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Q&A with Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen 05 Nov 2012

Race winner Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 4 November 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 4 November 2012 Race winner Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 talks with the media.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 4 November 2012 Race winner Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20 celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 4 November 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20 celebrates with the Lotus F1 team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 4 November 2012

On Sunday in Abu Dhabi, Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus finally did what they had been threatening to do all season - they won a Grand Prix. It was Raikkonen’s 19th Formula One victory, his first since Belgium 2009, and the first of his F1 comeback. It was also the 48th for an Enstone team. The Finn reflects on a special evening at Yas Marina…

Q: How does it feel to take your 19th win ?
Kimi Raikkonen:
I’m very happy for the team - and myself - but mainly for the all the crew here and everyone at Enstone. It’s been a hard season and I feel this win is well deserved for everyone and just what we need. It’s also something great for all the fans who have continued to support me and the team. We’ve not had the easiest time in the last few races. Hopefully this gives everyone more belief, not just for everyone working at the track and at the factory, but for everyone behind the scenes running the team. I hope this can turn around the tables and give us many more good races and wins; if not this year, then next year.

Q: How does this win stack up against the other 18?
KR:
To be honest it’s just another win on the list for me. It’s great of course, because it’s been a few years, but the wins prior to this one were very similar; we didn’t have the best car, but we fought and still won. It’s great to win now, so people will stop asking me if I can win or not, and at least it makes it a bit clearer!

Q: Is it good that you’ve answered that ‘when’s the win coming’ question?
KR:
I never cared really what people think - if I don’t finish the next race, then they’ll think that I’m as bad as that race. I’ll just do my thing, and if I’m happy with what I’m doing and it’s the best it can be for the team, then that’s that. So I really don’t care if people are thinking differently of me now, than what they did three hours before the race.

Q: Tell us about your emotions as you took the chequered flag?
KR:
I’m happy, but there’s nothing to jump around about. We still have a few races to go, I’ll try to do the same again. For sure, we’re going to have a good party tonight and hopefully tomorrow, when we are feeling bad after a long night, we will remember how we feel. I’m just happy for everybody in the team.

Q: Tell us about your start…
KR:
It was key to get behind the faster car and not get stuck behind cars that aren’t as fast as us. We had a good position on the grid and we made it better at the start. I think we’ve had some very good starts before and compared to the others, today was a pretty normal start on our scale. I managed to pass Mark [Webber] and Pastor [Maldonado] before I changed into second gear. I’d had a very good practice start on the warm-up lap so I knew this was going to be good.

Q: How long will your celebrations of this win last?
KR:
I have almost two weeks. As long as I manage to get myself to the next race I think the team is happy. Maybe I will try to get home at some point.

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