Kimi Raikkonen came to Barcelona in the afternoon and had a long meeting about the test schedule with his race engineer Mark Slade, who started in the team at the beginning of March. Slade worked with Räikkönen last time in McLaren in 2006. Finnish driver is in the next Wednesday in popular British Top Gear tv show and tries to break Sebastian Vettel’s top time at airport of Dunsfieldin. BBC broadcasts the program a week later on Sunday. Grosjean has a Japanese race engineer Ayao Komatsu, and he joked that radio traffic certainly sounds amusing when a French and a Japanese are having a conversation. “We’ll try to give Kimi and his engineers all the feedback what we can. Kimi will be trying different things, so that we can get the car into top shape in Melbourne”, Grosjean explained.
Turun Sanomat 2.3.2012 23:24:32
Kimi Raikkonen will have a familiar race engineer for his return to Formula 1 this year. Finnish reports in Turun Sanomat and the television broadcaster MTV3 claim that the 2007 world champion will work with Mark Slade.
Slade, recently at Mercedes GP working alongside Michael Schumacher, was Raikkonen’s race engineer at McLaren years ago. Slade also previously worked as a race engineer to Mika Hakkinen and Heikki Kovalainen. Raikkonen will start working together with his engineer at Barcelona at the last test before Melbourne. “I wanted him and I am pleased that it worked out,” Raikkonen confirmed. In other news, Eric Boullier has denied rumours Raikkonen is a shareholder in the Lotus team. It was reported that the 2007 world champion’s retainer this year was subsidized by owner Genii granting the returning F1 driver a small slice of the Enstone based team. “He has no shareholding. It is complete nonsense,” Boullier is quoted by MTV3. “Raikkonen has a two-year contract as driver,” he added. “Genii Capital holds 100 per cent of the team.” Boullier also dismissed suggestions Raikkonen, whose teammate is the reigning GP2 champion Romain Grosjean, is Lotus’ obvious number one driver. “There is no such thing in the contract,” he said.