Kimi Raikkonen has encouraged Lotus to up their game and try to get both cars in the points at the Nurburgring for this weekend’s German Grand Prix.
The team’s championship charge has dwindled in recent races as Raikkonen has struggled to match his early-season form, picking up 13 points in the last three races. Even more worryingly for Lotus, Romain Grosjean has not scored since Bahrain and Raikkonen has said that getting both cars into the points is crucial to keep the constructors’ title challenge alive.
“We can’t make the mistakes that we did in the last race,” Raikkonen said. “Obviously we could have scored much more points and we have to put two cars in the points to change the situation. It’s easy to say but it’s not always easy to do so hopefully we can bigger and better things.”
Raikkonen was told not to pit during the final safety car period – a decision he immediately questioned – and eventually missed out on the podium as Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton all passed him on fresh tires.
The Finnish driver also had very little to say on his future as he battles with Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo for the second seat at Red Bull in 2014.
“It’s four days ago when you probably last asked me… Obviously you always think about what will happen but I am not in a hurry and things will happen at some point when I know myself.”
Raikkonen currently sits third in the drivers’ championship, trailing Sebastian Vettel by 34 points.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.