Raikkonen shows he still knows how to win

Sun Nov 4, 2012 2:27pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Kimi Raikkonen returned to the top of the Formula One podium for the first time since 2009 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, leaving his Lotus team in no doubt that he knew what he was doing.

The Finn, 2007 world champion with Ferrari, was typically blunt when his race engineer spoke to him on the radio shortly after he was gifted the lead by Lewis Hamilton's sudden retirement.

"Leave me alone. I know what to do," he replied drily.

Raikkonen can be a man of few words, sometimes unintelligible or inaudible to all but the most attentive of listeners, who would rather let his driving do the talking than engage in chit-chat.

"I'm not so stupid that I cannot remember what I'm doing," he explained later. "It's a normal thing.

"They are just trying to help...I will also ask for help if I need it...different people like different things."

He said when he announced his comeback, after two years in rallying and some NASCAR truck racing in the United States, that he was the same as ever and he has shown that on and off the track this season.

Sunday's win was his seventh podium in 18 races back and his 19th career triumph. He also became the eighth different driver to win this season.   Continued...

Lotus F1 Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland lifts his trophy after winning the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on Yas Island November 4, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside