Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen believes he is 100% fit for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix after a big crash in qualifying at Monza that left him in pain for the Italian race. The Finn lost control of the car under braking and impacted heavily with the...
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen believes he is 100% fit for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix after a big crash in qualifying at Monza that left him in pain for the Italian race. The Finn lost control of the car under braking and impacted heavily with the barrier then the tyre wall, and although he emerged unscathed the Ferrari was rather the worse for wear. Raikkonen had to drive the race the following day with a very sore neck.
"I still don't know what exactly happened," he said of how the crash came about. "I arrived at the Ascari and I braked, when I was just below 300 km/h: the wheels blocked right on a kerb and the back of the car suddenly lost all its downforce, so that the car had a very hard swerve and I ended up against the wall to my right."
"There was absolutely nothing I could have done but waiting for the impact to happen. The telemetry didn't give any hint on an error or damage, just like the analysis of the car in Maranello, as the technicians told me. The impact was very hard, but the consequences, as often happens in these kind of accidents, I could only feel the next day; and unfortunately it was the day of the race."
"My neck really hurt: we did everything we could to put me back in shape, but there was not enough time left. This was undeniably the most painful race I've ever had. It's really difficult to drive when you can't hold your head up: when I was breaking I had trouble to see the corners correctly. After a couple of days everything would have been fine."
Raikkonen finished third at Monza, two places higher than he started but not high enough to satisfy him. He managed to get in front of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton for second when Hamilton took his second pit stop, but the British driver quickly took the position back. Things were worse for Raikkonen's teammate Felipe Massa, who retired within a dozen laps with an unspecified mechanical problem on the rear suspension.
So Ferrari's home race was not a particularly memorable one this year and the drivers face increasingly slim chances in the title fight, but Raikkonen, naturally, is not about to give up. "We will fight as long as arithmetic allows us to," he stated. "We can't leave anything undone. We had a good test at Spa-Francorchamps last July and I'm 100 percent fit in terms of physical fitness: after the race I took some painkillers and I relaxed a bit."
"The next one is my preferred circuit. It's a wonderful place I always l loved to race there and I like the latest modifications of the track. There are some very fast and challenging corners, where we could exploit some of the qualities of the F2007. We'll give it everything to win: I've been twice on the central step of the podium here at the last two races and I want to get back there next Sunday!"