Kimi Raikkonen backed to lead Lotus F1 comeback
Kimi Raikkonen can lead Lotus back to winning ways, according to team principal Eric Boullier.
Boullier believes that the 2007 world champion’s experience means that he will give the team the clear direction that it needs to deliver on its potential.
"Clearly, he brings a commitment to winning and he knows what he wants," said Boullier. "He is a proper racer and fits in well with a team that is a bunch of proper racers.
"When he is in the car, he knows exactly what he wants and that makes the team’s life easier.
"It means more ambition and more responsibility [for the team] but it is also a different way of working with a world champion. He wants to win again and that’s an ambition that we share."
Boullier also believes that it will be easy for him to get the best out of Raikkonen during 2012 and that the Finn proved how committed he is during two days of running in a 2010 Renault at Valencia last month.
This is despite question marks over the Finn’s motivation to race in F1 after two years in the World Rally Championship.
"How difficult will it be to me?" he said when asked about motivating Raikkonen. "For me, very easy.
"It was an easy discussion [to sign him up] and when he did the couple of days running he showed the team how motivated and professional he is.
"It was a huge boost for the team morale and the team motivation."
Kimi Raikkonen pleased after first run with Lotus’s new F1 car
Kimi Raikkonen said his initial impressions of the new Lotus E20 are good following a rollout with the car at Jerez.
The Finn, whose team unveiled the Renault-powered car yesterday, completed 22 laps of the Spanish circuit, performing system checks at low speed.
Raikkonen will begin testing properly tomorrow, when most F1 teams will begin the preparations for the 2012 season.
Although the former world champion used just first and second gears during the run today, he was pleased with how the car felt.
"It’s great to see the E20 at a race circuit and even better to get behind the wheel," said Raikkonen at the end of the day.
"It’s always frustrating to be in a new car and not be able to drive it at maximum attack, but thankfully I will have that opportunity for the next two days.
"My initial impressions are good, I fit comfortably in the car and it feels great in first and second gear; now let’s see what it can do tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen has fewer worries after comeback test at Valencia last month
Kimi Raikkonen says he has fewer concerns about adapting to 2012-spec Formula 1 after two years away from the sport following his two-day test at Valencia a couple of weeks ago.
The 2007 world champion, speaking at the launch of the new Lotus E20 at Jerez, said that while Pirelli’s tyres were always going to provide his steepest learning curve, he felt that his run on the demo rubber in a two-year-old Renault had displaced any worries about getting up to speed quickly.
"The tyres are probably the biggest difference since I left, and that’s what people were saying," said Raikkonen. "But since the test two weeks ago I have less worries about the whole thing than I had before.
"So we will see where we are when the first race comes.
"For me it was nice to get back in the car again. It is very difficult to say how well we went, but I got back all the feeling about driving the car and got used to working with the team. That was really the main goal, to learn.
"It was interesting to drive and get a little bit back that feeling."
Raikkonen, who shook the Renault-powered E20 down during a team filming day at Jerez on Monday, said that in the short period of time that he had been working with Lotus he had been convinced that all the ingredients were in place for the squad to return to a championship-winning level.
"Nobody knows exactly [how long it will take]," he said. "The team has a lot of hunger to do well and to get back their winning ways but it’s not easy. If it was, everybody would do it. But definitely there are people who want to get back there and put in the effort for it.
"They have won it before so they have all the tools to do it. It’s just about getting everything right and being up there all the time so hopefully it can happen soon, but everybody seems hungry to do it."
Raikkonen said that he was not expecting many changes on his return and that many of the faces in the paddock were similar to those he had left behind when he walked away from the sport at the end of 2009.
Responding to a question that suggested he was no longer enjoying the sport when he left, Raikkonen replied: "That was only your opinion, I would have left earlier if I wasn’t having fun.
"I always said that I loved the racing and I have always been very happy to race. There were a lot of stories from all of your [the press] side about my motivation, but I never had any issues with that. This has come from nothing from my mind.
"I don’t think I look at Formula 1 any differently," he said. "It’s a new year and there are some different things from in the last few years, but I know the sport, I know how things work here.
"The racing is going to be a little different but all the other things are more or less the same. OK from team-to-team it changes in things outside of the racing but I feel sure it is going to be similar experience."
1. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:31.2
=1. MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:31.2
3. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:32.1
4. SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:32.2
=5. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:32.5
=5. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:32.5
=5. WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:32.5
=8. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:32.8
=8. RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:32.8
10. BLOCK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:33.4
11. H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:33.9
=12. KUIPERS. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.4
=12. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:34.4
=12. PROKOP. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.4
15. NOVIKOV. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.7
16. TANAK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:34.8
17. ARAUJO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:35.2
(19). VAN MERKSTEIJN JR. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:36.2
(23). OLIVEIRA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:39.3
P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:08.5
VILLAGRA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:08.7
OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:08.9
LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:08.9
H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:08.9
HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:09.0
LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:09.1
OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:09.1
SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:09.4
MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:10.7
AL QASSIMI. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:11.1
WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:11.3
NOVIKOV. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:11.6
ARAUJO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:12.7
BLOCK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:13.1
RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:13.9
KUIPERS. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:14.0
VAN MERKSTEIJN JR. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:15.0
OLIVEIRA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 2:17.1
[…] Henning Solberg was seventh with ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen eighth on his return to the WRC after missing the previous round in Australia. Matthew Wilson, in an M-Sport Stobart Fiesta and Mikko Hirvonen rounded out the top 10.
Here are the Shakedown times of the leading WRC crews:
1. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:47.1
=2. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:47.3
=2. SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:47.3
4. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:47.9
5. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:48.1
6. MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:48.2
7. H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:48.3
8. RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:48.5
9. WILSON. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:48.6
10. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:48.9
11. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:49.0
=12. VAN MERKSTEIJN JR. Citroen DS3 WRC. 1:49.7
=12. ARAUJO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:49.7
14. KUIPERS. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:49.8
15. OLIVEIRA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:51.9
16. CAMPANA. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 1:52.8
17. AL QASSIMI. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:53.1
18. BLOCK. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1:53.8
18. NOVIKOV. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 1.58.7
Kimi gets to grips with French asphalt
Kimi Raikkonen – who is of course better known as the Iceman – is planning to use his illustrious circuit racing experience on the Rallye de France this weekend, which unlike last year, is expected to be hot and dry.
The 2007 Formula One World Champion had a successful shakedown to finish eighth overall, less than a second behind the two factory Citroens of Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier. And he thinks that the cleaner road conditions this year should help him to a strong result.
“Generally, everything feels a lot easier this year,” said Raikkonen, who retired from the 2010 event after sliding off at low speed on a slippery left-hand corner. “The car was good in the shakedown and the weather conditions seem to be a lot more stable, so I think it could help us as it’s more normal driving.”
The famous poles on some of the stages, designed to stop cars cutting corners and dragging mud onto the road, also mean that the surface will be much more like a grand prix track, rather than the gravelly skating rink that caught out Raikkonen last year.
“I think it’s good: a tarmac rally should be a tarmac rally,” said his co-driver Kaj Lindstrom. “Last year it was terrible: you could hardly see the road for all the mud in some places."
Here are the top 10 times from the Shakedown session:
1. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 3:36.3
=2. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 3:37.7
=2. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 3:37.7
4. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 3:37.9
5. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 3:38.6
6. H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 3:38.7
7. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 3:39.0
8. MEEKE. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 3.39.1
9. RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 3:39.3
10. SORDO. MINI John Cooper Works WRC. 3.40.1
Da MTV3.fi, traduzione con Google
Räikkönen influenzato al Rally di Germania
L’influenza ha segnato il giovedì mattina di Kimi Räikkönen nello Shakedown.
Räikkönen è riuscito comunque a disputare lo shakedown. Il suo distacco da Ogier è di circa tre secondi.
– “Sono un po’ influenzato, ma penso di farcela”, tira un po’ su col naso Räikkönen.
Per il pilota non fa differenza su quale tipo di superficie si corra. Räikkönen è ugualmente inesperto tanto quanto sullo sterrato.
– “E’ sempre lo stesso punto di partenza, sia su asfalto che su sterrato. Non c’è differenza. Vediamo come va. La macchina sembra piuttosto buona”.
Räikkönen affronta il rally su asfalto con cautela. Dopo lo shakedown ancora non se la sente di fissare un obiettivo preciso per questa gara, nonostante lo scorso anno sia andato abbastanza bene proprio in Germania.
– “E’ un po’ scivolosa in frenata, ma davvero non saprei se è così anche per gli altri. C’è un intervallo entro il quale si ha aderenza, ma ancora non è tutto chiaro. Ci sarà tempo dopo lo shakedown”.
Loeb quickest in Finland shakedown Sebastien Loeb has set the fastest time in shakedown for Neste Oil Rally Finland, round eight of the 2011 World Rally Championship.
Driving a Citroen DS3 WRC, the French ace set a benchmark time of 1m35.7s through the 3.19-kilometre Ruuhimaki practice stage this morning. “It’s important I score some points, that’s the main thing here,” said the seven-time world champion. “Whether this [time in shakedown] is a sign of things to come I do not know.”
Ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who is starting his third Rally Finland, was seventh quickest in his ICE 1 Racing Citroen. The Finn completed six runs in shakedown and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom was satisfied with their performance. “Everything was okay, no problems and we had a good feeling,” he said.
Loeb, Citroën 1.35,7
Ogier, Citroën 1.36,3
Latvala, Ford 1.36,6
Petter, Citroën 1.36,8
Østberg, Ford 1.36,9
Novikov, Ford 1.37,0
Räikkönen, Citroën 1.37,1
Hirvonen, Ford 1.37,4
Wilson, Ford 1.37,4
Sordo, Mini 1.37,6
Video da WRC.com: http://www.mediafire.com/?3mvtw74gkuvklqx
Rally Acropolis, Sebastien Loeb il più veloce allo shakedown
E’ stato Sebastien Loeb il pilota più veloce allo shakedown del Rally Acropolis, settima sfida del calendario WRC 2011. Loeb, alla guida della Citroen DS3 WRC ufficiale, ha fatto registrare un tempo di 2 minuti e 15.5 secondi sulla speciale di 6.05 km vicino al service park di Loutraki.
Il fondo era fangoso a causa della pioggia della notte precedente, nonostante tutto Loeb è riuscito a fare 7 decimi meglio di Petter Solberg che ha concluso lo shakedown in seconda posizione. Loeb ha commentato: "Come per tutti i rally ambisco alla vittoria. Ma sarà anche molto importante portare a casa qualche punto. Sono in un’ottima posizione in classifica generale e è importante non perdere troppo terreno. Per il resto vedremo. E’ un rally difficile per i pneumatici e le sospensioni, è forse il rally più duro della stagione. Dalle ricognizioni è chiaro che chi partirà per primo sarà molto svantaggiato"
Petter Solberg, sulla Citroen DS3 WRC privata, ha fatto registrare il secondo miglior tempo al quinto giro dello shakedown dopo aver avuto qualche problema alle sospensioni. Subito dopo Solberg, a più di un secondo da Loeb, c’è Mikko Hirvonen sulla Ford Fiesta RS WRC ufficiale seguito dall’altro ufficiale Citroen, Sebastien Ogier.
Hanning Solberg, assente al Rally Argentina, torna sulla Ford Fiesta RS WRC e conclude lo shakedown in quinta posizione. A seguire troviamo un altro grande assente nei due eventi precedenti del WRC, Kimi Raikkonen su Citroen DS3 WRC, che si piazza in sesta posizione a parimerito con il giovane Novikov sulla Ford Fiesta WRC.
Qualche problema per il pilota Armindo Araujo che è stato costretto a fermare la sua MINI JCW WRC per la rottura delle sospensioni anteriori.
Classifica shakedown Rally Acropolis
1. LOEB. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:15.5
2. P. SOLBERG. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:16.2
3. HIRVONEN. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:16.8
4. OGIER. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:17.8
5. H. SOLBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:18.0
=6. RAIKKONEN. Citroen DS3 WRC. 2:18.6
=6. NOVIKOV. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:18.6
8. LATVALA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:19.0
9. VILLAGRA. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:19.1
10. OSTBERG. Ford Fiesta RS WRC. 2:19.2