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The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix may have featured all kinds of incidents, but Kimi Räikkönen’s was a faultless performance. The 2007 World Champion, who started fourth on the grid, stormed to his first race victory since returning to Formula 1 at the start of this season. Ahead of the partying at Yas Marina, the Finn shared his feelings.
How does it feel to take your 19th win?
I’m very happy for the team – and myself – but mainly for the all the crew here and everyone at Enstone. It’s been a hard season and I feel this win is well deserved for everyone and just what we need. It’s also something great for all the fans who have continued to support me and the team. We’ve not had the easiest time in the last few races. Hopefully this gives everyone more belief - not just for everyone working at the track and at the factory, but for everyone behind the scenes running the team. I hope this can turn around the tables and give us many more good races and wins; if not this year, then next year.
How does this win stack up against the other 18?
To be honest, it’s just another win on the list for me. It’s great of course, because it’s been a few years, but the wins prior to this one were very similar; we didn’t have the best car, but we fought and still won. It’s great to win now, so people will stop asking me if I can win or not, and at least it makes it a bit clearer!
Is it good that you’ve answered that ‘when’s the win coming’ question?
I never cared really what people think. If I don’t finish the next race, then they’ll think that I’m as bad as that race. I’ll just do my thing and if I’m happy with what I’m doing and it’s the best it can be for the team, then that’s that. So I really don’t care if people are thinking differently of me now than what they did three hours before the race.
Tell us about your start (shooting from fourth position to second).
It was key to get behind the faster car and not get stuck behind cars that weren’t as fast as us. We had a good position on the grid and we made it better at the start. I think we’ve had some very good starts before and, compared to the others, today was a pretty normal start on our scale. I managed to pass Mark (Webber) and Pastor (Maldonado) before I changed into second gear. I’d had a very good practice start on the warm-up lap, so I knew this was going to be good.
How long will your celebrations of this win last?
I have almost two weeks. As long as I manage to get myself to the next race, I think the team is happy. Maybe I will try to get home at some point.
Interview provided by the Lotus press office
Räikkönen’s team radio moments
|3.||S. Vettel||Red Bull||+4.163|
|9.||P. di Resta||Force India||+24.160|
|10.||D. Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||+27.463|
|17 May||Boullier frustrated by tyre modifications|
|15 May||Mixed feelings over penalty points system|
|12 May||Räikkönen: Second is always disappointing|
|12 May||Räikkönen predicting better race pace|
|2012 Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix|
|13 Nov '12||Exclusive interview with steward Derek Warwick|
|8 Nov '12||Drivers instructed not to swear in interviews|
|6 Nov '12||Williams pleased that Senna’s car withstood impact|
|5 Nov '12||Montezemolo questions latest Ferrari upgrades|
|10 May||Räikkönen satisfied after 'normal' Friday|
|10 May||Räikkönen, Bottas also pick up fines|
|9 May||Räikkönen plays down Allison departure|
|3 May||Räikkönen: Lotus needs to work twice as hard|
|18 May||Rosberg hopes to capitalise on one-lap pace|
|18 May||Video of the Day: A closer look at braking|
|17 May||Video: Caterham's Spanish GP review|
|17 May||Wolff targets double points finish in Monaco|
|More Kimi Räikkönen photos|