Raikkonen yearns for a 'normal' weekend

© Ubaid Parkar, 26 March 2012
© Lotus

Kimi Raikkonen was admittedly handicapped during the Malaysian Grand Prix on a pouring Sunday as he had never raced on the wet-weather Pirelli tyres before.

The Finn found the outing difficult not knowing to what to expect and how the rubber would react whilst trying to stay on the road, a task which was compounded by visibility problems.

"I’d only done one installation lap on the intermediates before so it was tricky to predict how the car would behave," Raikkonen said. "I spent the first part of the race trying to explore the limits and pushing as far as I felt comfortable without going off the track.

"My visor got so dirty in the opening laps it was hard to even see anything, especially with the spray," he added. "It was difficult to have another mixed weather weekend. The conditions changed a lot today so it was always a case of adapting and looking for grip."

Albeit content with fifth - after he started tenth owing to a grid penalty - the Lotus driver said he was looking for better results waiting for the chance to show the strong package the E20 held.

"Hopefully we can have a ‘normal’ race weekend with no penalties, crazy weather or other setbacks!" Raikkonen said. "It would be good to have a trouble free weekend so we can see where we really stand, as it’s hard to tell after the first two races with so many factors affecting our results.

Technical director James Allison concurred that a with ‘standard’ weekend, the team stood to perform better.

“What we would give for a normal race! We had to fight back from a grid penalty for changing the gearbox on Kimi’s car. We also had two drivers learning Pirelli’s wet tyres for the first time," Allison pointed out. "Give us a normal race, with two clean getaways from the good qualifying positions of which we have shown we are capable, and I think we’ll be able to collect a good reward.”

Raikkonen's teammate Romain Grosjean had a much worse outing as his race ended on lap four after he encountered massive aquaplaning and ended up going backwards into the gravel.

The Frenchman is yet to score a point in Formula 1 and has just completed a total of five laps in the two Grands Prix since he returned to the sport this season.

 

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