I’ll be honest, I am not sure where reporters get their information and insight. Sometimes it just seems like the old method of agitation to elicit a response. The desire to use emotion to elicit action. It’s, in this day and age, regrettable.
Today’s story at AUTOSPORT regarding Kimi Raikkonen’s “motivation” is just such a piece. Now I doubt it was an AS reporter who suggested to Kimi that perhaps it was a lack of motivation he is experiencing due to a tough start to the season but shame on them if it was, they are more professional than that and I have a much higher regard for them than to ask such mundane questions. Regardless, Raikkonen’s reply is just about the kind of response that line of questioning deserves:
“I don’t know why you always come up with motivation – if I didn’t have motivation I wouldn’t be here,” said Raikkonen.
“It’s f**k all to do with this”.
Applause! The line of questioning should have been how Kimi keeps focused, brings his A-game to a struggling operation such as the one Ferrari is delivering or what Lotus or even McLaren had when he was driving for them. See? That simple.
The reason the question should be fashioned that way is that it comports nicely with the character we know to be Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn doesn’t lack for motivation and never has. He’s in F1 because he is motivated to be there and if you’ve watched any amount of Kimi’s career, you would know that he doesn’t do anything he doesn’t’ want to be doing.
Is Ferrari struggling? Sure. Is Alonso getting the better of him? Yes. Is it because he’s not motivated? Of course not! He’s struggling to come to grips with the car and the characteristics of the car. One has to look no further than defending champion Sebastian Vettel to see that some of the really good drivers are struggling under the new regulations. Others, such as Alonso and Hamilton, are not.
Raikkonen himself admitted as much this week and so has Vettel, so questions challenging his motivation are just pure silliness. It’s a shame that precious time spent with such an enigmatic person as Kimi is wasted asking stupid questions. Why wouldn’t they have taken the time to ask him about the areas that he personally feels he’s needing to recalculate in his driving style and if he feels that there is anything in particular that he does while driving that he feels needs to be changed in how he approaches the cornering, braking or throttle control.
Ask him if this year is familiar with his days at McLaren and if so, how he thinks Ferrari might be able to overcome the deficit when McLaren were not able to and why. Ask him how the torque is reacting with his car on corner exit and how he feels he might be able to manage that more effectively and finally, ask him why he feels Alonso is finding time in the car that he isn’t. Ask him anything, but don’t ask him if he’s slow because he’s not motivated. Good grief.