Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Melbourne, 2013

Lapped cars less of a problem this year – Raikkonen

2013 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Melbourne, 2013Kimi Raikkonen says lapped traffic was less of a problem for leaders in the first race of 2013 than it was during the previous season.

“Last year there was some cars, some teams that were not very easy to get past when we were lapping them,” said Raikkonen during the press conference ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

“But at least in the first race seems to be a bit better so no complaints on that.

A fault with the FIA’s telemetry system meant teams did not receive automatic blue flag warnings during last week’s race

Raikkonen said there was “not much talk about” blue flags in the drivers’ briefings even with five new drivers competing in F1 this year. “Everybody knows what they have to do. They’re not first time racing, they’ve been doing racing for a long time.”

“It’s sometimes more easy to let people past than other times. Of course you understand that they don’t want to lose much time but it’s more important for them to move over because they can sometimes make a difference of who wins and who not.”

“In the end if you don’t want to get blue flags you should be in the front, so simple as that.”

Max Chilton, who was lapped twice in Australia, said he had more to learn in terms of how to minimise the amount of time lost while being lapped:

“The team did, over the winter testing, give me some guidance as the best way to do it and the did say it is an art and it will take you a few races.

“At the start of the race in Melbourne the blues started to come early because we had to do a nose change so I was kind of getting the blue flags earlier than expected.

“Our races are planned to be as fast as you can until the blue flags and then the race kind of slows down so that came sooner than we thought but I could definitely tell after 20 laps where to do it and the time you can save and there is a huge time saver

“Obviously you don’t want to disrupt the leaders because their race is more important than ours but our race is still important so you need to do the best for the team by not losing too much time.

“I think after the next few races I’ll be fully comfortable and just naturally know where to do it and lose the least amount of time possible.”

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26 comments on “Lapped cars less of a problem this year – Raikkonen”

  1. Of course, there’s two cars less to lap.

    1. So true. Just checked, Kimi lapped a car 9 times last GP. If both HRT would have finished the race, Kimi would have lapped a car 13 times. A big difference.

      1. Doesn’t help either when one of the drivers in the HRT’s never got out of anyones way *cough* Karthikeyan *cough*

      2. With the speed of the HRTs it’s likely that the number would have been 15-16 times even.

    2. If you’re talking about last season in general, then yes. But the HRTs didn’t race last year’s Aussie GP.

    3. @roald No there weren’t.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    21st March 2013, 8:29

    … And the fact that the backmarkers are slightly more competitive than last year too.

  3. their race is more important than ours

    If I were there I’d slap him, what rubbish is that?

    1. Indeed, although it seems Chilton agrees. I know I wouldn’t if I were racing at the back.

    2. Sure, but for Chilton, it’s essentially like “arrive & drive” karting. He’s paid his money for 19 race weekends and a few practice sessions.

      A race for the championship is more important than someone who has essentially paid for 19 track days.

    3. @mike

      If I were there I’d slap him, what rubbish is that?

      And why would you wanna do that? What rubbish is this?

  4. I dont think that Fernando will agree.

  5. “The team did, over the winter testing, give me some guidance as the best way to do it and they did say it is an art ….”
    How sad is this. Teams in F1 instructing drivers how to be lapped :)

    1. Not sad but smart. You can loose valuable seconds (or even places) by letting others lap you the wrong way. And eventually it can be the difference between 10th or 11th place in WDC (see Petrov and Pic last Brazilian gp).

  6. “The team did, over the winter testing, give me some guidance as the best way to do it and they did say it is an art ….”

    How sad is this. Teams in F1 instructing drivers how to be lapped :)

  7. “The team did, over the winter testing, give me some guidance as the best way to do it and the did say it is an art and it will take you a few races.

    Not an art you want to be a Picasso at, I suppose.

  8. In the end if you don’t want to get blue flags you should be in the front, so simple as that.

    Oh, Kimi, Kimi… Now you’ve clued the backmarkers in, they won’t be backmarkers any more. You and your big mouth!

  9. In the end if you don’t want to get blue flags you should be in the front, so simple as that.

    Kimi is right though. You give the backmarkers a certain, appropriate degree of professional respect, but then after that, they can quickly metamorphosize from colleague (tenuous colleague, at best) to hindrance or P.i.t.A. if they don’t show you the deference you deserve as race leader – in which case, a stern telling off and maybe a brake-check to set things right! Don’t wanna be lapped?! Then get to the front! d’uh! lol…

  10. What has Kimi been fed? I’ve never read so many interviews involving him as I have in the past couple of weeks…!

    1. I think he’s been speaking a lot more because he’s been in demand a lot more. Leading the championship does that. Though he does seem more articulate than usual this year.

  11. I would assume that all the drivers who are currently at the front might have been lapped at some stage in their career? Not sure, but it would be a nice statistic to see. If so, then perhaps all the drivers understand what it means to be lapped?

    Either way, as discussed by many before (see this link here), I still believe that Blue Flags should be modified in a way so that: For as long as a backmarker doesn’t purposely block or impede the leader(s), they need not go off the racing line. Hence they need not do the job for the leader and simply “move over” and/or slow down.

    While Raikkonens logic is correct in a way, I would equally argue that if leader(s) think they are fast enough to pass the backmarkers, then it is their responsibility to get the job done. Not the other way around. If leader(s) want to win, it is their responsibility to do everything necessary to get the job done.

    But, if above rule was implemented, not only would it generate more exciting racing but leader would no longer have the luxury of “taking it easy” once they build a gap.

  12. What I noticed several times in Sunday’s coverage in Australia were blue flags being shown incorrectly to cars fighting for position.

    At least 5 times I saw incorrect blue flags… and it was commented on at least twice.

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