Raikkonen says teams need to adapt to tires, not Pirelli to teams


Kimi Raikkonen says Formula One teams need to adapt to Pirelli’s 2013 tires, rather than vice versa, and that F1 isn’t really as different as it appears to some compared to when he entered in 2001.

“Of course some years you’ve been able to go faster but then you do more stops, and shorter runs with less fuel,” Raikkonen told Autosport.

“In those years if you’d put 50 kilos more fuel in you’d have had to look after the tires. It hasn’t really changed. Sometimes now you have to look after the tires, but if you did six stops you wouldn’t have to look after your tires. It’s your option. Whatever is the fastest way for you to do the race, you try to do it.”

Lotus driver Raikkonen said Pirelli can’t please everybody and the challenge is the same for everyone. He entered in the same season Michelin re-entered the sport, then competing against Bridgestone, for a tire battle that lasted through the 2006 season.

“In the past we had different tires but some teams were not as happy with those tires as other teams were,” he said. “Sometimes you have some issues and you pay the price for it. But that’s OK because otherwise it would be easy.”

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NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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