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Domenicali: "Kimi's on another planet"

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Domenicali: "Kimi's on another planet"
Jan 14, 2009, 3:16 PM

It's great that F1 and its fans can once again focus on cars and racing, rather than chew through a diet of bad news about F1's economic crisis.

It's great that F1 and its fans can once again focus on cars and racing, rather than chew through a diet of bad news about F1's economic crisis. The crisis hasn't gone away of course, but we are now in the season of hope; new cars, new dreams and new expectations.

The Ferrari media-fest continues, now the protagonists have moved up to the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort for the annual press event known as "Wrooom!"

Over the next couple of days Massa and Raikkonen will elaborate on the brief comments they made at Monday's launch, but today was the turn of the team principal Stefano Domenicali and he did not disappoint, speaking of the championship ahead and the drivers.

The most eye-catching quote regarded Kimi. " He has the capacity to isolate himself," he said, echoing Michael Schumacher's comments from last season. "It's like he lives on another planet. I've never seen him suffer from pressure either from the media or from other drivers. Don't expect him to smile or speak Italian, but he will show his quality right from the outset."

Domenicali, who won the constructors' title last year, in his first season in charge, knows that he has to get more out of his most expensive employee and has restructured the team subtly to give Raikkonen the best chance of delivering this season. He has a new race engineer, Andrea Stella, while his former engineer, Chris Dyer is now head of on track engineering, so a key management role is in the hands of someone who understands Kimi well.

The 43 year old team boss, who hails from Imola, also had warm words for the number two driver who's become a number one, "Felipe looks fresh and tanned; last season definitely matured him," he said. "He believes in himself and has come through some difficult moments. He may seem a soft boy, but he really knows how to handle the pressure, both from outside and inside the team."

The two drivers "will start with an equal opportunity to win the title, " he added. "They'll fight it out on the track with clear rules - the priority is Ferrari."

Once again the main rival for the championship will be McLaren, according to Domenicali, with BMW there as well. He was not sure how to predict Renault's form this season, but was keen to control expectations about his own team, "This will be a very difficult championship, " he said.

GO TO THE INTERVIEWS SECTION OF THIS SITE FOR MY TAKE ON STEFANO DOMENICALI
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen Shop Now