Kimi Raikkonen is many people’s favourite for the win this weekend, in the Lotus, on a track where he has won four times.
The Finn has a special empathy with the circuit and although he doesn’t give anything away about how he is feeling, being back here after two years away, he seems to have a quiet confidence. Certainly many media figures believe he has a great chance, as well as fans, judging by the large turn out at his media briefing in the paddock this afternoon.
“I don’t think that there is anything special, I have had some good races, but also some bad ones. It’s not like it’s always the nicest place for us,” said Raikkonen. “It’s nice to come back, hopefully we can have a strong weekend and try to win.
“We’ve put ourselves in with a chance a few times, but we have to do a but better and then we can have a chance of winning and get some big points and try to catch up with the others.”
Asked whether he feels he has a chance to challenge for the championship, sitting as he does only one point behind Lewis Hamilton, Raikkonen said, “We’ll try, there are many points to be won still. Alonso has the best chance now, but a lot of things can change in F1. We’ll keep pushing and see where we end up.”
One reason Raikkonen is likely to be competitive, apart from the double DRS device on the rear wing, is that the Lotus worked well on the hard tyres in cool conditions at Silverstone, where Raikkonen was among the fastest cars on race day. “It’s more about the circuit layout, not just the temperature,” he said.
As for the double DRS device, he would not be drawn on whether it will be used in qualifying and the race, “We have to see how it works (on Friday),” he said. “If it’s better we will use it. Until we run it tomorrow we cannot make any decision.”
Having tested it twice during free practice in Germany and Hungary, Raikkonen will be keen to get the performance boost from the fluidic switch device. With DRS worth 1.2 seconds per lap here, the extra boost from the Lotus system could be the difference which allows them to qualify at the front.
Who’s our favourite for the race win on Sunday?