Raikkonen: "Countercheck at Melbourne"
Maranello, 23th March 2009 - I enjoyed this winter break more than usual. I spent most of the time with my family and friends in Switzerland and Finland, but I mainly trained very hard and in a different way to be ready for a very demanding season. Amongst other things I've taken part in two rallies in Finland with Fiat's Grande Punto S200: I really had a lot of fun, but it also was a good training for the upcoming races. And now it's time to get serious.
It's difficult making predictions, considering the many rule changes this year. Ferrari was very competitive during the tests; but we'll do the F60's countercheck at Melbourne, when we'll all meet in the race with the same fuel at the same time. Only then we'll see how strong we are and maybe we've got to wait for a couple of races to have a clearer situation. Albert Park is a very particular circuit, just like the city itself is very special: maybe we've got to wait until Malaysia to see which teams will be ahead.
As usual I can't wait to start a new season. Putting on the helmet and racing is something worth living for. The number of tests has been limited, but I had fun anyway to work on a completely new car. It seems that a really long time has passed since the last race in Brazil, also considering all the changes of the car: it will be really interesting to see how its development will evolve. When things go well you're having more fun, but we still haven't raced this year, so it's really a bit too early to say anything. We hope that everything will be the way we expect it to be. There's a lot less of aerodynamic downforce than last year, so we'll be slower in the fast corners, but the car will have much more grip in the slow ones, due to the slicks. Therefore the lap times haven't changed a lot. I can confirm that I like the F60 more than last year's car. It's much more fun to drive and it reminds me more of the cars I was used to some year ago. The KERS is something very interesting and easy to use: I hope that it will make overtaking easier. From the first test the whole Team was positively surprised by how well the KERS works. Everybody is expecting more overtaking now, but I think it's still a bit too early to say what will happen and if the lower downforce will help when you're in a slipstream. It's always a good thing for a driver and a team to have a good start into the season, especially when we remember how the last two seasons ended as far as the Drivers' Championship is concerned: I won with one point in 2007 and my teammate was one point short in 2008. That means that every point counts. Two years ago I won in Australia, while we had several problems last year. Our goal is to immediately gain some good points.