Belgian GP: Raikkonen still chasing elusive fifth Spa win
Lotus star-driver and 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen has won the Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in 2004, 2005, 2007 and in 2009, and he is poised to win the venue again, thus hoping to give Lotus their first win since Ayrton Senna in 1985 won the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril.
Asked about his chances in Belgium the flying Finn said, “Usually I’ve achieved good results at the Belgian Grand Prix, but what’s happened before doesn’t help me right now. Saying that though it doesn’t do any harm either. Obviously it would be great to win at Spa for a fifth time. I haven’t won during the first part of the season and the extra points are always good.”
Raikkonen has fond memories of the Ardennes circuit, “For me there have only been good memories from Spa and it’s great to go racing there. You can’t get the same kind of a feeling anywhere else. It’s great to race with a modern racing car at a proper circuit that has such a great tradition.” And he added, “For me it is the greatest racing circuit in the world. It is my favourite place. I’ve liked it since my first ever visit there in 2000 with Formula Renault.”
Raikkonen is currently fifth in the Drivers’ Championship, albeit 48 points behind leader Fernando Alonso, but as we have seen during the first half of the season, Formula One is full of surprises, and Raikkonen is certainly still a title contender.
Asked about the championship Raikkonen commented, “I am now fifth in the championship and obviously aiming at getting more points than the guys in front of me. The smaller the gap to the leaders is the better for me and for the team. Every race from here on is very important. The whole team is pushing 100% and we need to beat our rivals and take more points than they do every time.”
He also reckons Lotus should improve their qualifying pace to increase their chances for victory, “We always try to win; some days you get close to it and it’s a bit disappointing that we haven’t quite made that final step. We know the reason though; we’ve not been so strong in qualifying as we have in the race which makes life harder for ourselves on Sundays.
“Of course we would rather win than come second or third but it’s a long season and I think we’re improving all the time. If it comes then great, if not we’ll keep trying. I’ve been in the business long enough that I don’t really worry about things too much. We’ve been improving our position in the championships – both for myself and for the team – so as long as we keep doing that hopefully the win will come.”