Lopez on how Raikkonen got F1 interest back
20 February, 2012
Feb.20 (GMM) Gerard Lopez has revealed that he doubted Kimi Raikkonen was ready to return to Formula 1 last year, but says he made a call directly to the Finn which appeared to pique his interest.
Then called Renault, Lotus had talks with the Finn during the 2010 season that ultimately failed.
Almost two years on, the 2007 world champion will return to the grid with the Enstone based team next month.
So what went wrong in 2010?
“We felt that he was not 100 per cent ready to let go of rallying. If he had come to us under those circumstances, it would have been because of money,” Lopez told Auto Motor und Sport.
A year on, Lotus resumed talks with the 32-year-old ‘Iceman’.
“I called Kimi directly. Without management, without anybody knowing anything. And I got the feeling very quickly that formula one was again at the front of his mind,” added Lopez.
Raikkonen won 18 grands prix with McLaren and Ferrari.