Archive for May 6, 2008

Kimi’s Column: Pre – Turkish GP

http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/2485/416161swp9.jpg Keep on Fighting

For a change, it was nice to relax with my best friends at home in Finland. We had some days off and the weather was brilliant.

There was no testing after Barcelona. I bet all the top teams have done their homework very carefully to beat us in Turkey. But there is no reason to worry about that. I believe Ferrari will be fast there, too.

If you look at the circuits we’ve raced on this season, Istanbul is demanding in a similar way like Malaysia and Bahrain. Well, Ferrari won both of those and it gives us a good feeling that we should again be very competitive.

Obviously Spain was a perfect weekend for me and the team, now we want to make sure we keep our position. At least we will push very hard – which our competitors will also do to catch us.

In Barcelona, we got my first pole of the season. It helped a lot. It seems it is a must to get pole in Istanbul too. Last year I made a mistake in Q3 and it really hurt. It seems that to win at Turkey, you have to start from pole – like in Barcelona.

I really like Istanbul. It is the best of these new circuits. There are downhill and uphill corners and some are very challenging. You really get a great feeling especially after getting turn eight exactly right.

We drive anti-clockwise there. It is for the first time this year that we drive at this kind of circuit, and for sure it gives a tough time on the neck and muscles.

I’ve had two wins and a second place finish after the first four races and I’m leading the championship by 9 points. I’m very happy how things have gone so far. That said, things can change very quickly in F1 so the team needs to keep pushing 100% to stay infront of our main competitors.

I won’t change anything in my approach. It’s far too early in the season to think about anything else other than taking the maximum amount of points from every Grand Prix.

I want to win as many races as possible. I must confess that I really like this part of the season. We just go for it everytime. Only winning matters.

We are leading the championship but it does not count if we are not able to keep our position, that’s when it really means something. They best way to hang onto first is to keep the others behind in the race.

Our target is to get the 1-2 result again. We will fight – as hard as the Finnish team does in the ice hockey world championships in Canada.

Again, it’s nice that Heikki is well. The safety issues of these racing cars seems to be handled very well. That is very good for the sport.

Indeed it is! Kimi’s last big smash was during the Italian GP practise session last year which was around 120mph and the impact was pretty hard on his neck despite wearing the mandatory HANS (Head and Neck Support) system – it caused a problem for him throughout the weekend. But everything’s going so well at the moment for Kimi, let’s pray that he doesn’t suffer a set back like that again. 

He’s flying high and we hope to give him something more to smile about. In the wait of the Turkish Grand Prix there were some odd discussions about Kimi’s new skin head haircut, and members from the Official Kimi Raikkonen forum have been planning a bizarre stunt that would be continued in many races throughout the year, the first being at Istanbul, one at the Hungarian Grand Prix and though it’s not confirmed yet, I’ll be doing it at the British Grand Prix. It’s going to be an extraordinary sign but I won’t say too much, we’ll have to wait and see as Kimi says!

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No More Super Aguri

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/9730/xpb046hr410kn09340kqi1kkt0.jpgFrom Autosport.com
 
Super Aguri have withdrawn from the Formula One world championship with immediate effect, the team announced on Tuesday.

After weeks of speculation about their future following the collapse
of a proposed takeover by the Magma Group, a last-minute rescue package
by German automotive company Weigl Group was not good enough to keep
them racing.

Team principal Aguri Suzuki is understood to have met with the Honda
board in Japan on Tuesday, but the outcome of that meeting was that the
team will no longer be racing.

"In order to realise my dream to become an owner of a Formula One
team, I applied for a grid position in the FIA Formula One World
Championship in November 2005," said Suzuki in a statement issued by
the team. "Since then, I have participated in the championship for two
years and four months as the Super Aguri F1 Team, but regretfully I
must inform you that the team will cease their racing activities as of
today."

Suzuki made it clear that the current difficulties for the team were
caused by the non-payment of major sponsor SS United last year, which
put the team on the back foot regarding their financial situation.

"The team competed against the many car manufacturer-backed teams
and have succeeded in obtaining the first points after only the 22nd
race finishing in ninth place overall in the 2007 constructors’
championship.

http://img375.imageshack.us/img375/1146/414334eh3.jpg"However, the breach of contract by the promised partner SS United
Oil & Gas Company resulted in the loss of financial backing and
immediately put the team into financial difficulties. Also, the change
in direction of the environment surrounding the team, in terms of the
use of customer chassis, has affected our ability to find partners.

"Meanwhile, with the help of Honda, we have somehow managed to keep
the team going, but we find it difficult to establish a way to continue
the activities in the future within the environment surrounding F1 and
as a result, I have concluded to withdraw from the championship.

"I would like to express my deepest thanks to Honda, Bridgestone,
the sponsors, all the people who have given us advise during various
situations over the past couple of years all the Team Staff who have
kept their motivations high and always done their best, Anthony
Davidson who has always pushed to the limit despite the very difficult
conditions, Takuma Sato who has been with us from the very start and
has always fought hard and led the team and lastly our fans from all
over the world who have loyally supported the Super Aguri F1 Team."

Super Aguri made their debut in 2006, having been formed with
assistance from Honda in a bid to keep Takuma Sato in F1. They scored
their first world championship points at the 2007 Spanish Grand Prix,
and finished ninth in last year’s constructors’ championship.

The team’s withdrawal leaves F1 with only 10 teams now, with the
grid originally having supposed to have had 12 outfits at the start of
this year before the collapse of Prodrive’s entry.

This is really unfortunate for Mr Aguri and his team, who were doing so well in the past year. Beating their ‘mother’ Honda team on a few occasions really must have made Nick Fry bitter about this.

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/8195/211bv6.jpg

So
long to the Super Best Friends of the drivers Sato and Davidson – I
wish them all the best in the future of their careers which have
suddenly taken a huge set back.