Archive for June 17, 2008

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


A Great Desire To Win Again!

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

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. 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

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

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!


2008 French GP Preview: Ferrari

News has been quiet over the weekend apart from testing, so let’s get back to it with Ferrari’s preview for the what may be the last French GP at Magny Cours later this week. It also mentions that Kimi will be giving a competition winner a flying lap around the circuit in a Ferrari 599 car – lucky person whoever that will be!

From French Grand Prix has been a permanent uninterrupted fixture on the
Formula 1 calendar since the World Championship began in 1950 and the
first win for a car bearing the Prancing Horse emblem came two years
later courtesy of Alberto Ascari. Traditionally, this has been a
successful event for the Scuderia, with a total of 16 wins on French
soil, seven since 1997, including a one-two finish for Kimi Raikkonen
and Felipe Massa last year. Another more recent tradition is
speculation that the Gallic race will lose its place on the calendar,
but whatever opinions people hold regarding the rural out of the way
location of Magny-Cours, the tradition of maintaining continuity of the
famous "Grandes Epreuves" is an important historical element worth
preserving alongside the move to more modern venues.

Ferrari Marlboro arrives in France having picked up just a meagre ten
points from the last two races. This sounds a familiar tale after the
Monaco and Canada Grands Prix, which had not been strong races for the
team in the past, but this year, while admitting to some minor mistakes
from within the team, it’s fair to say that bad luck and Safety Cars
had something to do with the lack of points, because car performance
certainly wasn’t lacking. The frustration at failing to capitalise on
the potential of the F2008 is tempered by the strengthened confidence
that the team is currently moving in the right direction.
week, long time Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer spent three profitable
days at the wheel at the Barcelona test. Apart from a couple of
technical glitches and some time lost to rain, it was a success. "It
was a generally positive test," commented the Scuderia’s official test
driver. "We were able to work continuously and without any major
technical problems. We saw interesting results from some new
components, which might prove useful in the forthcoming races. On top
of that, we also got through everything we had planned in terms of
engine reliability work. Today, I am back in the cockpit at our home
track, Fiorano, to carry out the shakedown of our Magny-Cours race
cars, with both of them getting new engines for the start of another
two race cycle."

On past form, Raikkonen and Massa should be
aiming for a win on Sunday, however this year, the clichés that certain
circuits are "Ferrari tracks" or "McLaren tracks" for example do not
seem to hold true. While we have worked on improving our weak points
which saw our upturn in performance in Monaco and Montreal, it can be
assumed that our rivals will also have looked at our strengths and
upped their game for the forthcoming race at Magny-Cours. In general
terms therefore, the competition has been much more closely balanced at
every track this year. With performance levels so close, teams really
have to do a perfect job to make the difference and this is
particularly relevant on the reliability front, as has been seen in the
case of BMW. The German team might not have quite the ultimate speed of
the other two top teams, however they have proved that running reliably
and scoring consistently can be the key factor, hence the fact that
Kubica currently heads the Drivers’ classification.
Magny-Cours track has several peculiarities: it boasts an incredibly
smooth surface, it is very temperature sensitive, in that an increase
or decrease in temperature of just a couple of degrees can have a
significant effect on tyre performance, although now that the sport is
a one-make series in terms of rubber, this is less of a factor. In a
championship where one or two pit stops has become the norm, the French
track does offer additional strategic possibilities as it has a very
short pit lane, thus reducing the overall time taken for a stop. This
fact was borne out in 2004, when Michael Schumacher took the win,
visiting the pits no less than four times! Waiting for the pit stops is
not the only method of moving up the order as the hairpin and the
entrance to the chicane afford a couple of genuine passing

Both Kimi and Felipe will get some track time
outside of the usual F1 timetable as this weekend, they will continue the
tradition of the past couple of years of giving a pair of lucky members
of the public flying laps of the track in a Ferrari 599 cars. The
passengers will be winners of a competition run by the ICM charity set
up by among others, Jean Todt and Michael Schumacher, to carry out
research into spinal injuries. Kimi will take a final winner around on
race day just before the driver parade.

The French Grand Prix
takes place just one week after another famous race was held in France;
the Le Mans 24 Hours. In the GT2 class, the Ferrari F430 took the top
four places, with a Risi Competizione car standing on the top step of
the podium. With only two cars at its disposal, Scuderia Ferrari
Marlboro will find that feat impossible to repeat but, as usual, the
target will be to see its two drivers on the podium this Sunday