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Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Nov 2012   |  10:00 pm GMT  |  95 comments

Kimi Raikkonen was his usual enigmatic self this evening after taking his first win since 2009 in his comeback season with Lotus.

Asked, “How long will your celebrations of this win last ?” the notoriously bibulous Finn said, “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.”

However this light hearted response belies his general tone when speaking about his win after today’s race; he has been refusing to get carried away, describing it as “just another win”.

Whatever his true feelings, it is a breakthrough win for Raikkonen, who had some chances to win earlier in the season but wasn’t able to take them. He becomes the eighth different winner of the season and Lotus becomes the sixth team to win. It’s a great reward for the team, which has worked hard to stay competitive with the better funded Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari teams this season. Raikkonen is now a clear third in the Drivers’ Championship.

Lotus also becomes the third Enstone based team to win a race, after Benetton in the 1990s and Renault in the 2000s. That’s quite a rare achievement. The Brackley based team has won races as Honda, Brawn and Mercedes, while in its previous guise it was known as Tyrrell and that team won races, albeit from a different premises.

Here’s a fun Q&A put out by Lotus this evening with Raikkonen.

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 eighteen ?
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 emotions as you took the chequered flag ?
I’m happy, but there’s nothing to jump around about. We still have a few races to go, I’ll try to do the same again. For sure, we’re going to have a good party tonight and hopefully tomorrow, when we are feeling bad after a long night, we will remember how we feel. I’m just happy for everybody in the team.

Tell us about your start ?
It was key to get behind the faster car and not get stuck behind cars that aren’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.

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95 Comments
  1. Andrew M says:

    “How does it feel to take your 19th win ?”

    “Yes yes yes yes yes stop bothering me…”

    In all seriousness, as a Kimi fan I was a bit worried about his comeback, fearful that it would be a little bit like Schumacher v. 2.0. If you’d told me at the start of the season he’d win a race and (most likely) finish third in the championship I would never have believed you.

    1. Simmo says:

      I feel Kimi’s being ignored a little bit this year up until now. He’s been fantastic, made very few errors, and went fast.

      He is the best of the rest, and it really seems to be a little ignored…

    2. Mauro says:

      Kimi is surely the best guy in F1 most charismatic

  2. Bav says:

    Pure class from the Ice man!

  3. Ashboy says:

    Glad the iceman has got a win he has bean the most contestant driver all year.

    1. John says:

      all drivers are contestants! that is what it means.

  4. Chromatic says:

    Crucially, Kimi had an answer when the second safety car brought the Ferrari right up behind him. Expectation was that Alonso would get him in the drs, but he just roared away and left Alonso in his wake.
    As if his car was a match for the Ferrari….

    - “Alonso is coming up behind you”

    - “I know what I’m doing!”

    Legendary.

    1. Tara_185 says:

      His radio messages are absolutely hilarious!

      1. **Paul** says:

        Nice to see Kimi’s not lost his touch on the radio although my favourite of his is “”I don’t understand how this car can be so hot. My ass is even burning in here!” from his oval racing fun in the US.

      2. Simmo says:

        No, it’s all about ‘Don’t talk to me in the middle of a corner.’ Malaysia 2009

    2. Kay says:

      +1!!

      And people say Kimi isn’t motivated lol! The guy just doesn’t care about anyone or anything, but never unmotivated!

      1. Alex says:

        The ‘YEEEHAAAA’ at the end capped off what was one of the most comedic F1 races by the Ice-Man! Absolutely hilarious.

      2. Sebastian says:

        Was that kimi? Sounded like it came from the pit wall.

      3. Divesh says:

        Yeah, i thought it was Kimi as well but it sounded like somebody on the pit wall.

      4. Victor says:

        That was Mark Slade, not Kimi.

    3. John says:

      +1…priceless. Go Iceman :)

  5. Chromatic says:

    Grosjean doesn’t look best pleased!!

  6. Paul says:

    Hmm.. I wonder what odds I can get on a 2013 WDC for Kimi… Might be worth £20…

    1. Craig says:

      I put £4 pound each way on him this year when it was 66/1 and rumored that lotus had trick suspension. When that got banned I though my bet was done. How wrong was I. Looks like I might be collecting £60 winning soon.

      Today was a good day. I was cheering with my 1yr old son once he crossed the line. He didn’t have a clue what was going on.

      PS. I consider myself a die hard kimi fan always have and always will.

  7. What I love about Kimi is that he never ties his ego to his performance, even when he wins, so the public will always love him

  8. db4tim says:

    He is funny just being himself, F1 needs more like him. On the RADIO to

  9. Phill says:

    This is why he is loved. Enough said.

  10. ian says:

    Surely Honda/Brawn/Mercedes – but NOT Tyrrell !

    1. toleman fan says:

      +1,000

    2. glen says:

      I think BAR (nee Honda) took over the Tyrrell operation.

      1. James Allen says:

        Correct. BAR bought Tyrrell’s franchise, rather than start up from scratch.

        But Tyrrell was based in a wood shed in Surrey, while BAR built a Bond-baddie sized lair in Brackiey.

      2. Dave Aston says:

        I remember that lair… with Craig Pollock sitting in a high backed chair, enigmatically stroking his pussy.

  11. brendan says:

    Brackley won as honda also dont forget James

  12. moxlox says:

    ‘The Brackley based team’ won a race as Honda as well… ;)

  13. Peter says:

    Hi James,

    Weren’t Honda based at Brackley when Button won in Hungary 06? That would make 3 guises of the Brackley team winners?

  14. nusratholla says:

    This is a Global Win… The win of the season :)

  15. Graham Clarke says:

    James;
    Were Honda based at Brackley when Jenson won in ’06? If so they must also be in this exclusive club

  16. Jeremy Lord says:

    I’m unbelievably pleased for Kimi. I know some journalists don’t like him because he’s not good at PR, but it seems that his honest staccato replies go down well with the fans who appreciate there is no bullsh1t there.

    1. dstaisey says:

      The only people who don’t like Kimi are people gathered for one or the other reason around Briatore and his “media people”.

  17. Sebee says:

    Kimi,

    Please go easy on those rose water jell-o shots! I hear you can get hooked. I don’t touch the stuff myself.

    1. Sebee says:

      Hey, what’s the previous record for wins by different drivers in a seadon? 5? 6?

      1. Jimbo says:

        11 winners in 1982 from 16 races.

      2. Kay says:

        Now that’s pretty crazy…. lol! :D

      3. Sebee says:

        WOW! Time to go find the 1982 F1 Season Review on VHS!

  18. Paul says:

    Surely The Brackley team also won in Hungary with Jenson Button as Lucky Strike ? Honda ? some years ago, making them also 3 time winners –

    You have to love Kimi though.

  19. Sean Hardman says:

    Well done Kimi and Lotus. Great win. Enjoy the party you deserve it. Forza Ferrari.

  20. goferet says:

    All the Lotus team have to do to achieve more success is to make their cars qualify better just like Kimi did at this race.

    With a better qualifying grid position, many possibilities (and gifts) open up for you.

    Well good for Kimi that he has managed to get the monkey off his back for it wasn’t looking promising a couple of races ago such as India.

    Well I thought F1 couldn’t get better than the 2012 season, but it appears we may have another not-to-be-missed season in 2013.

    P.s.

    I suspect Kimi must be suffering from some kind of allergic reaction after drinking the fruit drink on the podium hehehe *jokes*

  21. Jez K says:

    What a great race! The most action and drama all season, yet it had nothing to do with tyres that were unpredictable but rather the opposite in my opinion. Bernie and Pirelli please take note. Tyres can only make racing exciting if drivers can push hard on them. Today we saw racing drivers driving like racing drivers rather than tyre managers. Ideally drivers and engineers should get the option to choose either an attacking or a conservative strategy based around tyre use, rather than a Pirelli tyre train with drivers driving to a target time. Excitement occurs as a natural consequence of full tilt racing!

    1. Doohan says:

      I agree. Pirelli need to go conservative, with the addition of DRS and how close the field is.
      The tyres aren’t really a needed element o te excitement.

  22. goferet says:

    However after a fine performance from Kimi, I do have a criticism and that is I think he still hasn’t recovered a couple of gears from his better days.

    We have seen numerous times this season where he has been overly cautious in wheel to wheel battles.

    For sure, this way of doing business can guarantee you points each time but it’s not a way to win races in a dog fight.

    So unless Kimi can get back that old to-hell-with-it-crash-or-burn attitude, the likes of Sebi, Lewis, Maldonado & Alonso will walk all over him.

    1. DK says:

      I think Lotus F1 team budget were overrun by Grojean’s repair bill so Kimi got to be very careful with his car … :)

    2. Basil says:

      Oh please shut up!

    3. Warren Groenewald says:

      “So unless Kimi can get back that old to-hell-with-it-crash-or-burn attitude, the likes of Sebi, Lewis, Maldonado & Alonso will walk all over him.”

      That’s funny, seeing as only Alonso and Vettel are ahead of him this year. It’s that “win or crash” mentality that cost him valuable points in the past. I think he’s a better driver now than he was then and far more consistent

      1. goferet says:

        @ Warren Groenewald

        That’s funny, seeing as only Alonso and
        Vettel are ahead of him this year
        ————————————————-

        Yeah and that’s simply because Kimi is the only pilot this year to have finished every single lap of every race.

        Very reliable car that lotus

      2. toleman fan says:

        Not when Grosjean drives it.

        Maybe it is partly down to Kimi?

      3. OAK RICHARDSON says:

        so a driver that has to up a couple of gears has won a race in the 3rd/4th fastest car? okay.

    4. SuperSi says:

      Vettel, Maldonado and Alonso are not in the same class as Kimi. Vettel is yet to race anyone on track in an equal car in his career to date, It will never happen for Maldonado, he’s there for the financial backing (that Williams is a great package and he’s wafting points away like a fart in the breeze). And lets face it, Alonso had a better car yesterday and he still could’nt match Kimi’s drive. Well done Kimi, thats the first of many. Great job, keep it up.

    5. Patrick says:

      Oh really! Michael wouldn’t agree with you after Spa this year. That overtake was the best one this season and when Kimi sees a workable gap, he will take it. Thats not conservative,but rather smart. Kimi’s racecraft is as good as it gets and I think that he works on the premise that you can’t win it if your not in it. nough said.

    6. Pyörämutteri says:

      Note the new Charlie rules. If any part of the frontwing is beside any part of the rearwheel….
      Just as Alonso have been shouting out this season. “You always have to leave space”. There is a few drivers who remember this rule. Kimi one of them. Alonso himsels only when others don’t leave him space.

  23. Haynes says:

    Finally a deserved win for one of the best drivers on the grid. he has consistently shown throughout the season why he deserves to be at the front of the grid despite Lotus not having the budget of the top three. Congrats Kimi!

  24. Jamie Ramsamy says:

    I loved this race and being a Kimi fan since 2000 I found this particularly satisfying.

    One more thing, I hate how sterile F1 has become. Who cares if they curse? For christ sakes Kimi won in his comeback season and Vettel came from 22nd to 3rd – I’d be cursing too. I’m glad to hear how people really feel and not water it down.

    1. anon says:

      I agree.

      But I also think that this might partly have to do with the location this time…

  25. Tom says:

    “notoriously bibulous”…

    I like it! But try saying that after a few drinks.

  26. Irish con says:

    For me the big thing today was that kimi won a race for the 3rd different f1 team, the same as alonso. Even Michael can’t say that. People might say jenson has but I count Honda and brawn as the same team.

    1. Leali says:

      well Shumi won with 3 different engines which is more important than a team. If engine isnt up to ittea doesnt matter.

      1. richard c says:

        so has kimi won with three engine manufacturers…mercedes with mclaren, ferrari with the scuderia, and now renaultsport with lotus. top notch stuff…tier 1, grade a, class act stuff. loved it, and the radio messages back to his pit gave kimi the cherry on top for me. his style and race craft are exemplary, who cares about the media commitments when you get true working class heroes like this to watch on sunday afternoon, risking their lives for the excitement and thrill of racing. long live f1, we love you

      2. Leali says:

        You got it wrong, I was talking about championships not race wins, but still it goes to show you can coach a driver(Vettel Hamilton) and still oldschool beats the new generation like Kimi well as for shumi bad luck getting into a team he new will tank cause Germans are just weird.

  27. Andrew says:

    I loved Raikkonen’s punk rock style disregarding the straight collar rules in the podium interview and bringing his celebratory beer to the team photo.

    I also love the influence he is having on Vettel!

    1. Sebastian says:

      +1

      Vettel is a lot cooler now that Kimi is hanging around.

      “It can all go to sh*t” at the drivers parade and “f*ck it up” on the podium. Keepin it real :)

      Coultard managed, as often, to sound condescending…

      1. John says:

        No prob, DC can’t carry Iceman’s beer bottle :)

  28. Scott says:

    James,

    On a side note, Grosjean was in 2 accidents this weekend. I know the one that took him out was Perez fault, but again he was in a position another driver may have chosen not to put themselves in. Also I did not really see the first lap incident.

    What is the feeling in the paddock, is this just a bad year for an inexperienced driver, or is there doubt starting to rise about a serious decision making flaw under pressure?

  29. Chris says:

    I must say, I had quite low expectations for this race given the lack of passing in recent years, and I also expected everybody to do 1-stop. All in all, not a great recipe for an enthralling race. BOY WAS I WRONG!!
    This was probably my favorite race of the season!

    Lets just look at all the drama that happened:

    Rosberg/Karthekayin (sorry, bad spelling) accident
    webber/massa clash
    webber/perez/di resta/grojean clash
    vettel/grojean pass controversy
    another mechanichal retirement for hamilton
    vettel from dead last to 3rd. TWICE!
    maldonado actually FINISHES near his (amazing) starting position
    alonso puts in another stellar drive to take his Ferrari to a place it shouldnt be, that being the podium
    and to top it all off? Raikkonen winning in his comeback year!

    WHAT A RACE! Definately one I will remember.

    1. Dren says:

      Yes, one of the best races in a long while! What makes it even better for Maldonado is that he did it without KERS! Who -didn’t- Webber hit??? He was playing bumper cars! And to top it all off with a Kimi victory was the Kimi interview. “You guys always give me shit about not smiling!”. Then Vettel throws in an F-bomb for good measure. Classic.

      1. chris shields says:

        Webber was just diong his job and clearing the field a bit for his team leader

  30. F1addicted says:

    Win because the leader DNF with engine problem.

    Not a particularly good win to claim as anything like he ‘earned’ it or ‘Raikkonen is back’ style…

    1. Kaiser Wull says:

      That’s utter hogwash. Yes, Hamilton was unlucky but Kimi put himself in a position to benefit from Hammy’s misfortune. He earned the win: the Lotus wasn’t the fastest car out there and Kimi also saw the margins he had built up to the following car disappear twice through Safety Cars. He drove a flawless race and his first lap after the second Safety Car was perfect – Spa 2004 all over again.

  31. DB says:

    Will this win count towards the old Lotus’ tally, is there a new tally or is there an Enstone tally?

    They kept Renault’s numbers, but they are not Renault. What are they? Toleman?!

    It used to be easier to track F1 statistics…

    1. toleman fan says:

      Did they keep real Renault’s figures from the early ’80s?

      1. DB says:

        I meant 9 & 10 numbers from 5th position in 2011 WCC.

        But now I checked formula1.com and it says they have 2 world championships (not clear whether drivers or constructors), 36 wins and their debut was in 1981.

        With some help from Wikipedia, what is counted is the 2000′s Renault period (35 wins and 2005 and 2006 WCC/WDC). The 1981 debut is Toleman’s, but what of the Benetton years then? That would add another 27 wins and 1995 WCC and 1994 and 1995 WDC.

        To mess things up even more, the move to Enstone was during the “forgotten” Benetton years.

        I guess we could call this team “The Spirit Vessel”. It’s were dead teams reincarnate. ¦¬) (Renault first and now Lotus).

      2. toleman fan says:

        If they are cited as debuting as 1981, it means that they’re being treated as a successor to Toleman. Which I’d expect, because they’re racing under the entry that was granted to Toleman for ’81 and modified to allow various changes of name since.

        In which case, the official website is wrong about championships, which stand at 4xWDC & 3xWCC.

      3. toleman fan says:

        Re. incarnation – they reincarnate as dead teams -who’ve previously poached their #1 driver-. Warwick left Toleman at the end of ’83 to go to Renault. Senna left Toleman in ’84 to go to Lotus. Neither ever won another championship, and neither continues today in F1 under their original name or any other. Toleman are still here (so far!)

    2. toleman fan says:

      >they are not Renault.

      +1

      >What are they? Toleman?!

      Guess what I think!

  32. ch says:

    Signings are a multifaceted thing I understand but when LH said he was leaving I wondered if McLaren would sign KR as at that time he did not seem all that happy with Lotus (or so I thought). A shame it did not work out, KR was the only one available I thought could do justice to LH’s seat there.

    1. Red Rider says:

      I agree. I fear Perez is not the solution. If Button walks all over him, it will say a lot. I fear this is a lose lose situation. LH will not do well in the short term. McLaren has lost 4/10s of a second.

      Button can do well, but the car must be the best.

      On his blog Joe Saward recently referred to LH as a lost soul. I wonder how right he is. A remarkably quick lost soul.

    2. toleman fan says:

      +1.

      I thought Kimi was sending pretty unsubtle (& desperate) ‘I’m a WDC, get me out of here!’ messages to any of Mac, Ferrari or Red Bull (or Mercedes?) who would give him a drive.

  33. Elie says:

    Maybe Lotus can attach tubes to Kimi – at both ends when they go to Austin- they can run lower fuel load than everyone else and his high octane consumption over these next two weeks will provide the boost that Lotus is lacking atm.Lol
    You can trust he will give another spirited performance by then.

  34. Chetz says:

    One word…. LEGEND!

  35. Darren says:

    the best audio i have heard for some time just awesome

  36. Red Rider says:

    As an older man, my one fear is that Kimi’s apparent (I don’t really know) lifestyle might be doing him in. You can’t abuse the body and expect it to be responding at its peak. Not for very long.

    Having said that Kimi’s persona is entertaining.

  37. Dean G says:

    In a world gone mad, Kimi is sanity… “You don’t have to tell me every ten seconds” about warming up the tires… Classic.

    But best of all, what he says, he means and delivers. He DID know what he was doing. He managed his gap. Even in the end, when it looked like it might break that dreaded 1 second barrier, he managed to edge a little further ahead.

    How on Earth could anyone not want this guy to drive for them?

  38. Dave Aston says:

    Can someone tell me; Is Kimi the first Finnish driver to win an F1 Grand Prix after graduating from the NASCAR Truck series?

  39. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    James – Do you think there is more going on behind the scenes at Renault that Kimi is unhappy about? Perhaps to do with the funding situation and rumours that Genii is trying to sell a stake? Even by Kimi standards he didn’t seem happy at all.

    To me his behaviour seemed more of a Webber “Not bad for a No.2 driver” style signal to Lotus/Renault management.

    1. toleman fan says:

      +1

      Particularly as it turns out that the guy on the radio -wasn’t- after all Mark Slade (& why not? WTF?)

      1. Toleman fan says:

        But having hired Slade bcs he’s the guy Kimi knows & respects, why wasn’t Mark on the radio?

  40. JEZ Playense says:

    GO KIMI!

    He must be the most popular driver out there with the fans. The same fans who are supposed to lap up the “best race of the year/ best fans of the season/ my favorite on the calender” crapola.

    The fans like the drole laconic responses which shut the plastic commentators up.

    We need more Kimi and more James!

  41. Peter says:

    I think we need to separate the on- and off-track Kimi here. He has been on track the most consistent driver of the year with a team he had not known incl. car, tires, drs etc. He has produced one of the best and most fair overtakes race by race, he had never blamed someone else for any errors apart from himself and he is an classic pure racer.Off track he is a finnish guy first of all, cool, straight talking, honest, no bullshit and someone whos English is not his native language. So I do not blame them for being sometimes not that chatty or to the point.

  42. Kevin says:

    I’ve been married to a Finn for over 25 years so I know a bit about the people and the culture. Kimi is a Finn first and foemost and beyond that he is a racer pure and simple, even as a die hard Button fan I must say Kimi is in my opinion the best racer I’ve seen in 40 yeas of avidly following F1.

    The only downside is I have to listern to the wife signing the Finnish anthem whenever he wins. I only hope for the sake of marital harmony that Kimi and Jenson aren’t vying each other for the title next year.

    1. Kevin says:

      oops I meant singing!!!!

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