F1 » Davide Valsecchi:

Davide Valsecchi column: A strong start

The main problem for us in Malaysia is that we suffered with the conditions in qualifying and then at the start of the race. Kimi's grid penalty didn't help and made it more complicated, and the damp conditions for the opening laps also weren't good for us. However, Kimi and Romain did a great job in the race and sixth and seventh meant we picked up more good points for the team.

The early stages of the race at Sepang were interesting because of the conditions and because drivers had to make the right call on when to change their tyres. Sometimes when it is like that, you'll find that the engineers don't want to make the decision and they'll keep asking the driver 'Do you think it's time for slicks?' because no-one wants to make the wrong call and change tyres at the wrong time!

It can be difficult, but we made the right call at the right time. As a driver, you have to look for a dry line appearing and if your lap times are close to what they would be on the slick tyres, then you know it's getting to the point where you should change.

After Malaysia, and even now here in the paddock in China, there have been a lot of discussions about team orders because of what happened towards the end of the race at Sepang.

When people ask me what I think about team orders, it is a difficult question to answer, because as a driver, you always want to win a race and achieve the best result that is possible. If you look at the Malaysian race, the drivers had been racing in very hot conditions trying to get the maximum result possible and were then told to hold position when they were close to a victory, which is difficult to stomach.

However, you have to remember that the team is bigger than you are, and sometimes you have to hold the line and do what you are told. At the end of the day, it is the team that gives you the work and you have to follow instructions.

Also in Malaysia, my former GP2 rival Jules Bianchi had another good race and is getting a lot of plaudits for his performances. He is doing a great job and congratulations to him for what he has achieved so far.

I wouldn't say I'm happy to see him doing so well, because what will make me happy is to show that I deserve to be racing in F1 and to be racing myself, but I am proud of what I achieved in GP2 when you look at the level of competition there has been in recent years and look at the drivers who have then gone on to F1.

The next crop of GP2 racers started their season in Malaysia and going into the first rounds, I was tipping Fabio Leimer as the man I thought would be champion this season. However, I have to admit that I was impressed by Stefano Coletti at Sepang.

He is a good driver but maybe he wasn't strong enough in the head until now. He has improved a lot and I think he can now fight for the championship – he certainly impressed me the most in Malaysia.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.03.2013- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
24.03.2013- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
24.03.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
24.03.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
24.03.2013- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
24.03.2013- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
24.03.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
17.03.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 race winner, 2nd position Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138 and 3rd position Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9
17.03.2013- Celebration, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 race winner with Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Lotus F1 Team
17.03.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 race winner
17.03.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 celebrates his victory
17.03.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 race winner
17.03.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 race winner and 3rd position Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9
17.03.2013- Race, Press conference, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9
Davide Valsecchi (ITA) Lotus F1 Third Driver. 02.03.2013.
Mick Junior (Schumacher) secures Karting glory [pic: FIA World Karting]
21.09.2014 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36 leads Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
21.09.2014 - Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C33, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36

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