Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Suzuka, 2013

Car ??still not exactly as I want it? says Raikkonen

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Will Wood

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Suzuka, 2013Kimi Raikkonen says that although Lotus have made improvements to the E21 over recent races, the car is still not yet fully to his liking.

The Finn has finished two of the last three races on the podium and managed a fifth place finish at last weekend?s Japanese Grand Prix.

??The car felt pretty strong all weekend and we?ve made good progress with it recently,?? says Raikkonen. ??It?s still not exactly as I want it and we?re trying to get rid of some understeer which is something I don?t like.??

??In Japan it was hard to show our real pace at the beginning of the race as I was stuck behind slower cars for quite a long time. After the final pit stop when I got a bit of free air the car was working much better. It ran well in the last half of the race and I was very happy with it.??

After failing to qualify in the top five in any of the last six races, the 2007 world champion is targeting a stronger showing on Saturday during next weekend?s Indian Grand Prix.

??Hopefully we finally get it right in qualifying as the last five qualifying sessions have not been that great for me,?? says Raikkonen. ??If we don?t, it?s going to be a difficult Sunday afternoon, although of course we?ll keep pushing. If we do get it right, then we can really go for it!??

??It?s quite an interesting track; one of the better ones from the modern circuits. It?s quite similar to Korea; long straights, not terribly challenging corners and hard braking. It?s not as technical as Korea which was another new track for me last year, but it?s good.??

With four races remaining in the 2013 season, Raikkonen is currently third in the Drivers? Championship with 177 points ?ǣ 16 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton and 30 points behind Fernando Alonso.

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49 comments on “Car ??still not exactly as I want it? says Raikkonen”

  1. No driver on the grid with the possible exception of Vettel has the car exactly to their liking

    1. while what you state might be true, what does the article mention which says anything about that…
      It states that Räikkönen haven’t had the car set-up exactly to his liking, in recent races.
      And also, it is impossible for us to know to which degree he is talking about. That understeer he mentioned could be minimal or it could be severe, we just can’t tell from a drivers quick remark.

      1. @dr-jekyll though I don’t agree with the user above that much this time I’d have to say I agree because if the car isn’t in the area he wants it to be it will probably never be since the season only has four races left. Also more to what mccarthy is saying, the drivers aren’t going to enjoy the car unless they are winning 3 or more races in a row. To his liking would be something that he feels he can easily drive to the podium or quali on the front row with.

        1. It would be much easier if it lies with car setup alone.

          The issues lies with tire changes. The new front tire wasn’t as grippy as the 2013 compound used at the beginning. Hence, the issues of understeer keep bugging Kimi who prefer a stronger front end.

          To make the car ‘s balance more toward oversteer, he has to setup the rear end to step up a bit which compromise rear grip and tire degradation.

          Go find some onboard video and you will notice kimi tried to brake and adjust the steering angle as earlier as possible to induce oversteer while finding difficulties to steer the car during cornering.

        2. Exactly

    2. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend and what if Vettel still doesn’t have the “perfect” car? He has “only” won 5 races in a row. When we see him winning the first 12 races of the year, that would be perfect for him :P

      1. Are you trying to incite a riot here?

        1. A riot? Come on, don’t be @ridiculous :P:P

      2. with a Grand Chelem in each of them, pulling away 5″ from the rest in the first lap and then again whenever he pleases. yes, it will be great fun.

      3. Yeah, I am pretty sure Vettel also has plenty of things that he would like his team to improve on @omarr-pepper.

        Being best doesn’t always mean there is nothing more to gain or improve.

    3. Kudos for RedBull. A long-based car is inherently light on the nose so that’s why.

  2. I hope he gets the car the way he likes at Ferrari :)

    1. Yeah, no Alonso lol :-)

  3. This is a good rehearsal for future.

    If kimi can overcome the tire’s nature on his own, its gonna be an improvement for himself.

    Nevertheless, its not gonna affect his race pace anyway. So he should take it easy and not to risk his bad spine any further. Ferrari is the future, not Lotus.

  4. I can see what he means and i don’t think it is related to just speed but more to balance. Kimi has a way of flinging the car around a corner that is almost unique to him and I have not seen him do that often since his return.

    I really, really want him to beat Alonso during his second Ferrari tenure.

    1. in the era of rear grip domination by EBD, its not easy.

      Next year is completely different story though.

    2. Doesn’t Vettel have similar oversteery driving style?

      1. Different car.

        He also has the car that work the front hardest……

        Reason why they dislike the previous iteration of front tire that’s too fragile.

      2. Vettel’s style is to floor the throttle as quickly as possible on corner exit, which isn’t so much an oversteery style as one with quite unique demands. Since all the downforce of the Red Bull comes when the exhaust gases are flowing, it requires the driver to be on the throttle in places where you wouldn’t normally try.

        Hence why Webber has found it very difficult to master.

      3. Doesn’t Vettel have similar oversteery driving style?

        Slightly different IMO. Someone described Vettel’s driving style as “Rotation Meister”. This is especially obvious on high G curves (rather than true corners) where Vettel seems to brake less (rather than early or late) and feeds the car through very quickly. It is such parts of the race tracks that he gains or makes-up a lot of time over rivals. One of the tracks that this skill is best demonstrated is actually Budhh, between ‘turns’ 5 thru to 9. Watch him there next week.

        1. @loup-garou @vettel1

          Vettel’s driving style is mainly using oversteer and pin pointing the car to the apex late and at the same getting the throttle very early compared to others. He tends to go a “gear up than Hamilton and Rosberg mostly during corners”, for better traction. I realized that Webber and Vettel most of the time go 1 gear higher than both Mercedes drivers. In fact, most of the time both Mercedes drivers are 1 gear down compared to all drivers.
          I remember watching a video on driving styles done by Martin Brundle and he said Kimi and Michael Schumacher had the same driving styles.
          Although, Loup-garou, I agree with that. It’s very noticeable indeed.

          1. @krichelle @loup-garou great contributions! Essentially he is heavily reliant on the rear end being planted by the downforce: that is not at all to say he needs the rear downforce (far from it) but that for his car that is the quickest way to drive it, and he trusts that it will work. It’s not an instinctive driving style.

          2. @vettel1
            And also that, he needs the rear downforce. We saw last year that the ban of EBD made Vettel outqualified by Webber. And at the halfway of 2012, before SPA, Webber and Vettel were matched. Until Red Bull came up with some huge upgrades in Japan that totally changed the tables.
            P.S: A lot of people are saying Button is very similar to Vettel in terms of style.

          3. I think most valid reason they are 1 gear higher because their gearing is shorter.

          4. yes it is, but other reason is that the higher the gear, the better the traction out of the corner.

            -Higher gear: less acceleration but better traction.
            -Lower gear: Higher acceleration but poorer traction out of the corner.

  5. *Money ‘still not exactly as I want it’ says Raikkonen

    1. Especially when you haven’t been PAID!

  6. Whatever happened to “Kimi doesn’t whine. He jus drives whatever they give him.”?

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      18th October 2013, 21:37

      I don’t see any whining – he states it’s a strong car that just needs setting up better.

      1. Maybe Grosjean could give him some pointers

        1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
          19th October 2013, 0:47

          It’s been said a number of times that Grosjean and Raikkonen both prefer very different car setups.

  7. My car is also not exactly as I want…

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      19th October 2013, 1:37


      1. +1

        My car has very little downforce which is ok for motorway miles but it understeers and oversteers too much.

        Also it’s got abut 600BHP less than I’d like

  8. Raikkonen has been shown up by Grosjean in qualifying since the summer break, and Grosjean has been challenging him in some recent races as well. I don’t know if his heart isn’t in the rest of the season due to a number of factors or if it’s all down to the car not being where he wants it. Another poor showing in qualifying in India should cause some concern among his future paymasters at Ferrari.

    1. @colossal-squid I don’t see how it should. They know what they get with him from their previous stint, it’s not like they went into it with their eyes closed. Kimi cannot cope with on-the-limit understeer . As soon as they went with Massa’s understeery style in their car development direction in 2008 Kimi immediately lost some qualy pace. That’s what I meant by on-the-limit, as in a race situation he’s able to compensate. As witnessed by the 10 fastest laps in 2008 and great race pace this year after the tire change, which moved the balance towards understeer. These are all simple facts about KR that Ferrari knows very well. No need to resort to baseless assumptions that “his heart’s not in it”. Have you watched the past race,or the 2 before that? Does that look like a driver lacking motivation to you? Or maybe KR is losing his motivation in qualy only to miraculously find it again in the race?

      What I’d really be worried about were I a Ferrari fan, is that Alonso’s style is actually very close to Massa’s only more precise. So I can’t see how they possibly can design/set-up a car that will suit both of them equally well

  9. Ok, Im not very well informed in the matter, but Kimi is saying he doesnt like understeer. If I understood well, Alonso likes the car set up to understeer.
    Here’s a thought, maybe he already wants to make it clear for Ferrari they better not build a car that understeers.

    1. Well by definition, a car that is slightly oversteer prone is faster than one which is slightly understeer prone: he has that going for him.

      1. @vettel1 Not exactly. The fastest car is neutral. Each driver tries to make the car as neutral as possible for himself. For KR, SV, MW, LH, NH etc. this means preferring slight oversteer. For others like FA, FM, RG, Kubica etc it’s the other way round. That’s about it. There’s no physical explanation for inherently oversteery F1 cars being faster than inherently understeery ones. It’s just a different way of transferring the forces. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The understeery car is more stable and the understeery style is more repetitive. It’s also better suited to protect the rear tires, while less suited to protect the fronts. Since the fronts must be in optimal temp window, this is often the preferred style for qualifying, as all other things being equal, the understeery driver will be able to heat up the fronts quicker. Of course all things are NOT equal. And conversely the oversteery driver will be able to keep his front tires in better shape for longer(See the quote by Alan Permane on KR: his style is very easy on the tires, particularly the fronts)

        1. @montreal95

          Actually, Lewis Hamilton can control a car with huge amount of Oversteer unlike some other drivers. This is evident by Silverstone qualifying this year, as we saw that in Q1 Nico Rosberg touched the grass on the inside of Copse, giving it a clue that the car was setup more oversteer. Ted Kravitz discussed that during that time, both Mercedes cars were setuped with a car that had a lot of oversteer, that’s why Lewis took pole by a huge margin because of his control on Oversteery cars.

          Kimi, is similar to Schumi’s style earlier, wherein he prefers the back end to slide around in the middle of the corner to make it settled for the exit of the corner. Although, now… Probably his style change considering that he is very good in managing the tyres.

  10. I don’t get why lotus changed the car set up…I say ” changed” because raikkonen outperformed grosjean in the first seven races(in qualifying), then something changed but they were pretty on the same level until monza.
    From Singapore Grosjean has significantly outperformed raikkonen in qualifying.
    That’s why I think something has changed. Otherwise it seems like raikkonen has suddenly become one of the slowest driver in quali(but misteriously fast as hell in race pace) thinking of the big gap between him and his team mate in the last races(qualify)
    But raikkonen has always been one of the fastest, I think one of the two fastest drivers between 2003 and 2007.
    I don’t get why people(not you, I’m referring to journalists) talk about a good performance or a bad one if it’s all up to the car set up suiting a particular driving style or not.
    f1 would show real driving talent if they put one driver per team.
    other way, there will always be teams with a driver better than the other one , mainly because of car set up, understeer,oversteer blabla.
    lotus clearly changed because of raikkonen announcement after monza. maybe they’re showing grosjean potential and diminishing raikkonen’s influence in making them a top team. Moreover the less points raikkonen makes, the less money Lotus has to pay him. Money is everything in F1 and Lotus definitely has money problems. Grosjean has become more reliable, he can do raikkonen’s job even if he doesn’t show raikkonen pure racecraft talent, especially in overtakes. Raikkonen is one of the greatest overtaker: he can start 10th and finish second or 17th and win the race(suzuka 2005)
    Even without safety car he is able to gain at least four or five positions.
    Grosjean is not always able, for the moment, to maximise the car’s potential in the race. He doesn’t have the same race pace of his team mate.
    I saw this situation before with massa in 2008. massa started to outperform raikkonen when they changed the car set up in favour of the brasilian.

    I think, in the end, that raikkonen is a rare case of champion who didn’t get his number one status in a team.

    The only team that completely respected his talent was mclaren. If I was him, I would have struggled to get a seat with mclaren alongside button. Maybe mclaren in 2014 will be weak as in 2013, but raikkonen would have saved his reputation because mclaren wouldn’t build a car for button, putting raikkonen as an outsider.
    Both drivers have more or less the same opportunities in mclaren.
    In ferrari all the italian media are waiting for alonso to outperform raikkonen and if ferrari will give him an understeering prone car this will happen easily.

    sorry for my english, I’m italian.

  11. All those naysayers and Debbie Downers who criticized Lotus’s decision to employ Räikkönen on his return to F1 or otherwise suggested he would fail…haw-haw! Go Kimi!!

    BTW: Why doesn’t @keithcollantine properly spell the Finn’s last name? It’s Räikkönen!!! Not Raikkonen, which is not the preferred spelling, not even an acceptable one. This is not a book, movie, city or country, where different spellings are used in different language-speaking areas. This is an individual person, and their family names (particularly when using the same script as the language spoken) have fixed spellings. If you merely don’t know how to type ä and ö on your keyboard, copy&paste them from an earlier mention!!

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      19th October 2013, 22:08

      Why doesn’t @keithcollantine properly spell the Finn’s last name?

      Neither does the BBC. It’s generally accepted that in English text, diacritics can be omitted, even on loanwords and names.

      1. @joepa @raceprouk Here’s why I only use plain letters in drive/team/circuit/other names.

    2. Not many languages have those letters, I’ve one “lucky” one :) öäüõ I don’t think it is such a big problem. Many languages have special characters which get “simplified” all the time. Even if you spell Räikkönen correctly I can bet you probably won’t pronounce it right :)

      And do you remember JJ Lehto? By Keke’s advice he took that name instead of using his real name Jyrki Järvilehto.

  12. Vettel is much much much better than Kimi ;)

    1. I am a reasonable guy, 34 yo wont get any easier to adopt with changes…just like Valentino Rossi.
      Especially when you haven’t been PAID!

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