Raikkonen hopeful of strong result in China

Leave a comment

Kimi Raikkonen is hopeful of a strong result at the Chinese Grand Prix next weekend following a good start to the 2013 Formula One season.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t go well there,” explained Raikkonen in a team statement. “We have some new parts for the E21 and the last upgrades we had seemed to help so it will be interesting to see what will happen if it doesn’t rain.”

Raikkonen has a good record in China, and he spoke of his wish to extend this.

“I have been first, second and third in Shanghai in previous years so it would be nice to add to that list.”

However, the Finn did admit that until he had some lap time in the E21 at the Shanghai International Circuit, it would be hard to make any predictions.

“It’s always difficult to predict what will happen in the next race as we haven’t been there yet with this car. Every car reacts differently to each circuit.

“If we get the car working as well as we did on Friday at Sepang, we should do well in Shanghai too.”

Raikkonen won the opening race of the season in Australia, but he had a difficult weekend in Malaysia that saw him finish P7. Lotus do appear to be working well with the new Pirelli tires, and the Iceman will be hopeful of a good showing in China to underline his championship credentials.

Fernando Alonso confirmed for Toyota LMP1 test in Bahrain

Getty Images
Leave a comment

SAKHIR, Bahrain – Fernando Alonso will take his first step towards a possible entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans when he tests an LMP1 car for Toyota on Sunday at the Bahrain International Circuit.

McLaren Formula 1 driver and two-time world champion Alonso is hoping to appear at Le Mans next year as part of his bid to become just the second man in history to complete the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’.

Alonso has already completed one leg by winning the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and made his debut at the Indianapolis 500 in May with McLaren-Honda-Andretti, retiring late on due to an engine failure.

Momentum is building for Alonso to make his Le Mans debut with Toyota in 2018, starting with a first sports car run-out in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s end-of-season rookie test in Bahrain on Sunday.

Alonso arrived in Bahrain on Saturday to watch the six-hour WEC race as an invited guest of the Bahraini royal family, with his participation in the test being confirmed after the race.

“We are very excited that Fernando will test our car. When he visited us in Cologne everyone who met him could sense his enthusiasm and passion for our sport; he is a true racer,” Toyota Gazoo Racing team president Hisatake Murata said.

“We very much respect his interest in different forms of motorsport and it is a pleasure to offer him this chance to drive a hybrid LMP1 car. It will be interesting to hear his feedback on the TS050 Hybrid.”

Alonso will share running in the Toyota car with 19-year-old Thomas Laurent, who received a test as a prize for his star display during his rookie WEC campaign this year, while regular Toyota racer Mike Conway will also complete laps.