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Interview with Raikkonen: & # 34; Never lost your passion for Formula 1 & # 34;

Interview with Kimi Raikkonen
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You have decided to come back to Formula 1. Why are you coming back?

R äikkönen: The main reason was that I've never really lost my passion for Formula 1, just maybe for all the things around it. But when I did a couple of NASCAR races this year, I noticed that I was losing the racing side more and more - driving against each other - because in rallying you actually drive against the clock. And then I got the call from certain people from Formula 1. All sorts of things happened, we had a good conversation with Lotus Renault and we got a deal - I'm really very happy about that!

Why did you choose Lotus Renault GP?

Raikkonen: There were actually two options - it was this team or Williams. And with Lotus Renault everything worked the way we wanted it to, that's really the reason.

Did you follow the team and its performance this year?

Räikkönen: I didn't follow Formula 1 very much last year. This year it was a bit more, but not really a special team. I watched the last 20 laps of the last race, the Brazilian Grand Prix, and knowing this was going to happen I also watched how Lotus Renault did. But before that I didn't know anything about what was going to happen or that there was going to be a deal in Formula 1 for next year, so I just took a general look at Formula 1. I saw a few races, but nothing special.

Do you think Formula 1 will be very different for you with your knowledge from 2009, with DRS, the Pirelli Tires and so on?

Räikkönen: If you compare 2009 with the coming year, the biggest difference will probably be in the tires. I don't think there's much difference in the cars. DRS is a new thing, but it's basically similar to what it used to be. The button that was there for the front wing is gone, now it's there for the rear wing. I would guess the biggest difference is really the tires.

What is, from a personal point of view, the biggest difference to the Kimi Raikkonen we saw in 2009 - how are you a better driver?

Räikkönen: I don't know - I was gone two years. I have neither driven a Formula 1 car nor have I sat in one since the last race in 2009. It'll be interesting to get back in the car. I'm two years older now and I don't think much else has changed. It's been really nice trying to learn rallying over the past few years. Some days it was tough. This year was easier than last year, but it's still a difficult sport. I really look forward to coming back again. In Formula 1, at least I know how everything works because I've been there for many years - in comparison with rallying, I didn't know what was really going to happen. Then I went to NASCAR and had no idea what it would be like. In that way, it should be much, much easier for me to come back and it should be pretty normal.

Have you changed your training program yet?

Räikkönen: I continued to train for rallying all the time, but that's not so physical - rallies are more about you have to sit in the car all week. In Formula 1 it is more physically demanding, but for a shorter period of time. A month ago I started again with real training for Formula 1. The neck is the most difficult area to get ready again, but we still have plenty of time.

When you think about your last race in 2009, how does it feel to drive in Formula 1?

Raikkonen: I still remember good at braking and how fast it all happens. But compared to rallying, you have a little more time. You don't have a second chance in a rally. If you make a mistake, you will fly. There are no run-off areas, there are trees. In Formula 1 you have a lot of run-off areas, you can get out a bit and that's not that big of a problem. You lose a lap in practice or qualifying, but you may not even lose a place in the race. This time I will certainly get used to the braking and the G-forces again quickly. The most important thing will definitely be to get your neck used to it again. All the rest will take some time, but that's not really a big deal.

Next year there are six world champions in the field with you - what a one Is that an incentive for your motivation?

Räikkönen: I wouldn't have come back if I wasn't motivated. There will always be a lot about motivationtalked but nobody but me really knows what I'm doing or what I'm thinking so I don't care what people say. I'm happy to be back though. I wouldn't put my name on a contract if I wasn't sure I was really enjoying it - so it will be interesting and exciting to be back!

The interview was made available to us by Lotus Renault.


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