|AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili
Despite a two-year sabbatical from Formula 1, Kimi Raikkonen hasn’t forgotten what he needs to do to win a race.
On Sunday, the Finn inherited the lead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the retirement of Lewis Hamilton on lap 20 with the Lotus driver ensuring that he maintained that position at the end of the race.
But his team was keen to keep its driver updated about what was developing behind him to ensure that no stone was left unturned to give Lotus its first win of the season.
“Just leave me alone, I know what to do,” an annoyed Raikkonen retorted over the radio during the race.
Later the team came back on the radio reminding the 33-year-old that he needed to “keep working all four tyres” during the second safety car period.
“Yes, yes, yes, yes I am doing all the tyres,” Raikkonen interrupted his race engineer. “You don’t have to remind me every second.”
The 2007 world champion, who registered his 19th career win on Sunday, said that the result was “nothing to jump around about”, keeping his sentiments in check even when he was asked what his emotions were like.
“Not much really,” he responded.
Raikkonen, who didn’t care about the fact that he was out of running for the title on the same day he won a race either, however said that the assistance did not distract him despite what it suggested, clarifying that it was a normal procedure.
“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,” Raikkonen pointed out. “I know what I'm doing. I will ask for help if I need it. It's not the first time and it won't be the last time.”
Regardless, the result meant that Lotus registered its first victory in F1 since Ayrton Senna won in Detroit in 1987, a statistic that the Finn wasn’t really concerned with.
“It's a long time for them, I guess. I don't think there are any (of the same) people in the team anymore,” Raikkonen said. “It's a name. It's the same team and it has been since Fernando (Alonso) was there, just a different name.
“It's a great name for us, good past but you know I race for the team whatever the name is, I don't really care so it's just for the guys who do all the work. Maybe it looks good in somebody's eyes but for me it really makes no difference,” he added.