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GP Week : Issue 156
There are reports of trouble at Enstone, with relations between Kimi Raikkonen and his Lotus employers said to be frosty following the events of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. For much of the season the Finnish driver has been complaining that the steering rack is not to his liking, and the brains back at the factory have been pulling out all the stops to develop a solution for the 2007 world champion. According to Sky Sports’ Mark Hughes, in Monaco Raikkonen refused to use a new system that workers at Enstone had spent weeks developing, and the Finn’s refusal has understandably soured relations with the team. “Coming into the Monaco weekend – the track with the tightest corners on the calendar and therefore the one requiring the greatest amount of steering lock – Kimi had further requested a high-ratio steering system, giving greater lock for a given degree of steering wheel input,” Hughes reported. “The Enstone guys readily agreed, even though designing and manufacturing such a system is a time-consuming business. It drained factory engineering effort away from a lot of other projects for around three weeks. “As has been well-reported, Kimi made a single out-lap in Thursday morning practice at Monaco, came in, declared that the car was undriveable with this steering, almost totally devoid of feedback,” Hughes continued. “Re-fitting the conventional system is a 1.5-hour job and he was asked to consider running the session with it as it was, so that the standard system could be fitted in between sessions. He refused and took no further part in that session – the only one in which extended dry track running could have been made, as it turned out. With the afternoon session rained out, the team was sorely bereft of useful tyre data.” Team personnel are said to have been unimpressed with Raikkonen’s performance in Monaco, both on and off the track. Given that the variable weather conditions turned the race into a veritable chess game of strategy, the Finn’s refusal to run on Thursday morning was a significant contributing factor to his lacklustre performance on Sunday. KIMI UPSETTING THE SHOP-FLOOR AT LOTUS Steering ratio f iasco stumps team’s Monaco effort EDITOR: Adam Hay-Nicholls firstname.lastname@example.org ASSISTANT EDITORS: Naoise Holohan, Kate Walker F1 ANALYST: Peter Windsor MOTOGP EDITOR: Michael Scott email@example.com RALLY EDITOR: Martin Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION ARTIST: Cedric Dufour PHOTOGRAPHY: Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Patrik Lundin, Dirk Klynsmith, Emily Davenport PUBLISHER: Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHED BY: Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom ADVERTISING: n Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 n Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org n Gaye Grinsted (WRC/MotoGP) email@example.com Ph: +44 (0) 207 254 8796 Mob: +44 (0) 7921 283 070 n Adam Hay-Nicholls firstname.lastname@example.org n SE Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com .com WEEK 4 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> NEWS