F1 | Part 2 of MotorLat’s exclusive interview with Kimi Raikkonen: ‘’Happy’’ for Vettel to get a podium in Baku; Schumacher ‘’a very smart young guy’’
In Part 2, we speak to the former World Champion about how things have changed at Sauber 20 years on from his debut, as well as Raikkonen’s friendship with his long-time trainer Mark Arnall. We also discussed Mick Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Antonio Giovinazzi.
Here is the second and final part of MotorLat’s exclusive chat with 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen. If you missed part 1, click the following link https://www.motorlat.com/notas/f1/20680/f1-part-1-of-motorlat-s-exclusive-interview-with-kimi-raikkonen-i-ve-made-zero-plans-for-next-year-adds-qualifying-hasn-t-been-that-good-for-me-recently
Mick Schumacher, 2020 Formula 2 Champion, joined the F1 grid with Haas this year. Raikkonen raced against his father during the 2000s and early 2010s.
When questioned if Schumacher has asked for any racing or driving tips during his rookie year, the Finn said he can give his side of the story if the German needs any help.
"Not really [asked for advice]. I always told him whatever he wants to ask, I can tell my side of the story, but I'm sure he has a lot of good people helping him. He will figure it out. He's a very smart young guy," said Raikkonen.
"I think in a way he hoped to have a better car this year but I think in a way it's a very good place to learn the F1 things and then be more ready when the time comes that they have a good car.
"We talk here and there when we see each other. It's very nice to see him getting into F1 and get the Schumacher name back into F1."
Raikkonen's former teammate Sebastian Vettel secured his first podium with Aston Martin at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and believes his performance might make critics think twice about giving the four-time World Champion a hard time.
"Yeah, for sure [if he was happy for Vettel]. Obviously it's [taken] nothing away from us," said the Finn.
"I raced against him last year, the beginning of this year. They [Aston Martin] seem to make a step forward the last few races.
"People have been giving him a hard time for quite a long time now, so it's nice that everything kind of went the right way. He can show that they [the critics] can maybe think twice before they say something now. I'm happy for him."
20 years ago, Raikkonen burst onto the scene in F1 with Sauber. Now, the Finn looks set to finish his career where he started.
While the 2007 F1 World Champion says many things have changed, he admits it's nice to see people still working with the team that were there when he made his debut in 2001.
"Obviously it's different than it used to be when I started. It's a lot bigger team," he said.
"It's in the same place but the buildings have got bigger and there's a wind tunnel and a lot more people working.
"There is still people I worked with in 2001 that are still in the team so that's nice to see.
"Obviously every team from year to year they change a bit [and] the atmosphere. People go around, you tend to see people that you worked [with] earlier in my career in different teams and we end up in the same teams. That's how F1 works sometimes.
"If you take English teams, Italian teams or Swiss team, they all kind of work their own specific way because of maybe the country that they are, but everybody is trying to achieve the same end result.
"I have nothing to complain [about]. Obviously we know our limitations because we are not such a big team and there is always the money limitations in the smaller teams but we try to do the best that we can with what we have."
For a third straight season, Raikkonen is alongside Antonio Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo.
The pair have a good relationship and knew each other from when they were both at Ferrari in the past before they became teammates.
"Obviously we know each other a bit from Ferrari when I was there and when he was in the Ferrari academy already and he was a third driver, so we know (each other) from there [and] it was an easy kind of thing when we became teammates."
The Finn says his Italian teammate has made sizable gains since the start of 2019, particularly in regards to race management.
"For sure he's improved like anyone from first to second year and [the] more experience you get, you tend to find your own way and what you are liking and whatnot," he continued.
"I think he's always been fast on one lap but where he probably made the biggest gains is to understand the race: looking after the tyres and certain things that are big things in the race distance.
"He's improving there for sure."
We also discussed his long-standing partnership with Mark Arnall. The Brit has been Raikkonen's trainer for 19 years and the Finn says Arnall is more of a friend than anything else now.
"Obviously [the relationship] it's been very good," he said.
"Obviously we started when I went to McLaren and he worked there so it just happened to be that he started to work with me. It's always worked out very well.
"We're more friends now than anything else; I don't think he felt that he wants to work with anybody else and I don't want to work with anybody else [laughs].
"Luckily over the years it always planned out that we can keep going together. Even in the rally he worked with me.
"You never know over that long period... things change in the life and maybe one wants to do another thing and this and that.
"We know each other very well; he knows what I want and I don't need to say a lot of things and everything kind of happens automatically. It's useful."