The Finn suffered back pain during Friday and Saturday practice at the last round in Singapore, although he admitted that it felt better during the race. It is a recurring injury that he sustained 12 years ago when he was driving for Sauber.
Discussing the injury and looking ahead to Korea he said: “It’s better than it was on Saturday in Singapore which is when it didn’t feel too good. The important thing was that I was able to race and we did a pretty good job with the podium finish. It’s not the first time I’ve had a problem, as there have been some issues with my back for a long time. For sure, we will have to see how it is when I get out on track on Friday in Korea.”
The 33-year-old finished the Singapore Grand Prix in third place despite qualifying down in 13th. With the car feeling strong during the only night race on the calendar, Raikkonen is hoping that the momentum will continue in Korea: “Let’s hope we are able to maintain the strong form from Sunday in Singapore. The car felt good for the whole race and it was a nice feeling racing too. The main focus is to keep this positive feeling and benefit from it in the next races.”
With his qualifying performance in Singapore still in his mind, he is focusing on a better performance on Saturday afternoon: “The main target is to have a better weekend overall compared to what we saw in Singapore. Obviously, we didn’t have the best qualifying and it makes things easier if you start in the top ten.”
Team-mate Romain Grosjean feels that his third place on the grid in Singapore proves that Lotus still have a strong car and is feeling confident heading to Yeongam: “I’m feeling pretty positive; we had a good car in Singapore and we should have a good car in Korea. Qualifying in the top three so late in the season shows that we still have good strength in our package, so if we can show comparable pace at the next few races it’ll be a real strength for us.”
Explaining the three completely different sectors at the Korea International Circuit, he added: “Last year was my first time at the Korea International Circuit and it’s quite an interesting place. It wasn’t so hard to learn, although there are three quite different parts to it with the long straight in sector one, high and medium speed corners in sector two and then the street course nature of the final sector. The trickiest parts are definitely Turns 11 & 12 which are not easy to get exactly right, but overall it’s not too bad and I think the E21 should go well there.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic