Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN’s Kimi Raikkonen will start Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix from 20th place on the grid but has always gone well at the circuit here in Budapest. Paddock Eye got the opportunity to speak to the Iceman and this what he had to say:
Following the season opening Austrian Grand Prix you said that the car had a reasonable turn of speed in the race, how confident are you that this is something the team can build on and deliver some strong results for the next race and as the season goes on?
It’s hard to predict how things will go in such an unusual season, but we cannot be too discouraged by the pace we have shown in the races. We have seen we can fight with our midfield rivals and that we can achieve results when things go our way. The season is quite compact this year, so the pace of development will be frantic, and the margin between teams is so small that even a minor improvement can move you up a few places.
If you could drive any Formula One car from the past, what car would you choose and why?
I don’t really care about hypotheticals, to be fair. I have been lucky to drive already cars from different eras in the last 20 years: each one has something special.
During your time away from Formula One, you raced in the NASCAR Trucks, can you describe what that was like racing on ovals and is it something you might be interested in returning to in the future?
The racing in NASCAR Trucks was fun – close, wheel to wheel action. I missed it after rallying. The ovals may seem easy but being quick on them requires a completely new set of skills, which is something I had to learn quickly. As for the future, I am not worried about that. All I want to focus on now is to make a good job with Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN.
What is your favourite road car and why?
I currently drive and Alfa Romeo Stelvio and that’s also the car I use when I am at the track in Formula One. It’s a great car – stylish yet powerful. It’s fun to drive, especially when I had the chance to drive it on a closed circuit.
Fernando Alonso will compete in the Indianapolis 500 next month, did you every consider competing in this race?
Not really; you can’t never rule anything out for the future but at the moment I am happy racing F1 cars.
Finally Kimi, your kids seem to enjoy racing go karts, do you think that this might be something that they might be interested in pursuing, following you in motorsport?
I haven’t really thought about it. Robin enjoys karting, but it’s at the moment just a fun way to spend some time. So long as they have fun, I am happy to see them race karts. In the future, who knows – if that’s what they want to do, I’ll support them, but that has never been my plan.