Raikkonen: "no new championship"
Montmelo, 7 May 2009 -- Kimi Raikkonen has had a busy couple of days, as on Wednesday, he was in London to officially open the new Ferrari Store in Regent Street. Today, he faced the media at the Catalunya circuit and it was a bigger crowd than usual, as, for many of the F1 media, this return to Europe signalled their first race of the year.
And indeed, the opening questions asked the Finnish driver if he felt that the Spanish Grand Prix could be the start of a new championship for him and the Scuderia. "No, not at all," he replied. "There is no new championship and we have to be realistic. We have done our best to improve the car with various developments and the figures we have seen from the wind tunnel are encouraging. But, we will have to wait and see what the other teams have done and only by the end of Friday will we get a first general idea and only after qualifying on Saturday will there be a more realistic picture of what everyone's new developments have done to the order on the grid.
"I'm pleased the team has worked so hard to make me a lighter chassis to use as from this race. It will definitely help with dealing with the additional weight of the KERS system, which we know is a benefit to us. I weigh around ten kilos more than Felipe, so this is why I am glad to have it. This combined with the extra downforce from the new aero developments will make a difference. How much? Let's wait and see."
Raikkonen was reminded that the last time he won a Grand Prix was here in Barcelona one year ago. "That makes no difference to me," he shrugged. "As a racing driver, every race is an opportunity to start again and try and win. It changes nothing for me."