June 4th 2012 (F1plus team / Lotus F1 team Press).- After a frustrating Monaco Grand Prix weekend culminating in a ninth position finish, Lotus F1 Team’s Finnish driver Kimi Räikkönen looks forward to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
Kimi, are you looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix?
I have always liked the Canadian Grand Prix. I won there in 2005 so Montreal has good memories. The city is one of the best places to visit on the calendar. I really enjoy the stop-start nature of the circuit layout and the challenge of the track.
What challenges in particular do you like?
It’s an interesting place. Qualifying is important, but not essential to get a good result as there are a few places to overtake. To do well in Canada the car needs to be good under braking because it’s very tough on brakes at this circuit. You also make use of the kerbs and our car has been pretty good in this area. It’s also a circuit with different track surfaces and sometimes the surface itself can change over the course of the race weekend. This is interesting as it means different grip levels, so another challenge there.
It’s another street course – are there any changes to your approach because of this?
It’s a street course, but there are still places to overtake so you don’t have to change all of your focus to qualifying like you do in Monaco. It is a race that sees a lot of safety cars; there has probably not been a Canadian Grand Prix without having a safety car. Most likely it will happen again. A safety car makes it difficult for the strategy as you can’t predict when it might come. If the safety car is employed, then you have got to hope that it happens at the right time.
Do you think the track will suit the E20?
We’ve been competitive in most places and we expect the same there, but like always it’s easier to say after the first day of running…
Monaco didn’t go quite to plan…
That’s racing. Ninth was the best we could do on the day. I didn’t start in a great position and I had some difficulties during the race so it wasn’t the easiest weekend, but at least we got a couple of points. It’s better than nothing but not exactly what we wanted. If we can have a bad race like that and still take two points it’s not the end of the world. Picking up points like this when we’re not at our best could make a big difference at the end of the season.
Does the disappointment of Monaco change your focus looking to the rest of the season?
One race doesn’t change the fact that we have been pretty strong everywhere – even at Monaco during most of the weekend. Monaco is completely different from any other track and I don’t think we should worry too much about the fact that it wasn’t our best weekend.
How is your progress working on the steering set-up with the team?
We tried something different for the special challenge of Monaco and it didn’t work for me. It’s impossible to test how something will work at Monaco without going to Monaco. We’re not allowed open testing and the roads would be too busy for a Formula 1 car anyway. I’m happy with the basic setup, though it’s still an area I’m working on with the team.
There have been six winners from six races so far this season. Can you make it seven from seven?
We’ve been quick everywhere and we’ve been on the podium. It’s difficult to get everything exactly right at the right time, which is what you have to do to win a Grand Prix. I’ve won races with other teams and I have a good feeling that Lotus are capable of strong results. Our day will come.