Brazilian GP: Kimi Raikkonen – I wasn’t lost, I knew where I was going!
By Berthold Bouman
The above title could be the new text on yet another Kimi Raikkonen T-shirt, as the Finn seemingly couldn’t find his way back to the track after he had gone off the Interlagos circuit and then had to use the escape road. Unfortunately it was a dead-end road, and Raikkonen had to turn his car around and take the same road back, then practised his rally skills a bit and rally crossed over the grass back onto the circuit.
What the heck happened there? Raikkonen explained after the race, “I went off at the last corner on lap fifty-two as I couldn’t see well with my visor being dirty and fogged up. Where I went off you can get back on the track by going through the support race pit lane, but you have to go through a gate. I know this as I did the same thing in 2001 and the gate was open that year. Somebody closed it this time. Next year I’ll make sure it’s open again!”
It wasn’t really a good race for the Iceman, he had started the race from eighth on the grid, and finished in tenth place, adding just one point to his tally. He was actually lucky Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the race, or he would have lost his third place in the Drivers’ Championship to the McLaren driver.
But he couldn’t care less about his position in the race, as Raikkonen already had said ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix, “I don’t care if I am second, fourth, or 10th,” he said. “We are here to try to win, and it really doesn’t give me anything if I am third or fourth.”
And the championship? “If I finish third or fourth it doesn’t matter. If you ask someone after five years in Formula One and who was second or third, it would be the same. It makes no difference. It looks maybe better on paper but in reality it doesn’t mean anything.”
Kimi Raikkonen: I wasn’t lost!
As said, not a good race, the weekend started with engine problems during the first free practice session, Renault thought they had fixed the problem but on Saturday morning during the final free practice session the engine blew up. He then got the engine he already had used during the United States Grand Prix, which didn’t blew up, but had a bit less power which on a high-altitude circuit is a disadvantage as the engine already loses some 40bhp due to the reduced air-density.
Raikkonen started on the medium tyres, after five laps switched to the intermediates, on lap 19 he pitted for mediums, and on lap 53 he pitted for another set of intermediates. Just before he changed for the last time to the intermediates, he lost control at the last corner, managed to avoid the barriers, but lost his bearings and took the wrong road. Maybe he needs a co-pilot to show him the way, like in rally?