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Raikkonen: That worked back in 2001...
26 November 2012
Kimi Raikkonen insisted that he knew where he was going when he took a little trip outside the circuit during the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Finn was caught out by the conditions in the final third of the race and went off at Juncao – with the Lotus man electing to go through a gap in the barriers to join an access road in an attempt to then rejoin the circuit.
Raikkonen then discovered however that his route back onto the circuit was blocked with gate being closed, unlike back in 2001 when he took a similar trip while driving for Sauber during his debut campaign.
“It was a busy race and we didn't have the pace we wanted all the time,” he said after taking the finish in tenth place. “There was certainly a lot going on. I went off at the last corner on lap fifty-two as I couldn't see well with my visor being dirty and fogged up.
“Where I went off you can get back on the track by going through the support race pit lane, but you have to go through a gate. I know this as I did the same thing in 2001 and the gate was open that year. Somebody closed it this time. Next year I'll make sure it's open again…"
Despite scoring just one point from the race, Raikkonen was able to end the season third in the championship and team boss Eric Boullier said it was a fantastic achievement from the Finn on his return to the sport.
“For Kimi to take third in the drivers' championship is a really great achievement after being away for two years and a testament not only to the car we gave him, but to the team for their support,” he said. “We scored our first win with the Lotus name and achieved a good number of podiums over the year, so overall it's been a very good season.
“I can only thank everyone at Enstone and everyone at Renault; I'm very proud to be a part of this effort. Our progress is very promising for next year. With the continuity and stability we have I'm sure we'll be fighting for podiums again in 2013.”
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