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Kimi Raikkonen Q&A: Timing and tyres crucial for qualifying 20 Jul 2012

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Hockenheim, Germany, Thursday, 19 July 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20 rear detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Hockenheim, Germany, Thursday, 19 July 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20 rear detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Hockenheim, Germany, Thursday, 19 July 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Hockenheim, Germany, Thursday, 19 July 2012

Kimi Raikkonen seems content with his fifth place in the driver standings as the 2012 season prepares to hit the halfway mark, especially considering his contribution to Lotus’s P3 in the constructors’ table, two points ahead of McLaren. Raikkonen denies that luck - or lack of it - has come into it, though he does admit that the tricky weather conditions at Hockenheim could again throw a spanner in the works this weekend…

Q: Kimi, as it is hard to read your feelings from your face, please can you put into words how you see your season so far?
Kimi Raikkonen:
Ha! Well, I am in fifth position so, for sure, it could be better - but also worse. (laughs) It is what it is and of course we try to do better - and hopefully it will work out more pleasingly in the second half of the season. But then who knows if this is going to happen? I want to do good races - and then let’s see where it gets me.

Q: But it must be quite nice to see Lotus sitting in P3 in the constructors’ championship table….
KR:
Yep, for the team it is a great thing, but still I would say that we could have done better in certain places - and could have scored more points. Let’s be frank: it is always easy to say we should have been better here or there, but reality sometimes bites. It is always about making a decision and, of course, you analyze the situation and try to make that decision as accurate as possible. But then circumstances can change, so sometimes it works and at other times not. You have to learn to stick with your decision - and it is never productive to cry over spilled milk. We have learned a lot from the first half (of the season) and carry that momentum to the second half.

Q: Where would you say have been your biggest mistakes?
KR:
I would say that there is not such a thing than a flawless race - you always make small mistakes. That is part of the game.

Q: But is there a race that you regret?
KR:
I don’t regret any race. Sometimes you have chances, and sometimes it simply doesn’t work out the way you want it to. That’s life. (laughs)

Q: Could it be that the team had a little bit more luck than others on the grid?
KR:
I don’t believe in luck, because luck seldom has much to do with the championship standings. It is not lucky or unlucky when something goes wrong. It is all about that we’ve done something wrong ourselves. If something breaks it has nothing to do with luck, but everything about mistakes or parts not being strong enough for the demands. Usually it is a human error - it’s as simple as that. If I make a mistake, would I call myself unlucky? No. Here it is all about improving and eliminating mistakes.

Q: Coming back to the here and now, what was to be learned from today with the on and off rain?
KR:
To be honest, not a lot. It’s a bit like Silverstone, which unfortunately means not good conditions. But that’s the same for everybody.

Q: But did you have the chance to learn about the new (‘double DRS’) system on the car?
KR:
We tried some fittings - and that’s about it.

Q: But has there been an instant noticeable difference? Or do you need more dry running?
KR:
We need more track time, but under these conditions it is really difficult.

Q: Will the new wing stay on the car tomorrow or not?
KR:
I have no idea. You have to talk to the engineers.

Q: How frustrating is it to turn up with a big bag of upgrades and to not be able use them fully because of the conditions?
KR:
It has nothing to do with frustration - such days are also part of Formula One and they are the same for all of us.

Q: Is this system so difficult to set-up that you were repeatedly coming in and out of the pits today?
KR:
Well, you have to get used to it and fine-tune it. Other than that I would say that it was a normal Friday - and as we all know Friday exists to try out new things. But if the weather is like this it’s a bit more complicated - and sure requires more time.

Q: If the conditions remain the same tomorrow in qualifying will that mean a big lottery for grid positions?
KR:
We have seen in Silverstone that when you were out at the right time, with the right tyres you did well. It can be the same tomorrow. So we have to be among those with the right timing and the right tyres. (laughs)

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