by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 174
19 GPWEEK.com // 19 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: OPINION KIMI SOME LOVIN' “Kimi, your first victory since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix – tell us about your emotions at this time,” said podium MC David Coulthard. “Not much really,” came the reply. This brand of underwhelment is, of course, typical Raikkonen and, perhaps oddly, people love him for it. His victory is a popular one. He’s the eighth different winner this year, and has achieved what Michael Schumacher has been unable to do, winning 18 races into his comeback season. Given the Finn’s hedonistic lifestyle away from the track, one imagines there isn’t a drop left to drink in the entire Emirate: “I have almost two weeks,” said Kimi, speculating on where he might party between now and the United States Grand Prix. “As long as I manage to get myself to the next race I think the team is happy. I’ll try to go home at some point.” With several opportunities to win earlier in the year, it looked as if Lotus’s chances had been exhausted. Red Bull and McLaren had moved ahead in the development race. But thanks largely to a brilliant start from fourth up to second the Enstone-based team has taken its first victory since Japan 2008, and the first for the Lotus marque since Ayrton Senna won in Dallas in ’87. Success often comes in cycles in F1. A team can dominate for a couple of years and then lose their way for 10. It happened to Enstone in their Benetton and Renault guise. In 1994 and 1995 they cleaned up, and the same again in 2005 and 2006. In between, there was a lot of filler. But the sun could be rising once again on that roughly decade-long cycle of hibernation. With the ink still dry on Raikkonen’s contract extension into next year, the Lotus team is putting the pieces into place for a serious championship challenge. Kimi and his engineer Simon Rennie might need some couples counseling first, though, if they’re to make it through the winter. The Kimster isn’t a big fan of being disturbed. Radio calls updating him on his progress were met with a certain amount of prickliness. One can see the t-shirts being printed already with the slogan “Just leave me alone! I know what I’m doing!” This could have useful workplace applications for us all. “They’re just trying to help [but] I’m not so stupid that I cannot remember what I’m doing,” Kimi later explained to the press. Despite the win, though, Kimi is now out of contention for the world championship. Flanked by Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel on the podium, it’s now a two horse race between those two. Alonso, as always, extracted the maximum from his machinery but will be gob-smacked by how Vettel managed to recover from a pit-lane start and a broken wing. With reliability issues for Red Bull and then exclusion from qualifying, it looked like Abu Dhabi was going to be a turning point in the championship. Instead, the gap between Vettel and Alonso is 10 points, barely shrinking, and the German clearly has the faster car. To close that gap further, Alonso may have to break out the voodoo dolls. Seb won’t be feeling at all comfortable, though, because he knows if he drops a ball the Spaniard will be there to pick it up. OPINION ADAM HAY-NICHOLLS F1 Editor