An uncharacteristic unforced error in Free Practice One hasn’t fazed Kimi Raikkonen, who is confident the residual steering issues that surfaced from his crash during the second session would be ironed-out in time for qualifying.
Referring to his unusual accident in Free Practice One, Raikkonen seemed relatively non-plussed. Labelling the accident as a simple mistake on his part, despite the crash being his first major incident since Monza 2008.
Despite Lotus repairing the E21 towards the start of Free Practice Two, Kimi was complaining of a steering issue (the wheel pulling to the right) at the end the end of the second session. Despite he geometry not being completely to his liking, Kimi was positive the issue would be rectified before the business-end of the weekend begins tomorrow.
“Because I crashed we had to fix it quickly” Raikkonen said. “But we should have the system balanced with the power steering. It’s pretty easy to fix.”
Examining Raikkonen’s long runs, there was evidence to suggest the Lotus was on par, if not better than the RB9, although Raikkonen would not be drawn into making predictions. Simply saying that ,”the car felt pretty good… I don’t know what will happen but it should be okay. We’ll see tomorrow.”
Whether the new supersoft compound produced better degredation than the medium tyre is still open. Whether the one second disparity in FP2 might have suggested a drop in outright performance in exchange for durability was not a conclusion Raikkonen shared so early into the weekend.
“It’s (the super-soft) a little bit better but I don’t think there’s a massive difference”, explained Raikkonen. “And the circuit improves quite a bit over the weekend.”
Questions over the state of Kimi’s back still persist given the uneven nature of the Korean circuit. Although confident he was back to full health, Kimi believed the track would be an issue regardless of physical conditioning. Were the bumps hurting his back?
“Yeah that’s the idea…” Kimi used. “The kurbs aren’t smooth either so that isn’t very nice, but we’ll try and stay away from them… On the pit exit there’s two big bumps going into the corner, but I think overall it’s a little bit better than it was last year.”
Despite Lotus having an unattainable fourth place in the Constructor’s Championship, Kimi was adamant he would fight on, despite losing a performance edge with Red Bull and the championship now out of reach.
“I don’t think I have much to win. I’m out of the championship already. The team is in fourth place. It would be nice to jump a few places, but obviously I’ll do the maimum I can for wins and podiums. I doesn’t really change much for me.”
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