Kimi Raikkonen is not exactly known for exuberant displays of emotion but even the Iceman couldn't resist a donut or two after winning the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend. It was the third consecutive victory for the Finn at Spa Francorchamps and,...
Kimi Raikkonen is not exactly known for exuberant displays of emotion but even the Iceman couldn't resist a donut or two after winning the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend. It was the third consecutive victory for the Finn at Spa Francorchamps and, unsurprisingly, the Ferrari man enjoyed his fourth win of the 2007 season.
"It was wonderful, such a great race!" He said. "We didn't have any problems over the whole weekend and I was able to dominate the race from the start to the end. There are certain tracks, where everything runs much smoother compared to others, the Nurburgring for example, where always something happens to me."
"I bet that all drivers like Spa-Francorchamps. For me this is the most wonderful track in the world, it's my preferred one, my number one: I always liked it, since my first race here in the year 2000 with the Formula Renault."
Raikkonen and Felipe Massa finished one-two at Spa, a tonic for Ferrari after having to suffer a McLaren one-two at Monza, the reds' home ground. Raikkonen expected McLaren to be strong in qualifying at Spa and for Ferrari to have the better race pace but, as it happened, the Finn's battle for pole was really with his own teammate.
"It was really tight in the qualifying," Raikkonen recalled. "I started very well in my last run and I tried to manage the first sector well enough. I didn't know the lap time I did before, so I didn't know that I was on the pole!"
As for the race, Raikkonen had no real issues. The McLaren drivers were too busy squabbling with each other at the start and although Massa could have tried his luck, Raikkonen was in a better position. Lewis Hamilton was quick to accuse Fernando Alonso of trying to force him off track but Raikkonen doesn't think the Spaniard's move was bad.
"At the start Felipe came close but I had a better line so I could stay ahead and come out of the first corner in front of him, while the McLarens were fighting against each other," he commented. "Afterwards I saw it on TV and I think that there wasn't anything wrong. That was just part of a hard race. It will be like that for the rest of the season."
Most of the teams are hard at work testing at Jerez this week but Raikkonen is taking some time out and focusing on making sure his neck, which was painful at Monza after his crash in practice, is fully recovered. He didn't experience much trouble with it at Spa but a driver's fitness is as important as anything else.
The next race is the Japanese GP and this year instead of Suzuka it's at Fuji, a circuit that has not been on the F1 calendar for 30 years. "I can't say many things about the track at Fuji, because I've never seen it," Raikkonen said. "But there's nothing to worry about. I'll walk around the track on Thursday and on Friday I'll get to know it during the free practice."
"I've heard that this track might be better for McLaren: we can't change the track, but we can work on our car. That is why the team is working at Jerez at the moment. They give 110% so the car is competitive in Japan. Thirteen points are a lot, but we're catching up..."