2008 Columns

Kimi’s Column – Brazil GP Review

Ferrari version from Ferrari.it | Finnish Translation by Nicole

http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/6070/08180196wu9.jpg
So it was a season like that. The last race pretty much symbolized it.

We got close but did not get the best result. The car was so good that
we could have taken the first 2 places in the race. It wasn’t perfect,
but it was good to drive in the end. It just wasn’t worth taking risks
at that point.

The most important thing in Brazil was that we did more or less what we
went there to do and won the WCC for the team. It’s a big thing for
everyone who is related to Ferrari – the staff, the sponsors and
especially Stefano who lead the team for the first year.

And it is a small victory for me too. This was a tough year. It feels great that we got the WCC after what happened.

My championship hopes were already packed in a box after Spa and Monza.
After that I only tried to score points for the team and build a
foundation from which it is good to go to next winter and next season.

Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton. He scored most points this year
and whoever can do that, deserves the Championship. The race ain’t over
until everybody has crossed the finishing line. I’m sorry for Felipe.
Last year the situation was kind of like this and it turned out in my
favour. Now it went the other way around.

I’m sure that this was a season fans will remember for a long time.
Motor-racing has what many other sports would need. You never know what
is going to happen in the race.

We have a party with the fans this weekend in Mugello. We drive and
have fun. After that this season is over and we get to go on vacation.

The season wasn’t what we wanted it to be although it started
pretty well. Then too many bad things happened and even though others
made mistakes too, we made too many and we couldn’t recover from them.
We paid for our mistakes more than the others and the WDC went that
way.

But it’s an old thing already. Next year we try again and try to do
everything better. The rules change and it makes everything even more
interesting than before. It feels good when you are at a situation like
this in Ferrari.

When the rules change, this team usually is in a strong position. We will wait and see what we accomplish next year.

http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/6773/krsevenstarsmall3aat2.png Kimi sure does know how to feel good and positive even after a difficult year for him and the team. That’s exactly what Ferrari need, and Kimi’s sounding more and more like a true leader. He doesn’t try or want to be, but he just wants to do his best and always has good attitude even in the toughest of times. [updated 17.58 GMT] The Finnish translated column is posted above!

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Kimi’s Column: Brazil GP Preview

From F1Technical.net

http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/2948/tagheuer2008aus12vp8.jpg
THE LAST ONE IS ABOUT TO BE TAKEN

[Finnish Translation by Neverjoyce]


The last race of the season means you have last chance to race for a
while. Racing driver loves to race so I put my helmet on and go for it.

Our goal is the victory. That would give me better feelings
towards next winter and for upcoming season. This season gave me
nothing to recall.We are going to analyse everything and then improve
those things what went wrong.


But first we have to deal with the last race. Its fine that we are
racing in Brazil as there always happens a lot. We are not going to
make big warplans , we are just adjusting to situations that might come
towards to us but we are shooting heavy.


We are forced to take the victory and our goal is 1-2 for ferrari
as we are fighting for two championships. One we are leading and
another we are "baking" for Felipe.It would be cool if we could
celebrate as a winners at the Brazil banquet. Every team wants the WCC
but to ferrari its even more important because of its traditions. I
would feel great if I can help them to achieve those goals.


After China I relaxed a bit and went to check out Anton Alens
rallying in Switzerland. There is no need to charge the batteries for
Brazil. It comes naturally.

I will never forget last years race.There is a warm spot in my
heart for Brazil. It was nice to win that race and the WDC. Thats the
biggest moment in every racing drivers career.

Ferrari is always quick at Brazil and I hope we find our speed
starting from the first practise. Brazil has been a good place for me
but I were not able to get the first place until last year. That made
up those I missed.


The season is almost over but I am still seeking for the right set
up. We have been close in the last two races, the feeling in the car is
good but it could be even better. In Q3 you have to have a car with you
can go flat out to corners. There is this tiny difference in your
selfconfidence when you notice that you can throw your car into curves.


As been said many times this isnt what we wanted. It all went well
when we were leading but its amazing how fast everything vanished.
Sometimes it went better and then everything went worse. This year has
been very long and hard. You just wait for the break. Now I have to
charge my batteries well because there is much work to do in winter.
Rules are changing and its exiting to see how much its going to affect
on F1 and we are going to test already before this year ends.



I will lose the WDC but I want it back right away!

http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/6773/krsevenstarsmall3aat2.png  This is the final Kimi column we’ll see for this year, unless there’s a Brazil review too, but I’m missing him already! Let’s hope he can end this 2008 season with a smile on Sunday. The picture above is actually from Australia in March this year: who would have known what was lying ahead for Kimi after becoming world champion? Keep flying Kimi!


Kimi’s Column, Chinese GP Review: “Thank you for all the support” and send in your thoughts on 2008!

From KimiRaikkonen.com

http://img392.imageshack.us/img392/7334/206ie1.jpgFor a change, it was nice to come back home from a race weekend. Looking at it, the most positive thing from both weekends was being strong in qualifying – at last.

The car is more to my liking and, because of that, we started on the front row at both Fuji and Shanghai. It gave a good feeling. Finally we got something back from the hard work the team has done with the car. We have done some right things while the results have improved.

I like sushi and Chinese food too, but of course I liked it more to get back onto the podium. We need a strong finish to the season. A positive finish gives a positive feeling for the long winter and a good starting point for next year.

The possibility of a win was almost there. But the race pace was not enough in China. I had a better feeling with the car all the time which felt positive. But it still wasn’t the 100% we wanted it to be.

We could not exactly match the speed of the McLaren during the whole weekend. Hamilton was quicker than us in the first few laps of the race and, again, quicker with the new tyres after the stops. We managed to get a little bit closer but obviously it was too late. While we had the same amount of fuel, only a mistake from them would have made it possible to try and beat Hamilton.

I became 29 years old on Friday at China. Birthdays come and go, but it was so nice to see and hear that so many fans remembered and supported me, although this season has not been my best. Thank you all for the support.

Last year I had the best weekend of my life in Brazil. I will never forget that. Now we head for Brazil again and obviously what happened there last time will give me such a great feeling again. This time we’ll try our very best to repeat that 1-2 result again. We will try to fight for the win and we will monitor what is happening and act accordingly.

My approach is the same as it was when going to the last two races. The qualifying is very important. The front row would be fantastic again. Let’s wait and see, how it pays out this time.

We made the best of it from the position we had in China. While I cannot win the driver’s championship anymore, it was the same finishing second of third for me. The main thing is that I was able to get 14 points for Ferrari. The team still fight hard for both championships.

I’m a team member and I’m more than happy to do my share and to help the team win the championships in the season final.

http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/6773/krsevenstarsmall3aat2.png  What a great review from Kimi (read the Finnish translation in the comments section below). He’s taking the positive of finally having a more comfortable car in qualifying to get a better result in Brazil. For the team. His last sentence shows his dedication and appreciation to the team who took him in 2007 and made him a world champion. I don’t expect anymore criticisms to assume otherwise.

The fans in China were in bigger force than they were last year. Not only does this show the growing support for Kimi, but even at a time where he’s said 2008 hasn’t been his best year, we have shown our loyal support and eternal love for him. It definately was emotional for me to see all that support, those banners and hundreds of Finnish flags. So Kimi really appreciated it. Well done guys. It was made clear that ‘through the highs and lows, keep flying Kimi!’

And it’s touching that Kimi mentioned his last weekend in Brazil, where he became world champion. As you would have already seen yesterday or perhaps not yet, I also mentioned I’ll never forget it. We’ll never forget it! It was all the hard work of six damn years, all the blood, sweat and tears, compressed into one moment and exploded in the Kimi fan community around the world. We stood by him through that time, so another bad year wasn’t going to change anything. Next season will be a completely new chapter and one worth seeing, as each year has been as a Kimi fan.

| Send KRS Your Messages! | We have more than a week left till this season’s final Grand Prix. So till then, I want you all to email me a summary of your thoughts on 2008, as the season comes to a close. Keep them short (between 100-150 words) and if possible please do send in a picture of yourself to accompany your message!
The deadline is the 29th October.


Kimi’s Column: Japan GP Review – “Sayonara to the Championship”

From KimiRaikkonen.com

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/5819/229sid3.jpgWe have really dug so deep, that the results we achieved at Fuji felt
quite nice. Finally we finished the race, we started from the front row
and got back to the podium. Obviously, the team was happy to get good
points and climb back to the leading position in the constructor’s
championship.



But I have to say, that the second place in qualifying and the third
place in the race are not exactly what we wanted. It was annoying to
know that we had so good chance for the pole and, most of all, for the
win on Sunday.


The team has been working day and night to improve the car. But,
for me, it was that same old story all over again. Setting up the car
the way I like it to be depends too much on the weather and on the
circuit. We know the speed is there in our car. We just have to find
the right set-up to maximise it every time.



And we will!


The start was good. We got the lead, like we planned and when you
turn first to the first corner, you should be leading after that. I
cannot understand what they were thinking there behind me. They came
much too fast to that breaking point and caused a big problem for many
people.



You have to learn how to find the breaking points already when you six
years old while starting with GO Karts. Obviously, you should know how
it goes at this level.


I don’t know about the others, but, at least, my father Matti put
sticks on the right places for me and for my brother to know where to
brake. That’s how you learn that lesson the best and you remember it
always where ever you race.


At Fuji the fight for the victory was over for me already in the
first corner. Both McLarens came too quickly and I could not turn to
the first corner. The worst thing was losing so many places. If I just
could have took the lead, like I should have after that start, probably
we would have won it easily. But now we got stuck behind the others, we
did our best, but we never got back to the positions where you have the
advantage of using the clean air in front of you.


I managed to overtake Trulli and we should have been able to
overtake Kubica in the second pitstop. Unfortunately there was one car
in front of me in my inlap and we lost a fracture of the time also at
the pitstop. That was enough to miss the chance to get back to the
circuit in front of Kubica.



At Fuji you have a couple of places to overtake people. I was trying to
fight and once I got beside Robert and little bit ahead of him, too,
coming to the third corner. It was a good fight, neither of us did
lift, so I had to go wide. After that all we could do was to bring the
car home third.


http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/7218/lat200810121108811pvvl5.jpgThat was Sayonara to the drivers’ championship. Really I didn’t
think of the title after Spa. I should have won in Belgium, because
that would have been the only way to control the point situation. Now
it was just a matter of time, when it was over.


I have been telling since January, that we do our best to win the
championship again and if that’s not working out, we will try again
next year. That’s what we are going to do now. I know what it takes to
win the championship back.


This week we go to China. Let’s wait and see what we are able to do
there. Last year we won the race. Shanghai is a challenging circuit and
I like it very much. Now we aim at getting 1-2 result for Ferrari and
bringing the best points for the team.


http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/6773/krsevenstarsmall3aat2.pngKeep
Flying Kimi! I loved his comment about having learned breaking points
during karting, obviously that’s aimed at a certain driver. Kimi was quite scornful there but in whatever he says he stills sounds like a gentleman. It put a
huge smile on my face! Go Kimi!

And Kimi enjoyed his fight with Kubica. People are saying it was more
than just a fight for 2nd place, it was a fight to keep Kimi’s
championship hopes alive. Missing out on two extra points means Kimi’s
totally out of the game now, fullstop. But during a race, the drivers
don’t really know what the points situation is right there and then. I
seriously doubt Kimi was thinking about two extra points when fighting
with Kubica. He had two attempts on Kubica, fairly and decently with
Kimi ending up on the run off area, so what’s the point in going for
another more aggressive approach. Kimi’s not a madman in that sense. We
already know his racing capabilities, his payback was at Spa and he
successfully passed Massa AND Hamilton, fair and square. Spa was the
race that mattered and we’ll never forget his drive there. Superb. And
he couldn’t be more right about the situation after Spa. He wasn’t
going to sit and cry about it and be an idiot in the next few races.
Someone’s already taken that role…

Kimi is sounding quite laidback about losing the title now, in this
column. At Japan, he enjoyed proper racing again with proper racers and
being back on the podium with two great competitors. He brought Ferrari
back in the constructor’s lead. Ferrari have also done some little
developments on the car, particularly on the rear, which is helping
Kimi. Aldo Costa also confirmed that Kimi in particular has a very busy testing schedule; they have planned a total of 10,000km distance
throughout winter testing. That should be more than enough for Kimi to
get things sorted and fight back next year! Cheers to that.

It’s been a difficult year and as Kimi fans it’s been very hard. But I
can’t imagine how frustrating it’s been for the man himself. I remember
during the 2007 Brazil post-race press conference that Kimi said he’ll
try and win it again this year but it’s going to be difficult. He was
certainly right about that. So, let’s enjoy what we can of these final
two races at China and Brazil. Kimi was back in winning positions at
Japan in qualifying and for the race so he’ll try harder at China. But
hopefully that McLaren driver stays well clear of him this time. We’re
with you all the way Kimi! Keep flying ~


Kimi’s Column: Japan GP Preview – “Cross The Bar”

From KimiRaikkonen.com | Translation by Nicole

http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/1262/24870622af8.jpg
After the summer break everything has gone wrong. We haven’t been able
to get the result we have been waiting for. I could have won in Spa but
otherwise I haven’t been able to even fight for the top places.
This ain’t never easy but it’s hard to understand that it can
sometimes be this hard. It hasn’t been up to my will at least. I ain’t
no loser.


The season goes on and so be it. 3 races to go. A racer likes to
race. My attitude hasn’t changed in any way. I fight every time when
the lights go out and start pushing.



Last year I got 26 points from the last 3 races. When it starts working you get more points fast.


The WDC goes to the others. I can’t help it. I have to be a
realist. Next year I’ll give it another try. Now I just have to lower
the bar back to where it was so that I get the footstep marks put in
the right place and can start winning again.


My goals are exactly the same as they were a year ago this time. We
try to get both Championships to the same address in Maranello again.
It’s going to be a tough call and we’ll do our best so that the team
gets the results they need.


What means is that we get to cross the finish line and get maximum
points. We have again new things to our car and we should have a good
chance in Fuji to take the first two places.



And the rain doesn’t bother either. If it rains, then we’ll drive in the rain – just like last season’s quali and race in Japan.


Last time we had a great race considering how it started. We had
some hassle with the tyre judgments and took the wrong tyres to the
start. Still I managed to get up to 3rd place from the last place. It
was tough when you didn’t see anything but still the race went pretty
well.


Fuji is a nice track. It’s a challenge to find the right
compromises to the setups. In quali you have to get to the top but
still there are a few places where you can overtake.



And if it rains again, then the weather itself is the biggest challenge.


We have fixed a few new things so that the tyres would get more
warmer in the rain. Time will tell if it’s enough to fight for the win
if the track is once again wet and cool.



I relaxed after Singapore in Phuket with my friends. I flew to Tokyo in good time. I’m ready and I’m in a good mood.


Toni Vilander won on Sunday the GT-Championship for the second time
to Ferrari. Congratulations to Viltsu. The Championship is always
earned. You don’t win it by accident.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png This
arrived a little later than usual but here it is! And a big thanks to
Nicole for the translation from Finnish, Kimi’s mother tongue. Kimi
sounds as confident as ever, despite admitting the 2008 championship
defeat. Keep Flying!


Kimi’s Column: Post Singapore GP, “I can’t explain this dark period”

From Autosport.com | FerrariWorld.com | KimiRaikkonen.com [Finnish Translation credit: Nicole]

http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/4102/20080928220126uu9.jpg"Not my year"


After Singapore I didn’t know if I should cry or laugh. It just doesn’t
help whether it’s night or day, when it doesn’t click it doesn’t click.
This year was certainly not my year.


I hit the wall again in the end of the race. I wasn’t racing for
the win but would have got some good points for the team’s
championship. It happened like it did in Spa. I didn’t get anything
because I didn’t finish the race.


This hasn’t become into anything for a long time. Even though I try
this and that I can’t get a weekend where I would succeed even somehow.


And we had the pace in the car again but not when it counts the
most. The fastest laps give you nothing when they don’t come when they
should come.


Of course my own feelings aren’t high when the races have gone the
way they have. You don’t even have the strenght to go through them.
They suck and nothing changes them anymore.


Singapore is a great place and the night race suits it well. I
wondered about the fuzz concerning the time schedule when it didn’t
feel different in any way. When they put the lights on it was af if you
would drive in daytime light.


Our car was so in stitch during Friday’s first practice but then we
went and tried some different things and the result was that I was just
driving around. There was nothing we could do because it would have
taken too long to put everything back the same way it was and we didn’t
check the tyres.


On Saturday there was some trouble with the steering wheel and I
didn’t get the notch in anymore. That’s why we didn’t have time to try
out the hard tyre at all before the quali. It ain’t the best way to
prepare when you have to quess when going to quali which tyre is
better.


In the start I couldn’t get anywhere. The air pressure was too low
and it took a few laps before they were ok. After that the tyres worked
and for a moment I started to fly and had a feeling that this could really turn into a
good result. When Piquet hit the wall and the SC came to the track I
knew that it was sort of there. When you have to go behind the other
one to the pitstop and wait for your own turn, time is burning and you
lose many places.


Singapore is kind of a SC-sensitive track. A lot of these
situations happen there many times and it takes forever to get the
track cleaned up properly. I had time to get up to the 5th place. Glock
was in front of me and because I was faster I just kept waiting for the
right moment behind him where I could overtake him best. I just hit too
hard on a high kerb and the wheels didn’t turn anymore when the front
of the car was in the air.



It was once again "game over".


I feel really bad for the team because I didn’t bring them any
points. Once again you just have to try in the next race to get the job
done better. We have such a good car that it’s sure that we can race
for the win in all upcoming races.



You just have to hope that you would finally get a great weekend when everything would even somehow fall into place.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.pngIt’s sad to hear Kimi sad. He’s
sorry for everything, when he shouldn’t be. It’s not his fault, he
never intended to have a bad season. Everything in the equation this
year has not equalled correctly. He isn’t boasting about taking 10
fastest laps this season either, like we fans have been. He’s actually
playing it down because it’s true that they don’t help if you’re not
winning. Still, that shouldn’t be the point. Bagging fastest laps like
this shows you are fastest of them all – it’s irrelevant to the
championship but it’s a statement nonetheless. We fans have no doubts
about Kimi’s talent, his motivation or performance. It’s funny in this column that he says he ‘started to fly’ during the race before the safety car! Keep Flying Kimi.

But he’s
generous with his words, speaking about his team. A bit too generous I
think (it’s obvious that FerrariWorld.com have been very careful with Kimi’s columns lately, so don’t always take it word for word. His columns used to appear on his website first, then Ferrari would release their versions. Only the Finnish one from Kimi’s website is closest to Kimi’s mouth and for sure we’ll post it here when it’s available! [Updated above [03/10/08 - 3:14pm]

Sure, the team have worked hard this year, as any team does. But
to have improved the F2008? It’s race pace is superior to McLaren, as
it was last year so major difference there, but it’s clear the main
issue that has ruined Kimi’s chances this year has been qualifying.
It’s not entirely right to say it’s great work from Ferrari, especially
if their world champion still bemoans some problems with getting it to
work, over one lap for example. Massa deserves his rewards from getting
five pole positions this year, opposed to Kimi’s two. Massa is in a
better position because of this mere fact. We have every right to be
annoyed with the team because being the spectators we can openly
criticise. Kimi became their world champion last year in his first
season with them, surely that should have counted for something?
Afterall, it was Kimi, not Massa, who replaced Michael Schumacher.
Coming into this year, Domenicali and Co repeated the fact that
there’ll be a 50/50 between Kimi and Massa. No preferred driver, no
Number 1 or Number 2. McLaren on the other hand have finally done the
right thing, giving the whole backing of the championship to Hamilton,
whereas Kovalainen, who’s shown he can be just as quick, is always
nowhere near his teammate in the races, or even qualifying for that
matter. It’s working for them this time, opposed to their huge fail in
2007. I think it’s safe to say the tables have turned and it’s Ferrari
who’ll lose this championship likewise.

Anyway, we can do
nothing but look ahead now indeed and make some big changes for next
year. Whatever the next grand prix at Japan brings, we shall see in
bitter hope!


Kimi’s Column: Italian GP Review – “Hunting for the Grip”

From KimiRaikkonen.com

http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/9016/47ih8.jpgSometimes it’s rough. You try and try but nothing seems to go your way. I haven’t been winning for ages and I haven’t got many points either. In Monza, we finished the race but it didn’t feel any better compared to the two previous ones with DNFs.

We now have had five races without points. Obviously, you don’t have to be Einstein to realise that this is not the way to fight for the championship. It’s not over, I’ll never give up.

We have had the same problem too many times. With this car in certain circumstances it’s too difficult to get the right temperature to the tyres – especially if it rains. And it seems to rain in almost every race nowadays.

It rained a lot in Monza. Unfortunately for me, there is no reason to talk about anything else apart from the last laps of the race. The car was really good on Friday in the dry. But in the wet on Saturday I simply could not get the tyres up to temperature. This is something we need to understand, because the car is very good when it has the right temperatures in the tyres. But the race is all over by then.

Obviously at the moment things simply are not going my way. Sometimes things happen like that. But I will keep pushing and hopefully my luck will change. I would like to win a couple of more races by the end of this season.

I have not lost my skills for driving in the wet. But you have to get the car right to be able to fight in the rainy races, too. If there is no grip, you cannot fight. You just drive and drive and hope that everything gets sorted out.

While it started to dry up in Monza, it was like switching on the lights. Everything felt well and I was able to attack the corners but it was much, much too late by then.

Now we go to Mugello to test. We do our very best to solve the problem. We wouldn’t mind if it would rain all week.

We are heading for the new challenges. It’s good for F1 and the drivers to race in a new city like Singapore. It will also be the first ever night race in F1 so it’s a completely new experience for everybody. The atmosphere will be great. Hot and humid seems to be more favourable for Ferrari.

You never know what happens in the race. There is no reason to make any plans. We just concentrate on doing our very best. Whoever has the most points after the last race of the season will be champion.

I’m really happy to extend my agreement with Ferrari. They are the best team in F1. My memories of last season will never be forgotten and I would like to repeat that feat again.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png Well there you go, the man hasn’t lost his skills in the wet incase if that was what you clueless critics were thinking! I’m really sorry to read Kimi’s problem with the tyres, it’s been the case all season and it seems to have gotten worse in the wet conditions instead of improving. But he never criticises the team for it, these things happen and you have to try your best together as a team to fix them. Kimi says he’s more than happy to have extended his contract with Ferrari and it’s sweet. He can never forget last year, we can’t. He may have won in the end by a single point, perhaps by getting lucky in China, but he was always there to attack. He never gave up. So why should he this time. Keep Flying Kimi. If anyone can pull it off it’s Kimi Raikkonen ~

P.S – You can read the Finnish translation of Kimi’s column in the comments below. You’ll see the ice-hockey reference again so it’s definately Kimi writing those columns!


Kimi’s Column: Belgian GP Review – “At Full Gallop”

From KimiRaikkonen.com

http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/8553/826718911000ld0.jpgObviously we didn’t get the result we were looking for at Spa, but it was great to get back in the real racing rhythm.

I’ve finally got the feeling I want in the car and the circuit of Spa Francorchamps is certainly the best of them all to have a Formula One race.

I had a brilliant start from the second row, and after that it was fantastic to start real racing. I overtook the two guys infront of me without problem and after that we controlled the pace very smoothly.

Already before coming to Belgium, my only objective was to win that race. I was only interested in finishing first. Nothing else was good enough and it would have only meant that the point gap to the leader would have grown more.

At the end of the day it was as little as two laps and four minutes short for me. We didn’t become the kings of the hill but we had to come full circle. I spun and sled into the wall. Then I had to walk back to the pits like I did in Valencia, too. But this time we had fought for the victory till the very bitter end, while in Valencia we didn’t have any chance to win.

When the rain started, it was very tricky to lead the race. We had some problems with the hard tyres since the very beginning of the final stint. While the rain came it didn’t help and it was slipping and sliding the whole way through after that. I tried to fight and got back in the lead but then I hit the wall and got nothing out of it.

Nevertheless, there is no reason to complain. I did my very best but it was not enough. It’s the same sometimes in a game of icehockey or in a race of motocross. You get punches and blows but you just carry on and fight back. There is no reason for me to start worrying about what has happened or to stop trying. I will fight until the very end.

The points will be counted just after the final race and the one who has the most, wins the championship. Nothing is certain before that.

We have five races to go. Obviously my position is not ideal but that doesn’t mean I will give up.

Now it’s time for the Italian Grand Prix and we will come to Monza with a very good feeling. Monza is the real Mecca of the Tifosi and and there will be a lot of Finnish fans, too. It’s the place where we go really, really quick. It’s great to go there with everything working well in my car.

Last year I had a big shunt just before the qualifying. I hit the wall in a big way and that hurt and made the whole weekend the toughest of them all for me during last season.

Before Spa we had a productive test in Monza and the car felt well to suit there. But you never know how competitive you are before the qualifying session.

We try our very best to win for the team and the fans.It’s the real home of the Prancing Horse and it would be almost out of this world to win the Italian Grand Prix for the first time.

At least I don’t have anything to lose. I just go flat out!


http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png That’s the Raikkonen spirit! You pick yourself up, and get on with it. Afterall guys, Kimi doesn’t need us to tell him to go all balls out and have fun, he surely will do it anyway. I can hardly contain my excitement! Now, I must get on with the Belgian GP highlight video ~


Kimi’s Column: Belgian GP Preview – “Pedal to the Metal”

From KimiRaikkonen.com

http://img71.imageshack.us/img71/9238/0159284vq3.jpgThis is the one that I’ve been waiting for. The weekend of Spa is always a certain highlight of the season for me. Usually, I’ve got a positive result from the Belgian Grand Prix. What has happened there before doesn’t help me right now, but, it doesn’t make any harm either.

We need that positive result, indeed. The previous race was the one to forget as quickly as possible. It’s never nice to be in the middle of all kinds of negative stories, but it just happens. It’s not the first time in my life, and you just have to live with it.

Back in the old days at school it was not that nice to bring home a bad grade from an exam. You could only try to do better next time. That’s how to react, still.

Since Valencia I’ve been training a lot in Switzerland and last week we also had a test in Monza. The test seemed to go well. We tried some new parts and I feel the package has improved. Having said that, you can only really judge the performance on Saturday at Spa as nobody knows the fuel levels of your competitors in testing. But it is going to be very close. That won’t change in one test.

For me there has only been good memories from Spa. Obviously it would be great to win it a fourth time in a row. I have not won for a few months and it would help to get my championship challenge back on track after that disappointment of the last race.

During the last season we found a good balance that suited my driving style in the middle of the year, and after that, I won many races in the second half of the year.

Obviously I need to try and find a good balance again because with 13 points behind I must start to close the gap. It’s not impossible. I was 17 points behind with two races to go last year.

http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/2073/340641jw0.jpgAt Spa I took pole position last year and hopefully I can do the same this year. As we’ve seen so many times this year, a good grid position is extremely important. It will be very decisive at Spa too. Everybody knows it.

It’s so crucial to have an aerodynamically good car to tackle those fast corners. It’s a long lap and to get the time right, you really need to maintain the best rhythm. But so much depends on the qualifying result. Following another car in a race is very difficult. So I need to find a decent set-up on Friday and Saturday and have a solid qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.

Anyway, it’s great to go racing in Spa. You cannot get the same kind of ‘pedal to the metal’ feeling anywhere else. It’s great to race with a modern racing car in a proper circuit which has such a marvellous tradition.

This is going to be a little a bit different weekend for me. In Finland, they will publish a stamp that was designed in honour of my world championship last year. I really value this highly. As a small boy sending a card I would have never imagined that one day I would have a stamp with my picture on it.

For sure, it’s nice to show to the grandkids in years to come.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png We all pumped up for this weekend? I sure am! But I admit I’m going to feel more calm and reserved until the chequered flag on Sunday afternoon, don’t want to make another fool of myself this time. Come on Kimi, let’s go mad without the fear of being let down again. Even Felipe Massa acknowledges Kimi’s consistant speed threat at Spa, which is good! Spa has a lot of good memories indeed, and is truly the only place F1 has that’s special, not only because Kimi has won there the past 3 times, but because as Kimi said – "You
cannot get the same kind of ‘pedal to the metal’ feeling anywhere else.
It’s great to race with a modern racing car in a proper circuit which
has such a marvellous tradition," are you listening FIA?!

p.s Here’s a wallpaper I made from the Monza Test last week, nothing special, just messing with colours and liked the result so I thought I’d share it!


Kimi’s Column, Valencia GP Review: The Street Pain & Talk of Qualifying Problems

From KimiRaikkonen.com

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/865/lat200808241079767pvds1.jpgLife would be much easier if you could always win. But sometimes it doesn’t seem to go your way – whatever you try.

That’s what happened to me in the last couple of races and it’s not so nice. But it’s not over yet. I’ll keep fighting to get the results I want to achieve. One third of the season is still left and it’s enough to fight back.

Obviously I would have never expected that all these street circuit races would so badly hurt our campaign to win the world championship again.

We had the first DNF in Melbourne, however we gained one point still. Then we hit that bump in Monaco and crashed into another car. In Montreal we had a good race pace but had to retire after the collision in the pit exit. This weekend we lost the engine in Valencia.

I went to the European Grand Prix with a good feeling. It’s always great to have a race in a new place. Friday practise was good, I had a good feeling in the car. But Saturday was a little bit cooler and we struggled again in qualifying. We should have been more aggressive.

Obviously there has been a lot of talk about my qualifying problems. But in Hungary I just went wide in my final lap in Q3. Without that we would have easily been third. Then after that we got fourth place in Valencia, and after that I already knew the race was going to be difficult.

At the start you would need almost a miracle to get to the top from fourth place on the grid or further behind. We started from the worse side. Heikki had better grip and passed us. After that it was me against him for fourth place.

When you get stuck behind somebody, it’s nothing but a struggle to try and attack towards better positions. The leader gains one second every lap – that’s how it’s been in the last few races for us.

We fought to get fourth place, but the only opportunity was, obviously, at the last pit stop. We went there one after the other, but I made a mistake. I left too early and one of our mechanics hurt himself. Of course, you hope something like that never happens. Luckily, Pietro is mainly okay. His toe was broken but it’s not taking too long to heal. It’s nothing serious and I hope that he’ll be back at the track with us very soon.


After the stop we dropped to sixth place on the grid, and at the end of the day it would have been better than nothing, but then the engine blew. Without any warning. Suddenly we came from a corner and felt something was wrong. Then the smoke came out.

We knew we had to take a risk for Valencia and we did not finish the race. It’s a shame, but it’s useless to grieve over that. The result will stay and it’s time to just look ahead. Now we have a test in Monza, and then comes Spa.

I love that circuit and, obviously, I would love to race there for the whole year long. Spa is the best of all the circuits and hopefully we can finally get the car working to the way I want it to work.

We go to Spa to win it again. If somebody has doubts concerning my motivation, let them doubt. One thing I can tell is, that right now I am more motivated than ever.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png Wow! I’m glad you all thought my Valencia review was good, because Kimi’s take of it is even better! Just as I said we should keep believing and be happy that he’s still Kimi, he says he’ll keep fighting no matter how many times he’s being pulled down. It’s just a pity Kimi has had to explain his qualifying because of the ‘talk’ about it. Don’t worry Kimi, we know. And he sure told them! If you’ve got doubts about Kimi’s motivation, go ahead. We’re heading to Kimi’s back yard next so I’d keep quiet.

In the latest gossip, McLaren boys Ron Dennis and Martin Whitmarsh had a few things to say about Kimi this week. Ron, having been Kimi’s boss at McLaren for 5 years knows enough about the Finn to recognise his presence in the championships:

http://img360.imageshack.us/img360/328/spa2007f1gpvictorycelebzw9.jpg"Kimi is a fierce competitor, a highly-talented racing driver and I wouldn’t levy any criticism at him at all," said Dennis. "The bottom line is drivers have good and bad races, and I’m sure he will forget this one, but he is more than capable of winning. So I certainly wouldn’t discount him at this stage. With only six races to go, I wouldn’t want to make any predictions about him. That’s the worst thing we could do."

Martin, on the other hand, was asked about whether Massa’s the key player for Ferrari: "He’s certainly a contender," says Whitmarsh. "He has exceeded many people’s expectation in terms of his reliability and I think that for sure we know Kimi better and he is a formidable competitor and he will be scratching his head. This isn’t a highly technical circuit, you’ve got to be good on the brakes and I think Kimi will bounce back strong in Spa."

Kimi has won in Spa the past 3 times the race has been held (2004, 2005, 2007) and we all remember his joy from last year as he rarely displayed some strong emotion in wheel spinning his Ferrari towards the parc ferme. Kimi is a racing driver, racing to win. He wouldn’t have early mornings, do testing or race if he didn’t care about winning, the feeling of victory. I’m absolutely positive Kimi will be his rightful position again and that’s flying high. Keep Flying Kimi!

 http://www.viddler.com/simple/3babc857/

This video, brought to us by TaniaS, is from Italian tv taken during the Valencia GP weekend, and it’s a fun interview with Kimi. You can download it here. It’s a good time to see Kimi happy and smiling!

Update at 16.35pmAn interview with Stefano Domenicali reveals some important and basic answers on the F2008 and Kimi’s compatibility with the car, which seems to be an understeer issue. (Translation by AFCA of the Autosport forums)


Domenicali: "Massa’s engine failed after 932 km, Raikkonen’s after 968 km. The malfunction will not happen again."

Q: Are you sure of that ?

Domenicali: "The piston rods have been the same for three years now.
Out of a hundred, two have have gone bust, with progressive
identification numbers. The malfunctions occured in an area where
there’s no stress. It’s a matter of dealing with the material. We can
no longer afford to loose out on important results due to reliability
problems. But at the same time it’s also true that McLaren had 35
points more than we did last year, whereas now we’re 16 points ahead."

Q: So what will Ferrari do to not throw away any more good results ?

Domenicali: "We have decided to toughen up the controls on all the
parts of the car. We have 40 people working in the departments of
quality control and metallurgy. What is going to start in two weeks
time in Belgium is a sprint-championship of 6 races in which we can no
longer give away any presents."

Q: You’re like a football manager, do you feel confidence or scepticism around you ?

Domenicali: "The results speak in favour of Ferrari. I notice the
confidence and I have confidence in all the 900 employees of the
Gestione Sportiva."

Q: Schumacher’s presence in recent races seemed like a distant
supervision on behalf of Di Montezemolo and/or Todt. Now there are
whispers that Schumi should no longer come to the races…

Domenicali: "I didn’t feel supervisioned by him. Schumacher helps
the engineering side of the team and he’s a support for the drivers,
Kimi included. Every single statement of his has been agreed upon by
me. As far as his plans are concerned, I don’t know anything."

Q: Let’s talk about the great form Massa is in at the moment…

Domenicali: "I consider that as a continuous evolution from the
Malaysian GP onwards. Massa does well, he’s strong, wants to learn, has
an eye for detail. And he will be even faster still, now he has
‘acquiered’ what he was lacking: a consistent race pace."

Q: Can he win the championship ?

Domenicali: "Certainly. We should give him a car that is always
competitive while he maintain keep the aggresive attitude he has now."

Q: Will he cope with the pressure ?

Domenicali: "He’s mature (enough) to do that and we help him with it."

Q: In compensation, Raikkonen isn’t doing so well…

Domenicali: "And yet he has collected many points. For me it isn’t
a problem. He will react, he will soon come back strong, he knows how
to get out of criticism and problems."

Q: When he was still at McLaren there were pictures of him in which
he didn’t exactly look like an athlete. Off track, what is the
Raikkonen like we don’t get to see ?

Domenicali: "His strong point is to discuss with us about
everything, but I have never forced him to do anything with regards to
his character. I don’t think that the way he prepares for a GP has
anything to do with certain situations. As far as the mental
preparation for the races is concerned, we keep that a secret inside
the team and he’s aware of that."

Q: What’s his problem ?

Domenicali: "He’s not happy with the way the cars steers into
corners. He would like to have it more aggresively. And this is having
an influence on him. It’s up to us to continue helping him out."

Q: Let’s come to the point, would Raikkonen be ready to help out Massa if he needed to ?

Domenicali: "If it’s necessary Kimi will help Felipe, we talked
about this at the beginning of the year. But first let’s see how things
evolve."

Q: But if Raikkonen continues to pose a problem how are you going to manage the drivers’ situation with regards to 2009 ?

Domenicali: "As far as his contract is concerned: it expires at the
end of next year. We’re not in a hurry to decide. At the moment it’s
the championship that counts."


Kimi’s Column: European GP Preview, “Back To Business”

img84/9797/kimichillingpb8.jpgFrom KimiRaikkonen.com


The break is over and it’s time to start the final sprint of the
season. The weather for my holiday was not perfect, but anyway, I had
more time to chill out with the family. It was refreshing to play some
golf, to follow the olympics and to go around with my brand new
bicycle.

 
I really like all kind of sports. The Olympics games are such a
great event. It’s so exciting to see all those top athetes give all
they have in their final efforts and win the gold medals. I respect
highly guys like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, who really are the best
of the best. Obviously the best feeling I’ll still get while the
Finnish athletes are doing well.

 
But now it’s time to go back to our business. We are on our way to
Spain. Formula One never sleeps and everything is ready to race again.


The most challenging times of the season are about to start. Every
single race is becoming more and more important, while very single
point is more and more valuable. The less points there are to get, the
more important they are.


Every winter I’ve done many miles testing at the Valencia circuit.
But that does not help anything right now. The European Grand Prix will
be the first time in F1 will race on a street circuit in Valencia and
there will be a great atmosphere racing in the city.

 
I’ve seen only an incar-video footage and it is very quick for a
street circuit. I always enjoy racing on new circuits. I cannot
remember a new place where I haven’t learnt the circuit very quickly.
Obviously I really look forward to go around Valencia, too.

 
Once again this season shows that you should never give up. There
has been some races while everything has gone badly, but for some
reason or another I’ve got more points than my toughest competitors.
You never know how it goes in F1. My season looks better after Hungary
than it did before that race.


We have not lost anything, but we need to get better points
consistently. I feel the championship will go down to the wire.
Maximizing each point from now on will be the deciding factor. Ferrari
and McLaren are very close in performance and with seven races
remaining anyone of the first 3 drivers can still win the championship.


All I care about is to have at least one point more than anyone
else after the last race in Brazil. The only target is the
championship. Everything else is a minor detail.


Obviously we need the best possible points from Valencia. The team
has put a lot of effort to get things right for the whole weekend.


The track time will be more important at a new circuit. So a clean
weekend with no problems will help. If the weather is hot that helps
Ferrari. However by Saturday afternoon all teams and drivers will know
the track.


As I said before a clean weekend in the early sessions is very
important. Obviously I need to get a good balance in the car over one
lap so we will be working hard in that department. Valencia is much
quicker than Monaco and there looks to be one or two places where
overtaking looks possible.


As in Canada you probably need some luck during this race. I just
hope that the luck won’t slab me in the back like it did in Montreal.
You never know what happens in the race. So it’s useless to worry too
much beforehand. We just fight and go for it!

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png Time for chilling out is over now, but if you’re interested in the picture above just scroll down below and you’ll see a new exclusive interview with Kimi. Anyway, go and bulls eye that target Kimi! We know you can do it. The Valencia circuit is a fast one and definately isn’t a Monaco replica in that sense, so hopefully the speed of the Ferrari will pay off. Kimi’s race in Hungary was breathtaking in the end, and if he manages to qualify well for Valencia then Kimi can win this one. Kimi’s said after Hungary that qualifying needs to be sorted as soon as possible now otherwise winning races might not ever happen. Let’s hope the sun smiles down for a hot weekend and aid Kimi in his qualifying battles.


Kimi’s Column: Post – Hungary, “Time to Improve”

From KimiRaikkonen.com

http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/282/194sks0.jpg
We’ve been racing for six months and it feels good to relax for a
little bit, recharge batteries and go on fighting in two weeks’ time
again.
Our position in the championship is not that bad. Obviously we can improve – and we will. That is the target, for sure.


Overall the Hungarian weekend was a disappointing experience for
me. But – after all – the result was pretty much ok. Whenever we are
able to narrow the lead, it’s always good. You cannot do any better.


There is no reason to deny that a few last races have not gone the way like I wanted to.
Every time something strange has happened. Obviously the car has
not been fitting me the best possible way. We have tried to find a nice
compromise, but it has not worked out. The main goal right now is the
get the things sorted out for the next race in Valencia.


The qualifying in Hungary hurt us again. I could not keep the car
on the road. There is nobody else to blame for that. But it’s obvious
that you cannot win the championship if you start every time from the
sixth place in the grid. You can be one second quicker than anybody
else, but if you start from the sixth at Hockenheim or Hungaroring, you
cannot use that speed at all.


Now I was stuck behind Alonso. He had a good car for the last
sector and that would have been the only place to try to overtake him.
Once again I learnt that it’s impossible to overtake in Hungary.


After the last pitstop I could go by my own and we went eight
tenths quicker already in my outlap. The car felt nice. It was good to
drive, but it was much too late to fight for the victory.
We caught Glock in the end, but then we had a mechanical issue and had to slow down.


My team mate had a real strong race. That shows the real potential
we had. Unfortunate thing for Felipe and for the team that he had to
stop in the final stages of the race.That’s the nasty part of the
racing. I have had my share of that a couple of times, when something
had broken while leading and controlling the race.

Ferrari has been leading the constructors’ championship almost the
whole year. That shows how things are. We still have the best car and a
lot of potential, too.


Congratulations to Heikki Kovalainen, who won first time a Grand
Prix. He has had his share of a bad luck. It was his turn to be in the
sunny side of the street this time.I’ve got also more points than the
guys who were in front of me in the championship. After all that gave a
good feeling to start this short holiday. I just enjoy the Finnish
summer, although the forecast is not promising the best of the
weathers. It’s always nice to chill out with the friends and the
family. There cannot be a better place for me right now.


The next race will be Valencia and a new street circuit. I always
like it very much to go the new places. Since I was a small kid with a
smallest Go Kart I’ve always learnt new circuits very quickly.


It was hot in Hungary and obviously it will be hot in Valencia,
too. Like we say in the race, the hot weather suits well for our car.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png Oh it’s alright Kimi, you proved again to all of us that you are indeed currently the fastest driver in the world, as even KRS’s affiliate Peter White showed us on his blog. Aside from the problems Kimi is having in qualifying, the reliability of the Ferraris are costing valuable points. Unfortunately, Kimi’s qualifying has to be improved likewise because at least Ferrari could have had a back up to take the win for the team, as we saw with Massa in France from Kimi’s exhaust problem. Kimi knows it’s his battle to fight and he doesn’t need the so called expert critics telling him what to do. He’s openly blaming himself for the results, not the team. That’s a good team player right there. He might not be as vocal and dynamic as Michael Schumacher was, but Kimi will show us he can rise to the top again and he may not need favouritism to do so.

The Hungarian GP highlight video may not come until around 13-15th August, so I hope you won’t mind waiting a bit longer than usual. The wallpaper and news will be covered as usual but meanwhile, enjoy the holidays my fellow raikkos, I know I will!


Kimi’s Column: Pre – Hungary GP “No Stress!”

From KimiRaikkonen.com

http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/3518/08100148sdk0.jpgObviously, it’s not a secret that I am not happy how things have gone during the last five races. To be honest, I felt very disappointed with those three successive races in Montreal, Magny-Cours and Silverstone. Each time, I was in a good position to win the race and for whatever reason things did not work out the way I wanted and we lost.

I have never been stressing too much and I’m not going to start right now. I just keep my head high and push as hard as I can in the next race again. That’s what I have been doing every time we’ve had some difficult races back to back.

It’s never nice to go to the media after a race without a win. I love to win, not to explain why we were not able to win.

Last weekend in Hockenheim was the most difficult weekend of the year. Of course I was disappointed and frustrated not to find a good balance in the car.

Now we are in better shape. We had a very productive test, especially on the second day which was good and the car felt well balanced again.

The team has been effective in developing our car and we are confident we should be competitive in Hungary. The Ferrari seems to like hot weather so hopefully and finally, we will get a hot weekend. That’s what we’ve been looking forward to the whole summer.

Obviously McLaren have improved their car over the past two races but things can change again very quickly. I have won in Hungary and also finished second twice there. Two years ago, I took the pole position but so many things happened during the race that the pole didn’t really help. This is one of those circuits where it’s very difficult to overtake. So it’s very important to have a good qualifying lap on Saturday.

It’s still too early to make any predictions about the championship. The top three are inside 7 points so the positions can change only after one race. It’s useless to worry about what has happened. Let’s just look ahead. There are eight races to go and then we will see who is at top in the end.

We are just over the half way point in the season, so it’s important to score consistant points over the remaining GPs. Hockenheim aside, I have been in a good position to win races and that will happen soon again.

The championship is going to be very close, and I look forward to winning races again.

One more push and after Hungary it will be holiday time. It’s always nice to have a break and charge the batteries for the rest of the season. After testing in Jerez I had a couple of days to enjoy the beautiful Finnish summer in the sea with the boat.

Now we are on our way to Hungary. We will have our fourth wedding anniversary with Jenni on Thursday, but I’ll be in Budapest then – hopefully to win the race.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png Wooo! I’m feeling great after reading this, Kimi sounds cool and determined and there’s a lot more yet to come from this Iceman. Keep Flying Kimi! The world champ and the former world champ Alonso will be participating in the Thursday FIA Press Conference too.


Kimi’s Column: Post – Germany “Most Difficult Weekend of The Year”

From FerrariWorld.com

http://img93.imageshack.us/img93/4381/27yg6.jpgI left Germany after a race weekend with the same feeling I had many
times in the past: the best thing is that the weekend is over. It was
certainly the most difficult weekend of the year: a horrible Friday, an
even more complicated Saturday and a very bad Sunday.


During the tests
on this track the week before the car went pretty well, at least that
was the feeling we got. In the race it seemed as we were in a different
place. We never managed to find a good set up and the car had
absolutely no stability. You need good grip to drive good lap times at
Hockenheim, but the rear went all over the place for the whole race.


It’s true that we had some problems at the beginning of the season to
set up the car as I wanted, but we never had problems like we had at
Hockenheim. When you’re lacking grip in the rear you can’t go fast
enough to fight for the top positions. For a couple of laps, especially
in the end, the situation seemed to improve a bit, but it never went as
it should have.


Usually we have our biggest problems in the
Qualifying, but we’re never short on pace in the race: this time we
were. The temperatures were slightly higher on Sunday than the days
before, but that didn’t help either. Quite the opposite actually.


At
the beginning of the race we were especially in trouble: I drove
consistant lap times, but I was too slow. At the first pit stop we
changed to the soft compound and the situation improved slightly. Then
the safety car came out, which didn’t help me at all. We lost some time
during the double pit stop and I lost some positions in the field. I
managed to overtake some cars and at least I gained some points at this
really difficult weekend.


It’s obvious that the situation has
changed. I’m seven points behind in the standings, as I was after the
Canadian GP. We have to check and analyze every single detail we’ve
done during the preparations for Hockenheim and find out why we went so
slowly, because there has to be something that didn’t work properly.
Sometimes these things happen, when you want to improve the car. I’m
confident: we’ll have a F2008 that can fight for the win again soon.


As
of tomorrow I’ll be at Jerez de la Frontera for the private tests,
where I amongst other things will test the slicks for 2009. The
situation is quite complicated, but nothing is lost: We have to stay
calm and react the way we know how to.


The desire to win hasn’t
decreased at all: last year I had a period of six consecutive races
without a success and the same things is happening this year. Let’s
hope that seven is my lucky number also this time and that I can get
back to success immediately.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png Let’s hope so! (The Finnish translated column will be posted when it’s available) There’s nothing more to add but to wonder at this man’s mind management. Obviously, from reading this, a lot is on his mind. But he doesn’t let it get him down. He says these things happen when you try to improve the car – so we can gather that there were some developments recently from Ferrari and Kimi is perhaps not 100% comfortable with them. And reading his thoughts about the race, it seems from my post yesterday in the Stats & Analysis we were on the same line. And if this was Kimi’s most difficult weekend of the year, of course there is nothing to worry about – he still managed to score a handful of points! His rivals’ difficult weekends weren’t even lucky enough to finish in the top 10 or even finish the race. Scoring well on your bad days makes the difference between a world champion and the others. Hopefully next time soon, we as the spectators can witness a stronger Kimi. After all, he is the silent assassin. Keep Flying!


Kimi’s Column: Pre German GP – “In Good Shape”

From KimiRaikkonen.com

In A Good Shape


http://img368.imageshack.us/img368/13/8srp1.jpgThese races in Germany have never gone as I have been hoping for.
Obviously the both circuits – Hockenheim & Nurburgring – have not
been very kind to me in the past. That said I like them both and I have
always been very competitive there.


I suppose my German highlights are my pole positions. You never
gain any points from them, so we better change the course also there.


I have been leading many times the race in Germany, but always
something has gone wrong. Like last year in Nurburgring we got the
pole, but we never finished the race.


Now we go to Hockenheim. It will be my first Grand Prix weekend
there with Ferrari. I remember last race in that circuit two years ago.
It was a 1-2 for Ferrari and I was the third in the podium.


Last week we had a very productive test and I tried various new
parts. Judging by the lap times it’s going to be very close again, but
I feel Ferrari will be very competitive and we are fighting for the
win.



I’ll hope for the hot weather. Usually in Hockenheim it has been very hot and everybody has had problems with the tyres.


Obviously, for us, the hot weather suits fine. Our car prefers the
hot temperatures and in the long run it’s not that hard on tyres, too.
So my thumbs are up for the real summer weather in Hockenheim.


Overtaking is difficult in Hockenheim, but it’s not all about the
qualifying there. Certainly it makes life easier when starting from the
front and a driver has the clean air.


I have always said the championship would be very tight. I’ve been
in a position to win the last 3 Grands Prix, but for various reasons
things did not go my way. But that’s racing and I’m sure the wins will
soon come again.


I feel it will be tight for the rest of the season and every point
could be the difference to being champion as proved to be the case last
year.


Now it’s even more even, while we three leaders are tied.
Obviously, it’s very interesting carry on the fight and look who’s who
in the next race.
While testing I had such a good feeling with the car. I believe
both the car and the driver are top fit for this weekend. We really
need to win this one.


Last week after the test I had the privilege to work for the EU
Congress and be part of introducing the young drivers’ road safety
program in Brussels. We racing drivers should give an example for the
youth and show how important it’s to exercise caution in the traffic,
obey the common rules and use always the safety belts.



Speeding is only allowed in the racing circuits.
I wish the message will go through. It’s just so stupid to risk yourself and the other for nothing.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png True Kimi, quite true. I hope the fans took some time to listen to this message, as undoubtedly Kimi is like an idol to them. Back to racing and Ferrari should be really competitive at Hockeneheim based on their past performances there, however look what happened in Silverstone. As Kimi puts it – take nothing for granted, but give everything you’ve got! The past few races would suggest that it’s Ferrari who’ve had to work harder and play catch up with McLaren, not only speed wise but strategy wise. Do you think Ferrari will go extra aggressive this weekend? Or will McLaren continue to set the benchmark?


Kimi’s Column: Post British GP/ German Preview

From FerrariWorld.com

Reacting Without Panic

http://img357.imageshack.us/img357/3883/84764099ql9.pngWe didn’t win the British GP, but at least as far as I’m concerned, I
didn’t loose too much ground. It was a very difficult race. We didn’t
expect the rain to become more intense immediately after our pit stop:
but that’s what happened and we found ourselves in one of the worst
possible situation for nine endless laps. I think I’ve never driven a
Formula One race under such difficult conditions. It was almost
impossible to stay on the track with used tyres and so much water.
Although going slow I was almost everywhere on aquaplaning! I could
just hope not to bump into someone or something. But as usual one
should never gives up and that’s what me and the Team did. Once we had
changed the tyres the situation was under control and I could make up
ground. It was a great feeling to get back and into the points so fast.
Then there was the battle with Alonso for fourth position. It was a
very important point to compete for, but I didn’t want to risk too
much. In the end I managed to overtake him and get that place.


Considering
everything that happened, it could have gone worse. We had the pace to
win and there’s no doubt about it, but we took a wrong decision. We
spoke about it via radio with the pitwall and we thought that, based on
the forecast, the rain should not have lasted much longer than a couple
of minutes and that’s why we decided to keep the same set of tyres.


But the forecast was wrong and I had to slow down a lot: This shower seemed to last forever.


Having
said that, the whole weekend was not very easy. We came to Silverstone
with a good feeling after the tests, but for some reason or the other,
the car didn’t go as well on Friday. It went better on Saturday, but
the wind made everything much more difficult during Q3: the third spot
on the grid was not too bad.


I had a good start and tried to
find a gap to overtake Heikki and Webber. But suddenly Mark came to the
left and I had to slow down, because I had nowhere to go. Hamilton had
a good start and I lost a position to him. When we came close to the
pit stop I had the highest pace over the weekend and it seemed as if
everything went into the right direction. Unfortunately the black
clouds came back and everything changed again. The five points and the
fact that I’m leading the standings with Felipe and Lewis give me
satisfaction nevertheless. If I’m in such a position after four races,
where everything happened, my confidence can only be strengthened.


Now
we are looking ahead to the next race and react without panic. We know
that we have a winning car: we just need a weekend without big
problems. As of today we are at Hockenheim for two days of testing,
with Felipe, who’ll be on the track on Thursday. It’s my first race
with Ferrari on this track, so it’s a new experience for me. I’d say
that we’ll be competitive, because the F2008 has demonstrated to be
competitive wherever we are: so we can fight back!

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png Nothing more to add really! Only that I hope Kimi has a good result if not a win in Hockenheim, being his first visit to the track with Ferrari. His previous races in Hockenheim have been riddled with bad luck. http://img362.imageshack.us/img362/1371/attekrsml1.png

Two of Kimi’s 31 fastest laps are from Hockenheim. In 2005 he was leading the race and was quite a distance ahead of his closest rival, Fernando Alonso in the Renault, and Kimi was clearly going to win, before his McLaren engine blew up. Earlier in 2004 he was also on the chase in 2nd place with Schumacher’s Ferrari in front, but his McLaren rear wing flew off throwing Kimi at full speed into the barrier ahead of turn 1. In 2006, Kimi was on pole with McLaren but finished the
race 3rd, which was not bad considering the MP4/21 couldn’t win a
single race that year. Let’s just hope Ferrari can give him the goods this weekend because there’s no doubt Kimi’s going to fight hard to defend his title this year.

p.s On Kimi’s website, they’ve added a new section on the bottom left for his racing teams, developed together with his managers, in Formula 3 and Formula BMW. Funnily, they’ve spelt it wrong – Raikkonen Roberston Racing. It’s Robertson! It’s worthy to note that Atte Mustonen is a promising young talent part of Raikkonen Robertson Racing, and he’s another Finn to watch for the future. In his biography, it says his sport idol is Kimi and apart from F1 I’ve only barely managed to keep an eye on Atte but who knows, you might see the Atte Mustonen Space pop up…

And incase you’re still wondering on the Kimi/photographer incident, Ferrari have downplayed the incident as ‘an unfortunate circumstance’:

The team explained the world champion’s actions on Sunday as
‘understandable’, after the Finn shoved Cahier because he felt the
photographer was being ‘too intrusive’.

"The photographer’s
behaviour was too intrusive as he put his feet on Kimi’s stuff despite
Kimi’s physio warning," Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni told autosport.com. "There is video evidence and witnesses which can confirm it.

"Kimi’s
reaction was understandable, considering how important the minutes
before the start of a race are for a driver. He did not push Cahier too
hard: the photographer fell down because he was in an unbalanced
position.

"We believe it was an unfortunate circumstance."

British
photographer Darren Heath witnessed the incident and explained on his
website’s blog that Cahier had crossed into Raikkonen’s personal space.

"He’d
got too close and Kimi had taken action, firmly shoving the press man
away," said Heath. "A tense few seconds ensued as the snapper thought
to retaliate, the wound-up Finn turning away and defusing the
situation."


Kimi’s Column: Pre – British GP

From FerrariWorld.com

New Engine, Same Aim

http://img353.imageshack.us/img353/7806/0148030snm5.jpgI always like coming back to Silverstone. It’s a great track and it has
always been working out for me since the beginning of my career. I’ve
raced the first time here when I was in Formula Renault and it was my
preferred track: fast and demanding. Winning at Silverstone gives you a
great feeling, because to get there you have to do everything
perfectly. I did it with Formula Renault and last year with Ferrari.
It’s one of the fastest and most difficult tracks on the race calendar.
I don’t know why, but I’m a bit nostalgic every time I come back. I
like being here whatever the weather is like. At least that’s the same
for everybody.


We’ve done some tests here last week. There was
lots of wind and it was quite difficult to test all the new parts we
brought with us. But I think that we’ve taken a small step ahead and it
seems to me that the car is very competitive.


Last year it
went very well for us at Silverstone and obviously I’d like to repeat
that result! I made a small mistake in Qualifying, when I took the last
corner too wide and I lost the Pole Position, but once we had
considered the fuel on board I was still faster than Hamilton. Then
with the empty track ahead I could give it all and win the race.


As
far as we can tell after our tests last week there will be a tough
fight between us and McLaren. That’s not a surprise because
traditionally these two teams always went well here in England. It will
be about tenths of a second again. We’ll fight for Pole Position and
this time we need to use the track to our advantage.


I’ll give
it all to stay ahead in Qualifying. Starting from the Pole does make
the race much easier, as we could see at Magny-Cours. I didn’t win
there, but I’ve already archived the disappointment. I’ll arrive with a
positive approach at Silverstone, because I know that I should have won
in France. I’ll use a new engine because the Team doesn’t want to risk
anything, although the rules say that you will not be punished if you
have to change the engine.


It’s almost half way through the
season now and there were ups and downs. That’s quite normal and we are
in a good position to fight for the title. I hope to win more races in
the second half of the season, because we have a great car, able to
fight for victory everywhere.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png The Finnish translated column will be posted below, but for now we have the confirmation from Kimi himself that he’ll use an new engine for this weekend. This is the best decision and probably the only logical one. He needs to be able to continue to fight in this championship, any further hindrance will most certainly make life harder for him. But his performance in France is worthy to note in any analysis of Kimi’s talent and capabilities, he drove as a world champion proving his worth by maintaining his position and composure with a damaged car, and the Ferrari team would have been very pleased about it. I’m sure Kimi gave himself a pat on the back in private too!

His mood is positive as always, but he says he feels nostalgic coming to England – that’s nice to hear! Afterall, his early career was proven here with Formula Renault and then his managers, Steve and David Robertson, known as his ‘English Family’ raised him up into the Formula One world. I hope they too have a great time this weekend. Pity that Kimi’s biggest fan  (me, hehe!) won’t be in Silverstone this weekend, but hopefully another lucky fan will get their moment of fame on television and give Kimi all the cheering he deserves!

Great Place
(Finnish Translation)


I always feel really good going to Silverstone. It’s a great place.
Somehow I’ve always done well there. I first raced there back in
Formula Renault. It immediately became my favourite track, as it’s so
fast and demanding.


Winning at Silverstone is just great, because then you know you’ve
nailed it. I won in Formula Renault and last year I won with Ferrari.


The track requires a special kind of rhythm, and to get a good lap
you need to be quite smooth in finding the right line. Of course it
helps a little to have raced there before entering F1.



I don’t know, maybe there’s a bit of nostalgia about the track, since I always seem to like it there so much.



In England the weather can be anything, but it’s the same for everybody, so it doesn’t matter.


We did a bit of testing there last week and I drove for one day. We
had some new things for the car, and although the wind made it
difficult to test them, they felt good. We think the car will once
again be strong in both qualifying and the race.


Last year we had a good race. At the beginning of the race we had
to just sit tight and wait, because I had gone wide in the last corner
and lost pole. I would have still been quickest on equal fuel loads.


Now we need the same result as last year, but hopefully I can
improve in qualifying and keep the car on track. When you can get to
the lead in Silverstone and drive in clean air, you can go very fast
lap after lap.


If the tests are any indication, we’ll have a really close fight
with McLaren. It’s nothing new really. I know they can always put
together a good car for Silverstone. I’m sure the difference between us
will be minimal, and I’ll have to be able to use every last centimeter
of the track.



We’re going to be fighting for pole, that for sure.


Although I didn’t win in France, I was still pretty pleased
overall. I left France behind when I went home. We know we would have
won the race. Now the team has made sure the same failure won’t happen
again. I also have a fresh engine now, just to be sure.


This season has been such a rollercoaster. We’ve had some really
good times and some really bad time and everything in between. But
that’s normal.



In motorsports you never know what’ll happen in the next race.


We’re now halfway through the season. We’re in a good position in
the championship, but of course I hope we can get more wins in the
latter half, just like last season. I have a good feeling, at least
about the car. I think it’ll be very strong in the remaining races.
With a car like this we can fight for every race win and ultimately the
championship.




http://img71.imageshack.us/img71/8978/0148743eo4.jpgWebber: Räikkönen hard to defeat
From MTV3.fi | Translation: Leijona (Official KR Forum member) 

Red-Bull driver Mark Webber predicts that Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen is starting the British GP as a favourite.

"McLaren had quite a good testweek at the track, but Ferrari’s Kimi
Räikkönen is normally very sharp in Silverstone and I think he is a
difficult man to beat," Webber stated to BBC.

Räikkönen won the British GP last year.
Webber believes, that McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton’s success depends
crucially on the fact, that can the Englishman handle the expectations
his home audience is having towards him.

"We have seen some mistakes from Lewis Hamilton and McLaren this
season. Lewis has pressure at making good results, but he knows as well
as the others that the best thing he can do is hop in the car and
drive," Webber said.


http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a188/SaimaAzam/Misc/krsevenstarsmall3.png Webber’s spot on! And he isn’t the only one who thinks the pressure on Lewis is what may be the crucial factor in all this, Sir Jackie Stewart feels drivers need coaches to deal with the pressures of being an F1 driver. I completely disagree with that however, because it’s just another excuse to defend Lewis. Pressure is part of the game and it’s up to the drivers and their managers to overcome it, not be nursed.

This is probably the most inspiring attribute of Kimi Raikkonen – having not a care in the world apart from driving as it’s his job and the rest will come into play itself. It’s a shut up and drive kind of thing Lewis needs to do and I fear that this weekend, the hype around Lewis and all the ‘support’ will be more distracting when really he needs the peace and quiet he can get, no matter if he says the fans spur him on. He should be able to do it without the fans, he needs to do it for himself. As Kimi’s manager David Robertson put it last year:

"I remember reading a
book about how to stop worrying and start living and I thought after I
had known Kimi for a very short time that he could have written that
book himself. It just comes naturally to him."


Kimi’s Column: Post – France, “It has never been so good to see the chequered flag”

From FerrariWorld.com

Mixed Feelings

http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/7569/49514431ig7.pngI don’t know if to be disillusioned or
glad after what happened on Sunday afternoon at the French GP.
Immediaterly after the race I was really disappointed, but now I have
to say that I’m satisfied with the result; and that’s what counts.


I
didn’t have any problem during the three Free Practice sessions: I
immediately had a good feeling with the car. I gained the Pole Position
and I was four tenths of a second faster in the second try in Q3, when
the Team asked me to come in to save some fuel. This was the 200th Pole
for Ferrari and I’m really proud that I was the one to gain it and
being part of the long history of this great Team, just like last year
in China, where I gained the 200th win.


Victory was close, but
unfortunately there was a good first part, while the second turned into
a nightmare. I had a good start and was able to build up a gap on
Felipe. Then, at around the mid-point of the race, I noticed a drop in
the engine’s performance and immediately noticed that the right exhaust
pipe was missing: I could see the piece flapping around ion my rearview
mirror. From then on I was really worried: I thought that I might not
be able to finish the race. Over the last laps the car seemed as if it
wanted to stop, so I can really be glad that I came in second.


I have to admit the it has never been better to see the chequered flag. Once again we proved that you should never give up.

The
Team still doesn’t know exactly what happened. They will do some tests,
but it’s difficult to find an answer without the exhaust pipe and with
an engine that has been under stress like that for half of the race.


http://img47.imageshack.us/img47/4236/18680204iy0.pngObviously
I’m sorry that I didn’t win a race where eveything went well in the
beginning. We have to look at the positive aspects: the Team did great
work and I gained 8 points, although I had a problem, which could have
made me retire. And now I’m closer to the top than I was after Canada.


It’s
a hard Championship with four drivers close together. We’re not even
half way through the season and there are still loads of points to
gain. Last year at this point I was 20 points behind!


We
expect to be really competitive at Silverstone. This week all the teams
will test there ahead of the British GP: I’ll drive on Thursday after
Felipe has tested two days. I like the track and I have fond memories
of it: it’s good to come here with a car that can fight for the win.

Wow, Kimi was four tenths of a second quicker on his second lap after he took pole!? Not all was lost in the race and Kimi realises that he was quite lucky to have not broken down before the race finished. Let’s hope for a smooth weekend in Silverstone, as there’ll be plenty of preparation there anyway. I’m sure Kimi will enjoy more good times this year! He’s on a roll, especially with the 5 consecutive fastest lap sequence…


Kimi’s Column: Pre – French GP, “A Great Desire To Win Again!”

From FerrariWorld.com

A Great Desire To Win Again!
http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/8804/clnzbnpibecfuxmfvkzsan4.jpg

I don’t remember when I had such a
great lust for winning! The team had prepared a car, which was able to
be strong on all the tracks, but it didn’t go well during the last
races. We especially had different problems during the last two races.

I don’t like looking back and think about what happened at the last
race. I don’t carry bad thoughts with me, because that would just make
me lose time, as you can’t change the result anyway. It’s much better
to concentrate on the upcoming GP and try to get the best result
possible.

The last two races were a disappointment, caused by
different problems. But I know that Ferrari has taken a great leap
forward on this track compared to last year. It’s a shame that the
points we were able to gain do not reflect our real potential, but I
think that we’ll be very competitive on the upcoming street tracks at
Valencia and Singapore.


http://img127.imageshack.us/img127/4581/c27articolo12157grouparob5.jpgNow we’re heading back to Europe to
tracks, which have been built to be used by racing cars. I think that
things will look really different at Magny-Cours, compared to the last
GPs.

The smooth surface of the French track, its demanding corners and
the quick changes of direction will underline the characteristics of
the F2008. It was here in France last year that my season practically
started all over again; and this is what I need now, after the two
races with no points.


I like this track and I think that it’s
perfect for our car. I think we’ll be competitive and that we can go
for the maximum result.


All the races are important and one
point can make the difference, like in 2007. This year will be an
equally balanced Championship and that’s the reason why you always need
to bring home something.Kubica is leading the standings and, apart from
the first race, has always collected some points.

Hamilton will start
further back, due to the penalty. But you should never underestimate
McLaren: we have to give our best to keep them behind. We’ll bring some
new technology and here the Team is giving its best, but that is what
also our competitors do.

Over the last days I had the
possibility to chill out a bit, although I took part in some marketing
events.

It was great to spend some time by the sea with my best friends
and I could also watch some football matches: I don’t have a preferred
team but I really like to watch a good match!

So Kimi’s column was first released on Ferrari’s website under an hour ago, but it should appear on his own website soon. And what a way to get started – we have a great lust to win again! Kimi sounds as determined as ever, but will people still question his motivation? I hope not. He’s had fun on his break, enjoying some peace time, but it’s time to race and keep flying! It’s pay back time. The Finnish version of his column has been translated, and it’s slightely different and it has some nice comments, for example:

My attitude and motivation is always the same. I give everything I got
every time. That is a common factor for every one in this team. When we
haven’t won for a while we try even harder to get on the top again.



Before the next race I have some PR stuff in France and after that it is like pedal to the metal in practice.



Good midsummer party for all fans. I am working during the holidays.


The full version is posted in the KRS Forum as usual! On Thursday, Kimi will participate in the FIA press conference along with Lewis, Robert and Felipe – the top running guys, should be an interesting conference!


Kimi’s Column: Post – Canada GP

From KimiRaikkonen.com

A Bitter Surprise

http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/1346/08070115sc4.jpgIt was a bitter disappointment and surprise we had in Canada. I can’t believe, that somebody can hit you when you stand in the red light side by side with another car. I can’t believe he did not see the red light, and, more than that, the two stationary cars.

For my part, I think Hamilton deserved his penalty. He loses ten places on the grid at the next race in France, and at least, that’s not going to make things any easier for him.

Obviously, we lost a good result in Canada. Before the pitstop I felt that the car was very strong in speed. We could have won the race, or in the worst case, come second.

On Saturday we had difficulties in qualifying because of the breaking surface of the track, and then, for a while the beginning of the race. The left front tyre started to grain, but as soon as we got the front tyres working well we went very fast.

We got the fastest lap time before the safety car, then we had a great pitstop and put our car out in the front. I was ready to fight and try to beat Kubica after the red light but that never happened. Instead came Hamilton, and our race was over.

I was not angry, just disappointed, surprised and frustrated all at the same time. He knows there was a red light. Accidents happen, but not with two stopped cars.

Now seven races have past and we have had two bad results in a row. It is something nobody could have predicted. Obviousl our position is not that strong anymore but its not the end of the world for us. We have not lost that much.

We are fourth in the championship. It’s the same position as last year and like then, there’s a long season ahead of us.

It was good for that Kubica won in Canada. Congratulations to him for taking the maximum points. For us, it was better that he got the ten points and not my main rivals, who are now just three points ahead of me.

The BMWs have always been there and have always scored points. When something has gone wrong for us, they managed to take a nice lead. I’m not too worried about that, but obviously, if they keep scoring each time then it will be hard to catch them up in the championship.

But we have a very good feeling with the car. We will win soon again. Now we go to the circuits where we should be strong from since the very beginning of the weekend.

Monaco and Canada are far away in the past for me. Since coming out the car after the crash in Canada, I put it all behind and I have been just focusing on France. We won thee last year and will do our very best to win there again.

As you can tell, it’s still quite a mystery and a shock to Kimi how that accident could ever happen. But as a spectator, we could feel something was inevitably going to happen once all those cars entered the pitlane at once. I find the race control’s decision to put the red light on so suddenly for just 2 seconds even more mysterious, without clearly showing if the other cars on track were a hazard at the exit of turn 1. Alas, not everything goes right sometimes and Kimi’s more than ready to move on.

Felipe Massa is Kimi’s main rival this year, no doubt about it! They’ve been
pretty much 50/50 so far this season and I’m glad Massa’s got his act together
(he was always fast but just a little rough and hasty, this has
improved over learning his mistakes and with time) because it means Kimi can
really push even harder and this can only mean he can get faster, and stronger. Some fans have been complaining "where’s the
old Kimi, he doesn’t seem bothered" and etc. That’s not the case
really, it’s clear that he’s not in the same car as he was at McLaren
and he has a much more competitive teammate. It wasn’t ever going to be
easy.


He looked like he got over his tyre issues at Canada and
that’s encouraging. Definately better than his situation last year too,
as someone pointed out. He’s 6 points off the lead now, last year he
was around 20 points behind. He can win the title again for sure. And he never
gives up no matter the impression he gives time to time when he isn’t
winning. Just because he’s cool and unfazed about everything doesn’t
mean he isn’t bothered.


BMW will continue to be strong this
season, as Kimi also said, because they’ve been right behind since
Australia and last year. They won’t back down. Robert has a
chance
to win the title, and I say this because his consistancy and ability to
drive fast without making mistakes is vital. Kimi won only one race in 2003
compared to Schumi’s 6 (or was it 5?) but he was still able to fight for
the title in the last round at Japan, being 3 points off. So, it’s
definately possible for Robert to win the title if he’s consistantly
scoring podiums. So, the next races are vital for Kimi to get back in control.


At Ferrari, they can manage a
1-2 finish with their drivers easily if they wanted but the past two races they’ve been
unlucky. McLaren have had their share of bad luck now, but now they
we’re heading to the traditional circuits, they’ll struggle even more
to fight against Ferrari and BMW together regarding the championships
points. The pressure is definately on Lewis, more than it is on Kimi, because as much as a competitive teammate can take points off you, it’s still handy if he’s right up there with you to take points off the others.
Last year Alonso and Lewis kept
taking points off eachother but Heikki isn’t exactly doing that neither
is he defending Lewis. Not saying he should, but that’s what McLaren
have placed out but it hasn’t really worked out.


I
believe Kimi will win a few more GPs, won’t be surprised if he wins the
most again, but he knows he just needs to win them whereas Lewis and
Heikki aren’t exactly the strongest pairing to attack at the moment.
Massa is consistant now, like Kubica, and therefore Ferrari have the
better team position than McLaren.


We’ve had 3
different championship leaders in 5 races, Kimi after Malaysia, then
Lewis after Monaco and now Robert after Canada. It can certainly turn
upside down in France, but being a more normal circuit, it probably
won’t. Ferrari will be glad to be rid of the past race and can now get
back to Europe, back to winning. If Massa can hold Kimi down after the
Finn’s ‘revival’ in Canada, then he has a shot at the title better than
Kimi obviously. But this is where the talent and skill comes to play.
And that’s why I’m a supporter of Kimi, as I believe he can get the
better result at the end of the day. Keep Flying Kimi ~


Kimi’s Canada Preview (Column)

From FerrariWorld.com

"I expect that it will be balanced in Canada"


http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/9650/rqsegqszofprxakflrgskk7.jpgMaranello, 4th June 2008 – Monaco has been left behind: it was a
staggering blow, but there’s nothing we can do about it. I had a lot of
trouble to find the right grip on the wet track and we have to find out
how that could happened, because usually I like driving under these
conditions.


I didn’t like it at all to come in ninth, hence without
points. It was the first race of the season where I couldn’t gain any
points and we can’t have another one like that, because the fight for
the Championship is extremely fierce.


The preparations
specifically for the Canadian GP were planned for the last day at Le
Castellet, where we had some tests. Unfortunately it rained that day
and we couldn’t do much; but we’re all on the same level now. Ferrari
has a great tradition in Canada and I expect that it will be really
balanced there. The Qualifying is more and more important, thus it’s
fundamental to work well right from the start of the weekend to have a
great car with the best setup possible.

At Monaco the distances were
extremely small and the first five cars had a gap of two tenths of a
second. At Montreal the stability during braking and when you go over
the curbs is extremely important. The F2008 improved a lot in these
areas compared to last year’s car. Obviously we have to wait until the
first Free Practice session on Friday to get it confirmed. I don’t
remember a GP, which hadn’t been neutralized and I expect that also for
next Sunday. If that happens we have to be really cautious with our
strategy, because of the balance in the field. With the actual rules
luck is really important under these circumstances if you want to win.
Well, let’s hope that if the safety car has to be employed it will be
at an opportune moment for us.

I said at the beginning of the
season that I expect the title to be assigned at the last moment. A
third of the season has passed, we have 35 points and we are on the
second place. It’s more or less what I expected. Nothing has been won
and nothing has been lost. There is no point in panicking after the
race at Monaco, because compared to last year the situation is much
better. I won’t change anything in my approach for the upcoming
weekend. The designated target is to win and we will give our best.


Yeah, don’t panic people! Let’s just enjoy watching another season of Kimi with Ferrari, he gave us a good reason to keep a close eye on his progress with the team last year, and this year it’s no different.

Kimi has mentioned that the set-up, particularly in getting grip, was the main problem in Monaco. And it’s strange because he said he usually likes to drive in wet conditions (at Fuji and Shanghai last year for example). So obviously there’s a fundamental issue that needs to be resolved, and maybe if critics actually bothered to look into it rather than accusing Kimi of being asleep and having no motivation, then we can actually be a little more enlightened with the real issue.

This weekend, I think Ferrari can go to Canada pretty
confident. They improved considerably in Monaco compared to their
performance there last year. That’s one thing they’ll be happy about, despite not winning.
Canada is a high downforce circuit, and the brakes need to be given
extra performance maintenance, so I wonder if McLaren will be able to
do well in the race especially with Hamilton who’s pretty hard on them
and the tyres. Last year they benefitted from numerous safety car
interruptions so the race was never full-on throttle down for more than
10 laps.

Ferrari do have a good chance to qualify well again, but as it’s
continuing on a street circuit and McLaren will continue to be
competitve, they’ll have to do a much better job during the race with
their tactics and strategies.

I’m not sure Kimi will win this race since he’s struggling
with the set-up of the tyres together with the combination of the car’s braking
system (apparently), but anything can happen and I wouldn’t mind a
repeat of Canada 2005. Kimi knows he has to get a good result regardless, but if his performance improves, I’ll be pleased even if he doesn’t win. 

Canada is a strong spot for BMW, who got 2nd place here last year with Heidfeld and if Kubica
has a trouble free race and hopefully he will (the area he had his massive crash has been changed for better safety), then it’s gonna be extra hard for
Ferrari/McLaren to do something without any cheeky interruptions from BMW. Heidfeld also seems to be struggling with the tyres against teammate Kubica, so we have a lot more to watch this weekend. And Force India will be aiming to score points, as said in their preview, let’s hope Canada brings a good result for everyone this time. Keep Flying Kimi! ~


Kimi’s Column: Post – Monaco GP

From KimiRaikkonen.com

http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/7493/142du7.jpgI am not a fisherman but we tried to get the biggest possible catch
from Monaco but nothing came up even though we finished the race.


I can’t help it and it is no use to think about it anymore. I left
that race behind me right after I had apologized to Adrian for ruining his
race.


Sometimes it is just so difficult when nothing works like you
wished for. Yes we had quite good car for Monaco. Our car was much
better than last year but the result was even worse.


We got in to the front row in qualifying which was a great result
for the team but when I wasn’t able to get the pole it made the race
quite much harder for me then already.


I wished for a wet race and I got it. We just lost it before the
race even started. We couldn’t get my back tyre in place because there
was some problem with the bolt. We had to use too much time fixing it
and we got penalized.


Honestly speaking it was truly a horrible race. We didn’t get any
grip to the tyres and the car was just out of control. I couldn’t see
anything either because I didn’t get the lead.


After my penalty I just tried to finish the race and get the best
points I could get. Honsetly, 5th place and 4 points would have
been a good result from that race beacause all our plans had blown up
in the air.


I just crashed to Sutil. Somewhere else I could have done something
maybe, but when you brake on a bump on a street circuit like Monaco you
just lose it and thats it. What troubles my mind the most is the fact
that I ruined Adrians great race. I know how much it is hurting him.


So we got nothing from Monaco. It was a second bad race for the
season. I said already after Spain that even though there is no need to
count the points yet it is good to have a little safety gap in points.


We all get some bad races during the season and now it was my turn
again. Luckily I had a little point advantage so I am still in a good
postition to fight for the championship.


Now it is time to look forward. Canada is a nice place and our car
should be better there too compared to last season. You cant help it
though if it is going to be a strange GP like Monaco was. We are trying
our best to score as many points as possible and that is what we really
need after Monaco.


This is kindly translated from a member on the AtlasF1 forums, however once the english version is released on Kimi’s website, I’ll made adjustments if there are needed.

Well, Kimi has apologised more than he should, but it shows he is very sorry for ruining Sutil’s race. Yesterday it emerged that Sutil was cautioned for passing 3 cars during a yellow flag period in the race. Had he finished the race in 4th place anyway, he would have likely been dropped places or given a 25 second penalty. Below are extra quotes from Kimi taken off Ferrari’s website.

http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/7962/533242wo4.jpgSometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. But what happened to
us at Monaco was something no one could have foreseen. I left Monaco
empty handed. Everything that could go wrong did. But I never look
back, because you can’t change things of the past. Now we can only
analyze the causes, which produced this outcome and we have to try, as
far as we can, that these things never happen again. I’m really sorry
for what happened with Sutil and I told him I was sorry. These are
things that just happen in racing.


We had a strong car for this
track; a car that was much better than the one we had last year. We
gained the first row in Qualifying, which was a great result for the
Team. We hoped that it would rain and that is what happened, but then
everything went wrong, even before the start.


We had a problem
with the right rear wheel before the start and we went over the
3-minute-limit, which triggered the penalty. After that the race it was
a bit like a ride. I never had the right grip and the car was extremely
nervous. Being behind the cars I could hardly see anything and the aim
was to get as many points as possible. The fifths place would have been
still acceptable, but then there was the accident with Sutil. On every
other track I could have avoided the Force India car, but not at
Monaco. After the safety car phase my brakes were cold and I braked on
a small bump on the track, loosing the control of the car. There was
nothing I could do.


This was my second bad race this year, but,
as I’ve already said after the race at Barcelona, we all have some bad
days. I built up a little advantage before the race, which enabled me
to absorb, at least a bit, that negative race.


Although I didn’t
collect any points in the last race, thus loosing the lead in the
Championships, it’s not the end of the world. Last year I was in a much
poorer situation. Now we have to go to Montreal con and pay back. It’s
a nice city and I’m convinced that we’ll have a better car than last
year. Traditionally Canada is a good race for Ferrari; so let’s hope
that we can continue this tradition. It’s possible to have strange
races there, too, because it’s very possible that the safety car will
be employed, but we’re ready for every kind of situation.


Kimi’s Column: Pre Monaco GP

From KimiRaikkonen.com
Re-written by Evenstar Saima


http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/3010/qmkjlsuwqfunmqrpbqcdw0.jpgNo bigger challenge

For me, every race is as important as Monaco. However, as a race, there is nothing like Monaco. To race in the Principality is really different from everywhere else, and because of that it is very difficult to have a clean weekend down there.

There isn’t a better feeling than to get things going well in Monaco. Monaco is the race. It is the legend among all races. When you have once managed to get it right, you know the great feeling by winning it. My win there in 2005 ranks up there with my most memorable, so to win it again would be just as special.

The streets of Monte Carlo are so twisty and narrow. You have to ben extra sharp and focused on every single metre you go. This year, there is even less room for mistakes now that we don’t have traction control. There could be more incidents this year – especially if it’s wet!

We missed the most important practise session in Turkey, but hopefully this time we are able to work without any problems. With everybody being so close – especially in qualifying – it’s important to have a good start to the weekend, so you can fine tune the car to the circuit.

It feels great to make a fast lap in Monaco. But overtaking is almost impossible, so obviously to really enjoy racing in Monaco you have to be in the front. To qualify well is always important but it Monaco it’s probably a priority. I always race with the intention to win, and to start from pole position is the best option to fight for the win.

Last week we had a test in Paul Ricard and it went very well. We tried a few new things and improved the set up. The car is stronger at this circuit compared to last year. This I know.

Obviously we struggled last year in Monaco, but I feel Ferrari have really improved on the many areas that were weaker in last year.

It’s always such a nice atmosphere down in Monaco. To be a fan or a spectator, you enjoy this race 100%. For the teams and for us, it’s not that easy a weekend. There is always a huge fuss, and there’s no space to calm down a little bit.

But of course, it makes the challenge even bigger. You just have to focus more carefully.

I always aim to win and this will be my intention going into the Monaco weekend. We do our very best to get the maximum points every weekend. This race will be very open. I feel Ferrari is very competitive with the main competition coming from McLaren and BMW. That said, Monaco can throw up some strange surprises so it’s the most open of all the races this year.

Last year we only got one point from Monaco. It didn’t feel good after the race, but it was a very precious point after we had finished the season. As usual, it’s futile to count on points now. I think we will get a better picture of the championship after these two races in Monaco and Canada.

Kimi is rather modest when it comes to
overtaking, especially since he overtook a few cars in difficult places
at Monaco in the past. A memorable one being in 2006 where he was
alongside Mark Webber in the Williams through Massenet and then passed
him at Casino Square. That race ended up in smoke though, and it was
extrememly bitter as it was the only race where winning looked possible
for Kimi in the MP4/21.

Kimi faced a nightmare last year, just when he
felt he was getting to grips with the Bridgestone tyres for qualifying.
He made contact with the barrier into Rascasse corner (which was still
warm from the controversial parking of Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari
last year) and Kimi ended up qualifying 16th for the race. No one was
optimistic on that position and felt Kimi would have no chance for the
title after Monaco. Except the Iceman himself – he passed four cars on
the first lap! So overtaking is possible if you’ve got the balls. Which F1 drivers should have….

Anyway, I can’t wait to see how the weekend goes for Kimi and whether the Ferrari has indeed improved on the areas it was weak in last year. Keep flyng Kimi!


Kimi’s Racing Gloves Donated to Smedley’s Charity

A growing list of Formula One drivers have added their support to
the charity event being held by Rob Smedley, Felipe Massa’s race
engineer.

Smedley and his wife Lucy are raising money for the Stillbirth and
Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) by holding a charity event at the Marton
Country club in Middlesbrough on May 30.

They want to raise the money to support SANDS after receiving
support from the charity when they lost their daughter Minnie at birth
last June.

With Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello already
having donated items for an auction in aids of SANDS, other stars have
offered their support after hearing about the event.

Now Kimi Raikkonen has donated a pair of his 2008 racing gloves,
Luca Badoer a set of his Ferrari overalls, Timo Glock a set of Toyota
overalls from the start of this year, and Adrian Sutil a set of
overalls from 2007 when he made his debut in F1.

These items will be added to a catalogue that includes a set of
Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari overalls, a signed Jenson Button shirt and
the helmet that Rubens Barrichello wore at the start of this season.

The auctions for the item start on Tuesday evening and will finish
on the night of the charity party – May 30. Details about the auctions
can be found at www.minniesparty.co.uk.


Kimi’s Column: Post – Turkish GP

From KimiRaikkonen.com

Bogey from Turkey


http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/9407/138spd8.jpg
We went to Istanbul leading the championship by 9 points. We came back
home leading the championship by 7 points. You can count it any way you
like, but for me it’s more or less like the same it was.



I like to play golf. After Turkey I’ve got the same feeling like having a bogey, when playing golf.


Obviously I had a very difficult weekend. The one that starts with
problems goes on with problems, but – thank Heaven – it did not finish too
badly.


For sure we would just want to fight for wins. But this is racing.
Sometimes it just goes wrong since the very beginning of the weekend while you are not able to get everything right, you try to focus on
saving all you can.



To limit the damage – like we did in Turkey this time.


We finished third. Obviously, after having a look at all that
happened – not the least in the first corner after the start – I cannot
be terribly disappointed after walking away from there with six points.


Actually I made it home to Switzerland in the evening and I managed
to see Finland beating USA in the ice hockey world championship
tournament in Canada. After that also my own result felt even better.


The Turkish weekend began badly on Friday morning. We were on our
first flying lap while something went wrong with the gear shifting.
After that we had to wait until the afternoon to carry on the work.


The weather was good in the morning, but there was some rain in the
afternoon so we were not able to get a proper picture of our car and
the tyres. The Saturday morning was not that much better and we had to
go to the qualifying without the best possible set up.


Obviously, at the end of the day, the car was pretty good with a
heavier fuel, but I made a slight mistake in my lap and that cost too
much. We got the fourth place in the grid and that that really hurt us.


My start was not good, either. I was side by side with Heikki. It
was tight, but I thought I could go pass him. He turned quite early in
and then there was no room at all. I slowed down as much as I could,
but my front wing touched lightly his rear tire. I lost a part of the
front wing. There were people passing us from the right and then we
were sixth after the first corner.


The car was not working as I would wanted it to work, but there was
no time to change the wing. It would have cost more time compared to
the time we lost using it to the finish.



Afterwards it would be always easy to say what we could have done differently. I never do that. This case is closed.


So far Barcelona has been the only weekend we have had no problems
at all. Hopefully Monaco will be the next good race for us and we can
do what we want to. I have a good feeling; we’ll have a strong car
there.


Now we’ll test a couple of days in France. The whole team is very,
very motivated, preparing to go to the circuits, where we were not that
competitive last year.

As Kimi put it best, I don’t need to add anything other than – Monaco, here we come!!!


Ferrari Unhappy With Massa Despite Win
From PaddockTalk.com

180.jpg image by _KRS_Ferrari sporting director Luca Baldisserri has admitted to
disappointment that the Italian team did not secure a one-two finish in
the Turkish grand prix.

Although happy with Felipe Massa’s
Istanbul win, Baldisserri suggested that he would have liked to have
seen the Brazilian driver prevent Lewis Hamilton – on a three-stop
strategy – from overtaking him so easily on lap 23.

If Hamilton’s progress had been slowed, Baldisserri believes Kimi Raikkonen would have managed to finish second.

"This
victory is an excellent outcome, but I am not entirely happy, because
if Felipe had kept Hamilton behind him for two laps moire then perhaps
Kimi would have finished second," the Italian is quoted as saying by
RAI.

26-year-old Massa, however, insists that Hamilton’s light car made the Briton "very strong and I couldn’t hold him".

Video
replays of the pass show Massa defending the inside line as Hamilton
set up his move, but in Ferrari’s official post-race release, he is
quoted as saying he did not take "too many risks" in his defence.

He
said in a news conference: "I saw him on my inside and I thought ‘okay,
go, and we will see at the next stop how it is going to be’."

That’s pretty shocking to hear from Ferrari (or maybe it’s just media orders from Di Montezemolo…) If Massa did anymore
defending than he did, no Ferrari would have won the race, it would have been
irresponsible and he’d get the stick for that too. 



Felipe can’t protect Kimi in these kind of situations. Kimi just didn’t
have a good weekend and it should be up to him whether he can win or not – he wouldn’t have cared coming in second if he
couldn’t take the lead anyway. Maybe he wouldn’t have lost 2 points to Lewis, but
I mean come on! Ferrari better not speak like this again otherwise it really would spoil such a good relationship and the sportsmanship between Kimi and Felipe.