Raikkonen praises Spa, but not his qualifying efforts

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Kimi Raikkonen and Spa-Francorchamps enjoy a solid, healthy relationship. The Finn’s won there four times – most recently in 2009 over Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella – but knows he and the team need to make strides on Saturday in order to have a chance at next weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

“Obviously I keep making my life difficult on Saturdays in qualifying so then we pay a price, but we still have a good car in the race,” Raikkonen said in the Lotus’ team’s weekend advance. “So much depends on the qualifying result, so we need to find a decent set-up on Friday and Saturday and have a solid qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. I don’t know how it will suit our car this year. Last year we were not very strong there. I think we know the reasons and for sure our car is better this year, but is it good enough to be fighting for a win? We will see on Sunday.”

Additionally, the Lotus team has yet to make a decision on whether to use its “double DRS” or Drag Reduction Device this race, according to F1 Fanatic and trackside operations director Alan Permane. It understandably aids the car on long straights but hinders in the corners in the fight for mechanical grip.

Still, Raikkonen’s one of the most experienced at Spa and praises the challenge it presents, especially in an era of watered-down, sanitized circuits that have popped up with increased frequency on the Formula One calendar.

“For me there have only been good memories from Spa and it’s great to go racing there,” he said. “You can’t get the same kind of a feeling anywhere else. It’s great to race with a modern racing car at a proper circuit which has such a great tradition. I bet every driver likes Spa. For me it is the greatest racing circuit in the world. It is my favorite place. I have liked the place since my first ever visit there in 2000 with Formula Renault.”

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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