess it’s going to be close like it’s been at other races; I’m surprised if it’s only one team is way ahead of another.
Q: You don’t want to guess what’s going to happen this weekend, but after the technical problems you had in Canada last time out, do you feel you’re due a lucky break here?
KR: No, not really! It’s not something you can count on it. I’ve had some not so good luck for quite a few times, but it’s an unfortunate thing to happen, something completely new that we never found out and it’s fixed now. Things usually go wrong when it’s the worst time it could happen, but at least we managed to finish the race and at least score some points. Obviously it was far from ideal, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
Q: (Ben Edwards – Channel 4) Question for Kimi, the situation in the championship between Mercedes and Ferrari is obviously pretty tough; it’s very tight at the moment. Are you in a position where you have to play a support role to Sebastian now in the way that in the past things have happened when you’ve been at Ferrari? Obviously Felipe helped you a bit in 2007, you returned the favour in 2008. Are you in that position now of having to help Sebastian?
KR: I think we have very clear roles in the team — what we’re allowed, what we’re not allowed, and what the team wants us to do. You know, it goes by those rules and, I don’t know. I don’t know if I have any interest of, to do, to tell what we talk inside the team in here. I think Maurizio has said something and nothing has changed and we know exactly when things will go either way. That’s fine, that’s how it’s always been, at least in the teams where I’ve been. When I don’t have a chance mathematically anymore to fight for the championship, for sure I will help him. I have no issues with that, I never had in the past. I think it’s just a very easy decision for all of us, at least in our team, and obviously the first thing is to try to make sure that we can be on the top with Ferrari. That’s the most important thing. And then obviously if Seb can win, then fine. If I don’t have any chance then that’s how it goes. The first thing is to work for Ferrari, to put them in the best possible position.`
Q: (Livio Orrichio – Globosport.com) Kimi, using the same subject. In your view, what is the reason for the difference in points? You have some difficulty with this car? You were unlucky in some races? Because it’s big difference.
KR: It’s a big difference. When you have bad races, you adapt, and obviously Seb has done very good races so far and has been strong everywhere. I was not starting very well the first races — I was not too bad, but I was not where I want to be. Here and there little problems, we have one DNF, the last race was not ideal. That’s how it goes, unfortunately. When your teammate is on the podium more or less every time, a lot of points quickly. That’s racing.
Q: Just as a follow up to the towing in qualifying that Daniil was asked about, is it something, given the length of the straight here this weekend, that you’re going to work with your team-mates during qualifying to get a tow to improve your lap-time? Kimi, perhaps you could answer that one?
KR: No, we haven’t had any plans. I mean, we haven’t really done it in any place so I don’t see that’s going to happen. Probably the biggest reason is that it’s very difficult to manage with all the cars you get. The most important thing is to try to get the free lap for yourself. When you try to plan it like that it’s actually quite difficult to make it happen every time and it can easily make more harm than good for both of you. So…
Q: Ladies and gentlemen, year on year Kimi has been voted the most popular driver in Formula One and you have your fans here.
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, I’m very happy that I have here support but whatever country they come from I’m very happy to have the. Unfortunately today we could only give third place but we try next time more so.
Q: We have to talk about the podium and the lock-out on the front row. We weren’t sure how it would wind up and today both of you are on the podium. It shows a great sign for the future of this season and the championship and the excitement of it?
KR: Yeah, I think I have had a little bit of a rough start to the season. Far from ideal but this weekend for sure has been a step forward. We have been more happy with how things have been running but we still only finished third. We lost out at the start and then not a lot happened after that. We keep trying and keep improving and I’m sure we’ll get there, but it’s all about… all the small details have to be exactly there and then you will get the first place. The four or five of us are very close most of the time, so it’s the small differences that make a big difference in the end.
Q: Kimi, coming to you, similar problems to Sebastian at the start? Just talk us through your getaway.
KR: I had a pretty poor start, comparing even to Seb. Got wheelspin straight away and then I really thought I was going to lose a lot more but then luckily, both of these cars went side-by-side and I started to get the tow and I managed to stay ahead of Lewis in the end. But, I don’t know what happened. It was slippery and lost a lot, so, not ideal. If you look last year it’s all about starts, and if you lose a place in those, it’s going to be a boring race. Not a lot happened after that. Mercedes, Valtteri was a bit too fast but then we were kind of holding our positions but nothing really happened the whole race, so, yeah, all about the start. Happy for Valtteri. People always think that we have something against each other because we have come close to each other and into each other a few times but no, I’m very happy for him to win. It doesn’t mean that I’m not happy if Seb wins. It’s good for him and things will turn out to be for sure good for him. It’s going to be close between both of the Ferrari and both of the Mercedes drivers this year, so it will be exciting – but unfortunately a lot of times it will depend of what happens in a first lap. That’s how it’s going to play out. Hopefully it goes better. I’m more happy this weekend but obviously not happy to be third but this is how it goes sometimes.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) To both Ferrari drivers: do you think if you had jumped in front of Valtteri and Lewis do you think you could have kept the leadership of the race considering the pace of Bottas with the ultrasoft – if you were surprised with that. And also, for you Kimi, were you surprised that Bottas was in front of you?
KR: At what point?
During the race you said on the radio that you were surprised that Bottas was in front of you.
KR: Yes, because I was not sure which one it was in the front of the race. I was asking – I was not sure because it was a bit confusing for me after the pitstops. Obviously I realised straight after. For me it made no difference: there was one Mercedes in front of us. I didn’t ask before.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) For sure you don’t have a crystal ball but next race most of the teams will present very different cars and these changes have been conceived using all the knowledge gained in the first four races of the season with these new regulations. What do project for the next phase of the season with all these cars? Do you believe it’s possible there can be some dramatic changes to what we have been seeing until now?
KR: We’ll see what happens in two weeks at the next race. There’s always a lot of talk because it’s the first real European round. Let’s wait and see.
Q: Kimi, you’ve been knocking on the door of a podium at every race this year – but judging by your radio messages, you’re still not happy with the car. What feeling is it giving you and how does that change over the course of a Grand Prix?
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: I’m more happy now that I was probably first race. I think in the last race it was pretty good, I was very happy with it but qualifying not so, but the race itself was good. Then we had pretty average Saturday, so the starting place already was not very good. Then pretty bad first lap so was a bit off. Bad start then couldn’t really get past Felipe in the beginning. Then got past him, we had very good speed but then Safety Car was a bit unfortunate after our pit stop. Then the feeling was pretty good. So, you know, you have to make the Saturday better and then obviously you can use the speed.
Q: How do you see things panning out this weekend between Ferrari and Mercedes?
KR: I don’t know, you tell me. We’ll see tomorrow how it goes. It’s been pretty close between everybody so far, it the first three. You wouldn’t expect it to be a whole lot different here – but who knows.
Q: Can you say that there are still a few things for you to iron-out with the car? But is this still the best Ferrari you have raced in Formula One?
KR: You cannot really compare from the early days but comparing the last few years, then yes. I drove a very good Ferrari when I came first time in Ferrari and, you know, it’s a good car, good package but we have to improve it all the time like anybody who does it but yeah, we just need on my side to put things a bit more better where we want it to be and I’m sure we’ll get the results that we want.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Dieter Rencken – Racing Lines) The latest information from the FIA says that the cockpit shield has received the nod over the halo for 2018. First of all, which of the two systems do you prefer, what do you think of the shield in any event?
KR: Well, I have seen a bit of the shield, of what they showed to us. Until we try, it’s very hard to say how it is. Is it better than the halo? I don’t know. Look-wise, I don’t think there’s much difference between either of them.
Q: (Simon Lazenby – Sky Sports) Kimi – a similar question that I put to Valtteri – 34 points between yourself and your teammate right now. Have you had a conversation with management about your role in the team this year? Has Sebastian been identified as the number one driver?
KR: No. Obviously we have our talks at the beginning of the year. We know exactly what we are supposed to do between us as drivers and that hasn’t changed. If it comes to that at the end of the year when either one has no chance, purely on points, then obviously things will fall into place but apart from that, I don’t see anything happening until then.
Q: (Kiril Zaytsev – 66.ru) Kimi, can you tell us more about your businesses outside of F1? Is it true that you have a karaoke bar in Helsinki? And how can your fans find it to sing some songs, maybe? And do you sing yourself?
KR: I do some other stuff than F1 in my life but I’ve no interest to tell what I do or where I do. Do I go in bars? Yes, lately less, no time, unfortunately. I’m involved with a few things.
Q: But Kimi, can you sing?
KR: Can I sing? Badly. But I can sing. But I don’t think it’s the point of that. It’s more fun than actually trying to sing.
Q: (Lasse Lehtinen – Ilta Sanomat) Kimi, you’ve been pretty frustrated in the races during this season. What has helped you to handle these disappointments?
KR: No, it’s the normal story I would say. Every year… in any race that you don’t do as well as you hope it’s never going to be fun or easy. It can look either way. I’m lucky that I haven’t been in the position that I have won all the time, so that you get used to these things but on the other hand you would rather be in that position. It’s worse fun. It’s very normal stuff, you know. I want to do better and the fact is that if you don’t do as well as I want then for myself it’s never going to be fun. It’s always more fun when we do have a good result. It’s just go to the next race and try to do better.
Q: (Marco Mensurati – La Repubblica) Kimi, in Shanghai, Marchionne was not so fine with you. We heard him talking not so gently and I would like to know about your relationship with him and with the team? And the second one: how long do you think your career will last?
KR: As far as I’ve spoken to our personnel it has always been fine. I know that there’s some things that have been said and written but for me, you can find so many nonsense stories in newspapers, on the web, that I trust much more how my relationship is personal with the team or with him. For me it’s all fine. Like I said before, I expect a good result from myself; when I don’t get them I’m unhappy with myself so if the people aren’t happy that’s fine because I’m not either so it’s not really a big deal for me. What comes to my future I don’t know. There’s always a lot of talk on that since years. I’m not going to try and I’m not going to do this and that. My first thing is that I want to do well and then we’ll see what happens after this year. It’s definitely not the first thing in my mind right now. My first thing in my mind is to do well and here and then the next race and whatever that brings we will see in the future. I have a good relationship with him, I know him well and it depends on many things.
Q: (Flavio Vanetti – La Corriere della Serra) Again for Kimi: can we say that Ferrari is definitely at the same level as Mercedes or is Mercedes still having something more than your team?
KR: I think there are many different ways to look at things. If you look at pure results, if you look at qualifying results. It depends what you look at but I think as a team they have done a very good job for us to bring the car to the level that we have and obviously it’s up to us to make the best out of it. Seb has done good races. As a team I think we’ve come a long way from the last few years. Yes, there are still things that we have to improve all the time and do better but that’s the same with everybody. Are we at the same level as them, Mercedes? I don’t know. It’s not far off, let’s put it that way. In qualifying, I think they’ve been a bit stronger I would say but then in the race it seems to even out. That’s a bit the same trend as it’s been the last few years, that they seem to find something extra on one lap and then it evens out a bit in race conditions. I think it depends a bit on the circuits where we go but we have a good package and we have to make the best out of it.
Q: (Angelina Grebtsova – Nation Magazine) To you all: which is your favourite track?
KR: I don’t think there’s one bad circuit but I enjoy maybe Spa, Monaco. I guess they’re quite opposites. There’s a lot of nice places but maybe those two.
Q: (Darya Panova – F1 Only) What is the main feature of Sochi for you?
KR: I think it’s a nice place to come. The circuit is quite good. It’s been a bit tricky over the last three years. It’s just been very slippery – at least for us – but it’s a nice place to come. Everything is new, everything is well done and I enjoy coming here. It’s a beautiful place.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) Kimi, we saw in the tests in Barcelona, bends number nine, ten that you could brake on the entry, you didn’t have a lot of understeer, and this year you have complained on the radio – we have heard that – that you suffer with understeer. Maybe it’s one of the reasons for a lack of performance between you and Sebastian. What has happened from the winter test to now? And to Daniel, you said about the development of the car; what about the power unit? Is there a development from Renault, from Australia to now?
KR: I think people always look at the lap times in testing and obviously if you’re the fastest they think everything is perfect but I think the problem is also that you do testing in one place, one circuit and any other circuit is usually a chance to set up and we’ve been not far off but off enough to not be 100 percent happy and like I said, last race already we were a lot happy so let’s hope that this weekend we are even better off and go from there. So just small things but they all make a difference.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, last week or two weeks ago you were in Holland to see the motocross World Championship because you have a team there. Could it be possible to see you there, managing the team when you finish Formula One? You are 37-years old, you said before you are focused on the season to improve yourself but you are in your mind drawing that line to say OK, now that’s enough for me, I want to change my life?
KR: I don’t want to change my life. I’m happy with my life. I’ve had the World Championship team for many years. I enjoy going there when I have time. Unfortunately I’m quite busy with a lot of stuff so not enough time to go often but it’s good fun, it’s different to here so I enjoy it also on that side but like I said, we will see what happens in the future. I’ve been in the same position for many years. People always question me on many things but I’m not in a hurry to decide anything and whatever the future brings is what I want also and we will see.