Kimi Is Back
After two years of absence the Finn returns with a Lotus F1, the last to win the World Championship with Ferrari. But without nostalgia. “The Reds? Not feel anything… Do not end well.” I’m back because I was tired of racing against the clock: I wanted to race in front of real opponents. To think that someone has dubbed to see the Iceman thrown on a sofa while drinking latte in front of a tennis match makes you laugh. Certainly the Husky stare and the almost albino colors look promote misunderstanding, however, only takes a few seconds of conversation with Kimi Raikkonen to understand that the image of the boy coldly and without emotion is the result only of superficial considerations. Of emotions, passions and things to say, Kimi has in abundance. It’s only the way to express it what’s different, but in the end there is more truth in his answers than there are in the “strategic lies,” Alonso has said in a hundred press conferences. The truth about Ferrari, for example, with which he opens in his first interview since returning to the wheel of a Lotus Formula 1 car: “It will not make an impression to see the Ferraris, I feel nothing. It was a beautiful page of my career, but it’s over. And not so good. ”
And so no thrill when you see – or in front of your mirror – the profile of the machines of Alonso and Massa?
“No, nothing. Besides, I already saw the success of McLaren” from outside “.”
But in recent days how you felt when – after two years of absence “due to the rally” – you climbed aboard a F1?
“It was like coming home.”
What you missed in F1?
“The competition against a true, visible and present opponent. In Rally you race against the clock, you do not see any other throughout the race. Only the road. And the difference is huge.”
When did you decide to return?
“Last year. In the pauses of the rally season. I was able to do some ‘of experience in NASCAR. And there you have forty rivals per race … it was the first time that I found someone on the track since I left F1. As soon as the race started I felt within me the old appeal of the competition. I called my manager to ask around to see if there was something. We talked a lot with Williams but not if it has done nothing. When we got in touch with Lotus we had no doubt and we reached an agreement very quickly.
How did the first few laps of “rehabilitation” in the Lotus went? two years ago, when they did Schumacher in 2009 to prepare for the injured Massa was a tragedy …
“Well, it hurts my neck. But not any more than it hurt me when, a few years ago, started to drive after the winter break. I thought it will be worst.”
And from a technical standpoint?
“Even there I thought it will be worse. Of course I drove on exhibition tires and its performance is not those of next season tyres, but from that point of view, the new Pirelli will be a first for everyone.”
What goals have you given yourself for this season?
“Pushing as much as possible.”
You will have as team mate Romain Grosjean, previously you have “crossed” Heidfeld, Coulthard, Montoya and Massa. If you were to put them in order of skill?
“I have no reason to do so. They’re all good boys and good pilots. And so is Grosjean.”
Massa, who was your last team-mate at Ferrari, it’s having a tough time, and seems to suffer from Alonso’s arrival and it’s at his final year on the Reds (except for a miracle). They would have done better to keep you and let go of the Brazilian instead?
“Massa is a very fast driver. Bad periods happen to everyone.”
The next year, the grid will be full of world champions, besides you there will be Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton, Button and Vettel. In your opinion who is the strongest?
“My opinion that is completely irrelevant. It will be good for F1. But in the end we will not change anything, we all start from scratch. Perhaps those who have a global bulletin board should handle a little ‘more pressure, a little’ more expectation from the fans, but for those used to drive an F1 car is nothing. In the end, I think that whoever has the fastest car, wins. ”
What do you think of “Vettel phenomenon”?
“It is very fast. But there are also three seasons that he has the best car.”
Have you ever thought to stop driving?
“Well, in those days, after the end of Ferrari I did. To completely change my life, perhaps to do motocross, or something else. But it did not last long. The time to hop on a car again.”