Kimi: I'll make sure gate is open next year

Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen stated that he knew of the access road after driving off-track but was not aware that it had been closed and promised to make it available next year.

Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Lotus

By staff

The Finn drove off the track in lap 52 and seemed to be heading out of the race as he went down an access road that was part of the old circuit. 

Unfortunately, the exit to the race-track from this particular road was closed and Raikkonen had to turn around and drive through the grass in order to get back into contention.

It was an amusing incident for those watching but definitely a nervous one for team principal Eric Boullier. Ultimately, it did not prevent Raikkonen from finishing in tenth position and the Lotus driver remained the only competitor to finish every race this season. 

His consistency also enabled him to achieve third place in the drivers' championship although he was helped by fourth-placed Lewis Hamilton's retirement from the race in lap 55 as well. 

In typical Raikkonen fashion, he made a glib remark after the race about the incident.

"I went off at the last corner on lap 52 as I couldn't see well with my visor being dirty and fogged up," he said. 

"Where I went off you can get back on the track by going through the support race pitlane, but you have to go through a gate. I know this as I did the same thing in 2001 and the gate was open that year. Somebody closed it this time."

"Next year I'll make sure it's open again."

Overall, Raikkonen revealed that he was happy with his performances during his comeback season as Lotus achieved fourth in the constructors' championship largely due to his exploits. He won one race and six podium finishes to demonstrate that he still has the drive and the verve to considered a top-notch racer.   

"I didn’t really have any expectations for the year, so I think it’s been a pretty good season. 

"We’ve had some good results and we’ve finished every race. 

"Certainly from a race reliability perspective it’s been excellent. In terms of results, it could have been better, but it could have been an awful lot worse. Overall, I’m pretty happy.

"I just tried to do my best and to score points of course you have to finish the race. We had a good car and I didn’t get involved in too many incidents with other people."

He has already been confirmed for the 2013 season with the Enstone-based marque although he remained mum about his holiday plans.  

"Well I now know I have a trip to Istanbul for the FIA season end awards. Other than that no plans really. Let’s see what happens." 

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