Kimi Raikkonen: “I want to race and that’s why I came back to Formula 1”
Eritasard.am’s correspondent sat down for an interview with FIA Formula 1 champion Finn Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen is one of the most famous racers in the past decade. He was in second place in the Formula 1 World Championship in 2003 and 2005, was declared winner in the Ferrari team in 2007, left Formula 1 two years later and joined the World Rally Championship. In 2012, the Finnish racer returned to Formula 1 and achieved great success in the Lotus F1 team, winning third place. In addition to being a high-profile athlete, Kimi is also known for his cool attitude, and that’s why he has been named the “Iceman”. Eritasard.am: Do you think these two worlds, of rally and of Formula 1, are radically different or not? Which one is more exciting? Kimi Raikkonen: Everything is different completely. These are two different kinds of sport and I like both. I enjoy doing rally since it was very difficult because I didn't have experience like I have in Formula 1. I'd love to do it more if I could even now. But you can't compare these two - they are so much different in all the areas Eritasard.am: What’s been the main motivation for your comeback to Formula One with Lotus? K. R.: I like to race and if you want to race you probably also want to be on top of this sport. F1 is probably the best place for that. As I said - I want to race that's why I'm going back. Eritasard.am: What are the main differences in the work approaches at Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus? K. R.: All companies are different. It's not just in racing but in general. Swiss, Italian, British... They really try to do the same thing - produce the best results they can but they do it in their own kind of way. I don't think there's one right or wrong way of doing things it's just working on the same goal with a different approach. Eritasard.am: How do you evaluate your interaction with the team-mate? In your opinion, will Romain Grosjean step up in the 2013 season? K. R.: He's fast, we know that. He did well last year. He had some problems during the races but he knows more about Formula 1 now than before. I guess he can do better or he can do worse, it happens to all of us. I can do better or I can do worse than the last year. We cannot promise anything, we just can do our best and see what happens Eritasard.am: 5 world Champions participate in F1. Besides Kimi Raikkonen, who is the most prominent participant? Who can you name your main rival? K. R.: Well, Vettel won many years in a row. I guess he's pretty strong. There were two guys in front of us last year, let's see what happens this year, hopefully we can make it better. Eritasard.am: After the tests you have your opinion on new E21. Do you think it would be a better car than the previous one? K. R.: I think it's better. A step forward compared to the last year. Is it good enough? I don't know, we'll see during the season. It's going to be a long season, we have to try and start better than we did last year and then go from there. Eritasard.am: Kimi, was it hard for you to ride your car on an icy road during the Za Rulem Stars Cup? K. R.: It wasn’t new to me at all. There are icy roads in Finland too. Eritasard.am: How do you prepare yourself psychologically and emotionally before the race? K. R.: I don't have any specials things. I just try to get the start right and go from there. You cannot really plan the race because you never know what's going to happen and you have to be ready for everything and make the right decision when it comes to it. Eritasard.am: For the sake of what values do you risk your life – is it for money, adrenaline drive or fame? K. R.: I don't think that anybody thinks that we risk our lives. It would be a wrong approach for the whole races. It's something that we like to do and that's why we do it. Eritasard.am: What car do you drive in your everyday life? K. R.: I guess, Renault. Eritasard.am: Is it true that your first car was a Lada? Where is it now? K. R.: Yes, it’s true. I have no idea. I gave it to my friend when I was 18, so it was quite a few years ago. Eritasard.am: Who was your favorite F1 pilot when you were a child? K.R.: I don't have any favorites. I always cheered for Finns, but I never had one that I was constantly hoping for to win. I was more interested in the sport itself. Eritasard.am: If not racing, is there any other area you would like to work in? K. R.: I think in some other sport. If not racing, then moto-racing, or mechanics Eritasard.am: They call you Iceman. But is there anything that can get you angry? K. R.: I think Ron Dennis came up with this nickname a long time ago. For sure, there are a lot of things that can get me angry, but I think everybody has them. Eritasard.am: What are you afraid of most in your life? K. R.: Everybody is afraid of something. For me there's not really anything that comes up in everyday life. I don't know. But for sure you get scared sometimes when something goes wrong. Eritasard.am: Are you keen on speed in your daily life as well? K. R.: No. Well, I was when I was little bit younger but not really anymore Eritasard.am: What does the Formula driver feel when he stands on the top of the pedestal? And what does he think about standing on the second or third steps? K. R.: For sure it feels better to be in the middle than second or third. You're happy because you achieved something you've been working hard for. Being second or third is not a huge disappointment because it's still a good result but in Formula 1 you try to win and you fail - you are not 100% satisfied. The only thing left to do is try to be better next time. Eritasard.am: Is it true that sleeping is one of your most favorite occupations in life? K. R.: I like to sleep. I can't say that it's my favorite thing but it's not wrong to sleep Eritasard.am: Do you think it’s right to leave at the peak of your career? K. R.: Some people don't have a choice, some people have a choice and some never probably achieved what they think they should. So in the end everybody does what they think is right for them Eritasard.am: When do you plan to end your racing career and what do you plan to do? K. R.: Frankly, I don't have any plans. And I don't like guessing. It might be this year or ten years later. I might want to participate in other races. Who knows?