Raikkonen wants repeat of ’12 win – not ’09 boredom

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Kimi Raikkonen is aiming to repeat his 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix win this weekend – and avoid a repeat of his lackluster outing at the track in 2009.

Raikkonen has only raced on the Yas Marina circuit twice before with contrasting results. His victory last year was his first for Lotus, but he had a poor run on his final appearance for Ferrari in 2009.

“I had a good result there last year, but I had a very boring race there the first time I visited in 2009. I’d prefer to have another good result, but you don’t know how strong you’ll be until you get to the circuit.”

Raikkonen said his 2012 win – his first in four years – made him “very happy for the team; myself also obviously, but mainly for the all the crew and everyone at Enstone”.

“It was a hard season so the win was well deserved for everyone and just what we needed. It was something great for all the fans who have continued to support me and the team too. For me, it was just another win on the list.

“It’s great of course because it had been a few years, but the wins before were very similar; we didn’t have the best car, but we fought hard and still won.”

However his 2009 swansong for Ferrari did not go so well. “That was a boring one I can tell you,” remarked Raikkonen.

“I finished back in twelfth position and there was nothing I could do about it. Those sorts of races are not the best.”

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski