Greater Noida: Kimi Raikkonen is called `Mr. Consistency` more than `Iceman` these days, courtesy his record showing since returning to Formula 1 last year. The inimitable Finn hopes to carry on in the same vein for the remaining four races in 2013, starting with a better result in his second Indian Grand Prix next weekend.
The seventh place at the Buddh International Circuit last year was one of his 27 consecutive points scoring finishes, the rich run starting from the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix and ending at Spa this year. In the process he broke the record held by Michael Schumacher.
Raikkonen, like most in the paddock, could only see the hotel and the track on his maiden India visit. He looks to change that next week besides the effort on the track.
"It`s a pretty impressive track and the country is a bit different from some of the other places we visit. We didn`t have the best of races last year as we found it difficult to overtake with the set up we had. Hopefully it`s better for us this time," Raikkonen told IANS in an e-mail interview ahead of the Oct 25-27 India round.
How does he rate the 5.14 km track amongst the new ones on the F1 calendar?
"For me, the circuit is nice. It was easier to learn than the Korean track; it`s not as technical but it`s good. It`s always nice to come to a new place like India. I`ve been racing for many years, and you always end up going to the same places; so it`s good when you get a new place and a new circuit," said the 2007 World Champion who loves Indian food.
He returns to Ferrari next season to form the most explosive partnership on the grid alongside Fernando Alonso. But there will be no race in India.
"I don`t know as I don`t make these things (the calendar) happen. For sure, it would be good to have an Indian Grand Prix for the future," he said when asked about the future of the race after being dropped for 2014 owing to `logistical` reasons.
On the remaining races, Kimi says, "hopefully as many points as possible and some more podiums. Nobody expected us to be fighting as strongly as we have done over the last two years; so you have to be pretty happy with that." The current Lotus driver has 15 podiums to his name since his return, including the victories in the UAE and Australia.
He is looking for a faster car in qualifying to stake claim for more wins.
"Hopefully we finally get it right in qualifying as the last five qualifying sessions have not been that great for me. If we don`t, it`s going to be a difficult Sunday afternoon in India, although of course we`ll keep pushing. If we do get it right, then we can really go for it," he said referring to his 8, 11, 13, 9, 9 grid positions in the last five races.
(Suresh) Raina is someone who scores at a very quick pace and he plays authentic cricketing shots.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni