Raikkonen: "I've only good memories of this race" We're on the eve of one of the race weekends I really like. The Belgian GP is one of the highlights of the season and I usually obtain a good result at Spa. I need it more than ever after ...
Raikkonen: "I've only good memories of this race"
We're on the eve of one of the race weekends I really like. The Belgian GP is one of the highlights of the season and I usually obtain a good result at Spa. I need it more than ever after the results of the last races. The last race for example was one of those one should forget as fast as possible. It's a shame to be involved in many negative stories, but these things happen: it wasn't for the first time and it might not have been the last in my career. You just have to know how to cope with these situations. When I was in school it was never nice to get back home with a bad mark. The only thing you could do was working harder for the next time. Today the only thing I can do is to react to this negative situation.
After Valencia I trained at home in Switzerland and then I went to Monza for a day of testing. The tests went really well: we tested some new solutions and the overall package seems to have improved. Having said that, we only know how it will look on the track at the Qualifying at Spa, because you never know how much fuel everybody has on board during the tests. I think that it will be a fierce fight; one test might not be enough to change the season's overall trend.
I've only good memories of this race. Obviously it would be fantastic to win it for the fourth time in a row: considering that I haven't won a race in several months, a success would help me to get back in the race for the title after the disappointment at Valencia. Last year we managed to find a good set up for the car during the second part of the season and we won several races. We have to do the same now, because we have to close the gap in the standings. It's not impossible: 13 points are a lot, but last year I was 17 points behind the leader, with two races to go.
The outcome of the Qualifying will be fundamental. Last year I gained the Pole and I hope to repeat it this year. At this circuit a good aero package is very important to face the numerous fast corners. The lap is very long and to have a good time you have to keep the right rhythm. I have to try to find a good set up during the Free Practice sessions on Friday and on Saturday morning and then I have to give it all in the Qualifying on Saturday afternoon. Whatever the outcome will be, it's nice to race at Spa. It's a very special feeling when you're driving on this track. And it's fantastic to drive here with a modern Formula One car with a really special atmosphere.
There will also be a special moment this weekend. On Thursday afternoon the stamp the Finnish post has issued for the World Championships, which I've won in 2007, will be presented at the Ferrari motorhome. That's something really special to me: when I was a little boy I like to send postcards and I never imagined that one day I might be able to apply a stamp with my face on it. That will be really something I can tell my grandchildren.
Raikkonen: "A dry race would be nice"
Spa-Francorchamps - Kimi Raikkonen arrived at the circuit where he has won the past three grands prix, at around lunchtime today and had his first encounter with the media in the official FIA Press Conference, where he started by confirming that he would very much like to make it four consecutive Belgian victories. From there it was on to the fact that the current season has not been going quite as well as the Finn had hoped for. "We definitely haven't had all the races going the way we wanted," admitted the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver. "There has been a problem, but it is not the first time and it is not the end of the world. We have been trying to fix them and hopefully we have found something now and we can get back where we should be. Things go wrong sometimes. You have bad races but hopefully now we can have a stronger weekend and get back. At the Monza test, we tried many things and we were pretty happy with the car, but you never know from a test. It can be a good test and then you come to the next place and it is a different circuit with different conditions. It can get back to where it was so hopefully we found something and we can be stronger, but it is too early to say. We had a good feeling from the test but we will see now. I think our qualifying performance should be better, because apart from Valencia, in the races,we have not been too bad speed wise but if you are stuck behind other cars then it is pretty much over at that point. If you can qualify at the front it will help big time and we should be fine. Anyhow we try to improve on all areas and hopefully that has happened."
Apart from an improvement in performance terms, Kimi also sounded confident that the engine worries were also behind him after the failure in Valencia. "It was more or less the same issue with Felipe's engine the race before. Hopefully we fixed it. So far in testing and on the bench we have been okay and we are pretty sure that we have fixed the problem and it should be fine."
You cannot talk about Spa without mentioning the weather and Kimi was clear as to which conditions he would prefer. "I would like it to be either dry or raining all the time. It's much easier for everybody. When it gets between those two weathers you have more luck involved. For me, anything is good, but maybe a dry race would nice."
With the Finn having slipped behind team-mate Massa, Kimi was also asked if he would have to help the Brazilian win the Drivers title. "It could happen. It all depends on how the next races go and where we are at the end of the year, but the key thing is we race as a team. Hopefully we don't end up in this situation, hopefully I will be in the championship up to the last race."