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Raikkonen: I’m not stupid!
6 November 2012
Kimi Raikkonen's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was made memorable not just by his first victory since 2009, but also but the withering way he dealt with messages from the pit-wall.
The Finn moved to the front of the field on lap 19, taking over when Lewis Hamilton's McLaren was forced out of top spot for the second time in five races, and the Lotus team were naturally keen that a maiden win – for the resurrected brand at least – did not go begging.
While the E20 has lacked outright pace at times in 2012, its reliability has generally been good – enabling either Raikkonen or Romain Grosjean, or both, to score points at every round – but the dropping temperatures and safety car interruptions meant that there were added concerns for the Lotus engineers at Yas Marina.
Raikkonen, however, wasn't happy as having his concentration broken by messages telling him who was making moves behind him, or to keep his tyre temperature up, telling his crew to 'leave me alone' and replying 'yeah, yeah,, yeah, I'm doing it' respectively.
The retorts raised smiles both in the media room and online, with widespread appreciation that the insouciance that Raikkonen brought to F1 had not been lost during his WRC sojourn.
“[The messages are] a normal thing, it's the same with all the teams,” Raikkonen explained afterwards, “For sure, they are just trying to help but, if you keep saying the same things two times a minute….. I'm not so stupid that I cannot remember what I'm doing.
“It's a normal thing, they are just trying to help, [but] I know what I'm doing, [and] I will ask for help if I need it. It's not the first time and it won't be the last time. It's been many times with other teams. They are all there to help you and try to put you in the best position, [but] different people like different things!”
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