Formula One has returned to Europe, with all the teams preparing for the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place this weekend on the Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg. Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen finished the race in third place last season, very close to Max Verstappen who came in second for Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer and this year Kimi will hope to further improve on the podium, as the Finnish driver seems to be keen on the 4.3 km Austrian circuit:
“I like the layout of this track: it doesn’t have many corners, so the lap time is quite short and everybody is quite close in qualifying. It is not easy to make predictions for the weekend, even if, in the past this track has been quite good for us but obviously, with the new rule changes, you never know. I think that our car should be fine, we have been pretty strong everywhere so far. We are quite confident that wherever we go and in whatever conditions we can be up there. The end result obviously depends on many things, we’ll see how it goes but we should be ok.” – Kimi explains, as reported by the Italian media on Thursday.
The debate regarding Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel‘s clash in Azerbaijan two weeks ago was the focus of media attention in recent days, but Kimi Raikkonen says he has “zero interest” in getting involved: “I have zero interest in getting into it. Obviously Seb got penalised in the race, he lost positions and nothing has happened since then. Obviously you go and talk to them. I have nothing to add or say, absolutely zero to do with me. There were some penalties, fair enough, mistakes have been done, and we go forward.”
The bigger clash of concern for Kimi in Baku was between himself and Valtteri Bottas at the start, with the Mercedes driver avoiding a penalty for hitting his compatriot who was left with damage. Despite being exasperated by the lack of penalty during the race, Raikkonen was more relaxed about the incident on Thursday, having accepted his fate and moved on: “It cost us a lot of points in the last race and it wasn’t really our fault. But that’s how it goes sometimes and it has happened a few times, sometimes my fault, sometimes his fault. It would be better if it would be at the other end of the starting grid. That’s what happened in the last race, right at the start making our race very difficult, after a good start. It turned even worse later, again completely out of our hands, but situations like that happen some times.” – Kimi concluded.