Kimi Raikkonen says Lotus can expect further radio rebukes from him in future
Race winner says he will ask pit wall for help only if he needs it
Last Updated: 05/11/12 2:49pm
Kimi Raikkonen has politely warned his Lotus team that the Abu Dhabi GP "won't be the last time" he delivers a rebuke of their radio messages if they disturb him during the course of a race.
The Finn's agitated response to two messages from his race engineer on his way to his first victory for the team proved one of the many highlights of Sunday's epic twilight race.
On the first occasion, when being informed of the gap to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso behind him, Raikkonen curtly replied, "just leave me alone, I know what I'm doing". Then, later in the race while behind the second safety car, Raikkonen appeared even more stirred by a reminder to warm up all four tyres: "Yes, yes, yes, yes, I'm doing all the tyres. You don't have to remind every second."
Raikkonen was duly asked about those exchanges after the race and the 33-year-old, whose enigmatic attitude is almost as famous as his driving, said that while he was aware that the Lotus pit wall were only trying to help him, he wasn't particularly fond of repeat messages.
"It's a normal thing. It's the same with all the teams," he said after his 19th career win.
"For sure, they are just trying to help but if you keep saying the same things two times a minute, I'm not so stupid that I cannot remember what I'm doing. It's a normal thing, they are just trying to help.
"I know what I'm doing. I will ask for help if I need it. It's not the first time and it won't be the last time. It's been many times with other teams also but they are all there to help you and try to put you in the best position. Different people like different things."
Lotus Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane was one of the team's hierarchy on the pit wall during the race listening into the radio traffic, and put to him by Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz that Raikkonen had given them a bit of a telling off, replied: "It was a fantastic race.
"The safety cars made it a little bit difficult for us obviously - we were certainly worried after the last one on hard tyres what Fernando's tyres would be like on warm up, but he pulled away from him no problem at all.
"He drove a perfect race."