Abu Dhabi GP: Kimi Raikkonen says win more important to Lotus

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Formula 1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix highlights

Kimi Raikkonen said his first win since returning to Formula 1 after two years in rallying was "more important" to his Lotus team than it was to him.

The Finn won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for his first victory since the 2009 Belgian GP, when he was at Ferrari.

It was the team's first win since Fernando Alonso's victory in Japan in 2008, when they were called Renault.

"It's great. It's more important for the team and the people who work here. They do the hard work," Raikkonen said.

"I just try to deliver on a Sunday and a Saturday. It is one win for me but for them I think it is a much bigger thing."

Raikkonen ice cold on team radio

The victory, the 19th of Raikkonen's career, came in an incident-packed race and after McLaren's Lewis Hamilton retired from a comfortable lead with a fuel-pump failure.

It was enlivened by his responses to a series of radio messages from the pits as his engineers tried to give him vital information about his rivals.

Following Hamilton's retirement, his engineer Simon Rennie told him his advantage over second-placed Fernando Alonso and that he would keep him updated on the Ferrari's pace, to which Raikkonen responded: "Just leave me alone, I know what I am doing."

Later, he was reminded to warm up his tyres while driving behind the safety car, and Raikkonen said: "Yes, yes, yes, yes. I'm doing it all the time. You don't have to remind me every second."

After the race, Raikkonen said: "I understand the team is just there to try to help and they are doing the same job as I am doing.

"But I am not a big fan of being told many things because I know pretty well what I have to do [and] what is going around so if I have some questions I will ask and they will help.

"It's not the first time and it's not the last. It's just a normal thing. People will probably try to make a big story out of it, but it happens every weekend."

Lotus showed strong performance from the start of the season and have been front-runners all year apart from a slight dip in form through September.

And Raikkonen admitted that had it not been for some mistakes from both himself and the team they should have already won.

"Probably we should have won once or twice this year before but I don't think we deserve and we made some mistakes," he said.

"This weekend we have not done anything wrong. Last race, we made a mistake in qualifying and [this weekend] we finally managed to put ourselves in a good position all weekend and it paid off big time for us."

He said the win had been possible because he had made a good start from fourth on the grid to be second behind Hamilton at the first corner.

"I always said, like [at the] last race I thought we had the speed to fight in the front, but if we don't put ourselves in the position after the restart then we cannot use it," Raikkonen said.

"We knew the start would make or break it, I made a good start and it turned out to make the race for us. We didn't have the speed of McLaren but if you don't finish the race that is the problem."