How Lotus F1 Controlled Kimi Raikkonen When He Went on a Wild Drinking Spree

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Back in 2013, following the Bahrain Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen went on a “two-week bender” where he never stopped drinking. It turned out to be a good thing as he then returned to the Spanish Grand Prix and secured a podium.

Former Lotus team principal, Eric Boullier, acknowledged that incident and opened up on managing a driver like Kimi by providing some space while working with him between 2012 and 2013 in the Lotus.

We have to first understand their personalities. They all have their upsides and downsides. And it’s just a way you can handle them,” Eric told F1’s Beyond the Grid.

I always gave them some space. So you can be whatever you want in this space. If you get out of the space, we need to talk,” he added. “And it worked very well.”

During the podcast, Eric Boullier even had a laugh listening to what Kimi actually said after the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2013.

What did Kimi Raikkonen say?

Kimi had a disappointing race weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2013. He qualified in P8 and ended P9 later on Sunday.

Following that race weekend, Kimi seemed to have gone on a drinking spree over the two-week break before moving to Barcelona for the next race weekend.

However, what happened in Barcelona showed that whatever he did during the break turned out to be quite effective. He showed incredible pace throughout the weekend, which eventually gifted him a step on the podium. He later spoke about the secret behind his sudden change of fortunes.

Kimi Raikkonen during a practice session in Portugal
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during practice Jose Sena Goulao/Pool via REUTERS

I think it’s mostly true than a joke that I’ve often been driving better being doing whatever I want between the races than if I’m just not having fun and drinks and stuff,” Kimi said.

Although he is no longer a major contender for podiums these days, he still has been performing well with Alfa Romeo. He has enjoyed some incredible races in recent months. On several occasions, he even took the fight to his former teammate in Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel.

As of now, his love for racing is still intact, as the Finn is in no mood to call it a day and bid adieu to Formula 1. By the looks of it, Kimi will be seen around the paddock, at least until the end of 2021. But will the 41-year-old depart following the next season?

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