Raikkonen: "It's almost as if the season starts now" Maranello, 22nd April 2008 - I've raced many times in Barcelona and I have to say it is always a very challenging circuit. But this time it will be special. I'll come to Spain as the leader of...
Raikkonen: "It's almost as if the season starts now"
Maranello, 22nd April 2008 - I've raced many times in Barcelona and I have to say it is always a very challenging circuit. But this time it will be special. I'll come to Spain as the leader of the classification, while usually I was the chaser. If I can manage to keep all the others behind me in the race that would mean that I keep them also behind in the Championship.
My approach is the usual one: giving 100%, just like the whole team. The situation can change very quickly in Formula One. That's why it's very important to collect as many points as possible in every single race: There's still a long way to go until the title. The team is in good shape. My participation in last week's tests has been quite limited, due to the rain. But that's not a problem. I think we'll have a good performance and we can be really competitive; at least the components are all there.
It's going to be very close: all the teams have introduced updates ahead of the first European race, which makes it even more interesting. We have won the last two races and that might make our competitors even hungrier to win.
I'm glad we're back to race in Europe. We don't have to travel so much and we can put all our energy into the race weekend. It's a bit of a tradition: it's almost as if the season starts now. For me personally it's a bit special, because it's the first time that I start the European season as the leader in the Championship.
I've won once at Barcelona, in 2005. Obviously that's my best memory of this Grand Prix. Actually that was the only time I managed to get on the podium here: I can't wait to do it again! The Circuit de Catalunya is one of those tracks, where you have to find the exact set up for every single detail to stay ahead of the rest. All the teams have tested many times here at this circuit, so it will be difficult to have an advantage.
The set up is really crucial here, because the circuit changes according to the wind and the temperature. It's hard to say how things are at the top after last week's tests here, because the teams' test programs and the fuel loads usually are very different.
We had our ups and downs over the first races, but now I expect Ferrari to stay where we were in Bahrain and Malaysia. I used the break to chill out with my friends and my family in Switzerland and Finland.
I was really happy about the success of my friend Toni Vilander at Silverstone with the F430 GTC at the first race of the FIA GT Championships. I always passionately follow Toni's season and shout for him. Well done, Toni!