Raikkonen: "more effort into next year's car" Nurburgring, 9th July -- While Kimi Raikkonen looked relaxed and refreshed after the longer than usual break since the last race, the questions he faced this afternoon from the media seemed to be the...
Raikkonen: "more effort into next year's car"
Nurburgring, 9th July -- While Kimi Raikkonen looked relaxed and refreshed after the longer than usual break since the last race, the questions he faced this afternoon from the media seemed to be the same as always! Asked if a podium might be a possibility at this circuit, whose characteristics might suit the F60 better than those at the last two races, Kimi was cautious. "We will try our best," began the Finn. "Certainly, a win would be a very difficult target under normal circumstances, in fact so would a podium. However, it is hard to predict, as apart from the two teams who seem to be regularly at the top, the order behind them seems to change a lot. We will get a better idea once practice starts tomorrow. We have some new parts again for the car, which will hopefully help us a little bit. In general, for the second half of the season, I hope we can bring some major step forward on the car at some point and get closer to the front of the field. I don't think we are so far off the podium, even if the Red Bull was in a different league to the others in the last few races and they look very difficult to catch. At some point we will need to make the decision to put more effort into next year's car."
Raikkonen has always been the type to concentrate on his on-track activities and rather than everything that surrounds the sport, which was obvious when he was asked to comment on the current political arguments in the sport. "I don't follow the politics much. It is pointless to read all the stories as the situation seems to change every day. I prefer to wait until it is all sorted out and hopefully it will be soon."
It seems that every race weekend, Raikkonen faces the same question about his future with Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and his future in Formula 1 and it's clear the Finn is bored with it. "You ask the same question, so I will give you the same answer -- I have a contract with the team," he said. "Maybe you can ask them if there are any changes planned!" Some of these rumours stem from the fact the Finn has indulged his countrymen's passion for rallying and is due to compete in Finland's international rally next month. "I did already two rallies during the winter and doing the Finnish Rally is no different. It is no more dangerous than Formula 1, so I see no reason why I shouldn't do it. It is good fun and the team is allowing me to do it. It will be nice to do as it is in my home country and everyone says it is a good rally. I am not sure what to expect, but like the other rallies I have done, I expect it will be good fun, even if I don't have much experience driving on gravel. At least the speeds are slower than in F1, so you have a bit more time to react. Just because I am doing this rally, it doesn't mean I don't want to continue in F1 next year. I would have done some rallies a long time ago but I could not. It's just because Ferrari is kind enough to let me do the rallies that I am doing them now."
Raikkonen: "Proving statistics wrong at the Nurburgring"
he statistics tell the opposite but I really like racing in Germany, especially at the Nurburgring. I gained the pole four times, but I could never win. Maybe I just wasn't lucky enough here and at Hockenheim. Just look at the last race for example. I gained the pole position, but right after the start there was a downpour and the race was suspended. When it started again I was on third position with a perfect strategy, but then I had to retire due to a hydraulic problem.
Realistically this year our objective can't be a win. We still have to make up ground compared to the leaders as far as the performance is concerned. That's why the Team continued to work very hard over the last weeks to bring some new solutions to this race. The track should be better for the F60's characteristics than Silverstone, but we'll get a clearer picture during Friday's free practice sessions. To be competitive you need a car with good traction, which is very stable while braking. It's always difficult making predictions and promising something to the fans, but for us today a place on the podium is already a good result, considering that we've been there just once this year.
There are still nine races until the end of this extremely difficult season for us. Our objective has to be to give it our all race after race, without thinking that the leaders are so many points ahead of us. I really trust the Team's work and its capacity to close the gap between us and the leaders.
During this longer than usual break I went to Finland to enjoy the summer there with my family and some close friends and played some tennis. I want to thank Ferrari for giving me the possibility to participate in the 1000 Lakes Rally with the Fiat Grande Punto Abarth at the end of July. It will be my debut in a championship rally. As we don't have any tests during the season we've got plenty of spare time and it's nice to participate in a race to keep busy. I already tested over the last days, but my approach remains the same: it has nothing to do with Formula 1, it's pure pleasure.