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Selasa, 18 November 2008

2006: 6 Podiums


RAIKKONEN (McLaren), 1h30m05.565s

Q: Kimi, from the back of the grid, what a sensational drive from you on a one stop strategy. Talk us through the early phase; you picked up a lot of places very quickly.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, I think it was a bit disappointing what happened yesterday because the car has been pretty good all weekend and we got a good set-up, especially yesterday morning so starting from the last place, we knew that we had a good chance to score some points, but it really depends on the first few laps and whatever happens during the race but I got quite a few places in the first corner and I was able to follow and overtake people who were lighter, so I got past them during the first stint. We ran quite a bit longer than anyone else so we were able to gain some places and in the end, the Honda came behind me, Jenson, and it was a little bit difficult because I had quite old tyres already which had done many laps, and he was behind me with brand new tyres, so I needed to look out for him and I was able to keep him behind for five laps and then I knew that his new tyres weren't going to be as good any more so I was able to take it easy and then come home in third place.

Q: But you must feel encouraged by the tremendous speed from you and the car.
Raikkonen: Yeah, because we didn't really know where we were after testing and people said we weren't very good, but during the last month we really improved our position and when we came here the car was pretty good so it wasn't surprising, but we didn't really know where we were. So it was nice to see that we were strong in the race and we could have been very strong in qualifying also.

Q: Kimi, you made up eight places on the first lap; do you remember any of them?
Raikkonen: Yes, in the first corner I got quite a few around the outside, and then people were really going too quickly into turn four, and they were sliding around and I got a few places there but the car was good, even though we were much heavier than the guys in front of us. The biggest problem was Villeneuve, he was the most difficult guy to overtake because I was hitting the rev limiter in seventh gear in a straight line so whenever I got close I was not able to pass him. But then finally I got close enough and got him under braking so that was very good. But the car has been good all weekend really so it was a bit disappointing what happened yesterday. But at least we got six points, so we didn't drop too many points behind the two guys in front of me. There are many races to go and we seem to have good speed and the car is working, so maybe we can see what we can do.

Q: Much pressure from Jenson Button in the closing stages?
Raikkonen: Yeah, when he came behind me he was on new tyres and my tyres were a bit old already, so I knew that he could try to overtake me at that point, but I was pushing hard and then after about five laps he started to slow down so I knew then it should be OK barring a mistake, but at that moment when he just had new tyres it was quite close.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, how risky were your tactics tyre-wise, given the one-stop strategy?
Raikkonen: No more risky than doing two stops. The tyres have been working very well. We were on a hard compound and it seemed to come back well and there was no big drop-off. We thought anyway that we could do the whole race with no problems.

Q: (Mark Fogarty - Auto Action) Kimi, what's your feeling about the pace you displayed? Would you have run away if you started up at the front?
Raikkonen: I for sure would have had a chance to win the race, but I don't know at what point they (Alonso and Schumacher) were quick, so it's not easy to say right now. I think we could have been fighting but we will have to look at the data to see what the difference would be and if there was any difference.

Q: (Mark Fogarty - Auto Action) Did the car feel quick to you?
Raikkonen: Like I said, the car is good, so that is the main thing and I definitely think I will have a chance to win races and fight for the championship, so that's the main thing too. We were fast today, so that's good.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, when did you realise you'd be on the podium today and how much satisfaction was it after yesterday?
Raikkonen: Of course, we're very happy where we finished today because after yesterday it was not so good. I think before my only stop we were already in third place behind the leaders so we knew then if we could keep the speed up that we could fight for the podium, so I was happy we could. That was the moment.

2. Kimi RAIKKONEN (McLaren), 1h34m29.699s

Q: Kimi, an interesting and spectacular race for you, perhaps talk us through it... You obviously had a problem with your nose section at one point, and perhaps a vibration too.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, at one of the restarts, I overtook Jenson and I locked up the inside wheel at turn one. I still managed to stay ahead of him through corners one and three, but fortunately, even with the vibration and a front tyre the car was still quite quick and I was able to keep up with Fernando, but then suddenly I think we lost part of the endplate because of the vibration. I was quite slow at that point, but luckily during the safety car period we had enough time to change the nose. After that, I think the speed was there, in the car, to really fight for victory, but my little mistake cost quite a lot in the end and also there were some lapped people always between me and Fernando, but the car is quick. If we get a proper race without any problems I think we should be able to fight for wins and then we will see what happens.

Q: The car must have been really good at the end; but I believe you were on slightly different tyres to Renault. Do you think that was a factor?
Raikkonen: Yes, I think we have different tyres, but I think they were good for us. But with all the problems with the car, with the nose really, I was not able to push. The car was quick all the time but of course he slowed down in the end, so it wasn't really realistic but you can see that the speed is there so that's positive. As long as we get a good race without any problems we should be OK.

Q: Kimi, I noticed on lap 12, the lead went up from 1.9s to 4.1s. Was that the nose section problem you talked about just now?
Raikkonen: Yes. Even with the flat-spotted tyre, the car was quite quick and I was able to keep the distance and then suddenly I lost the front end completely. We had some vibration and we lost some part of the front wing and the car started to understeer very badly and it wasn't very quick any more. Really, at that point of the race, we had lost it.

Q: So did you wait until your scheduled stop on lap 21 to have it changed?
Raikkonen: We changed it under the safety car. We kept the same front wing on the first stop, otherwise it would take too late. The car was not quick because I was understeering all the time and then at the safety car, we had enough time to change the front wing. We really didn't know what was the problem before. We were expecting to have a small problem, maybe with the front wing, but it would have taken too long so we needed to wait. That's why we were so slow for half of the race.

Q: What about the early part of the race; you were right behind Jenson for two or three laps?
Raikkonen: Yeah. I overtook him when I had that flat spot. I almost went off, but I was able to keep him behind. I think we touched a little bit in corner three, he touched my rear tyre or something, we were so close to each other, but apart from that it was OK, fair play, a bit tight, but it was good.

Q: And it was pretty exciting with Juan Pablo, the two of you side-by-side.
Raikkonen: Yeah, on the first lap, but I was able to keep him behind so it was OK, but unfortunately with the problem that I had with the front tyre we were not able to really use our speed and try to challenge Fernando; but I think the car is still quick and without any problems, we should be able to fight.

Q: And you had the Midlands as well...
Raikkonen: Yeah, it never helps, but what can you do? It's part of the whole thing and it's easy to lose so much time, even when it's one or two cars. You can't push 100 percent. With them in between two fast cars, and when you're trying to warm up your tyres, it's not the easiest thing. I think the race result is still good, looking at what was going on at the beginning of the race. I was not really expecting to be able to keep second place but luckily we were able to change the front wing, so that car was back to normal.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Second place is your best result at this place. Was this your best result and race here?
Raikkonen: Not really. I think I've never had a proper race here. Something always happens. It has never been a perfect race here for me. It looks like something always happens here, but we have had a good result and I think we are getting back in the championship now. Maybe it is not ideal, but if you look at last year we are in a stronger position now than we were then and it is still only the beginning of the championship. So we will just see what we can do.

Q: Do you think that basically you were lacking mileage during practice, particularly yesterday morning when that turned out to be wet? Is that a part of the problem?
Raikkonen: It doesn't help, but it is the same for everybody and we know that at some places the tyres are not so easy to warm up. We had a similar thing in the winter when it was very cold and maybe here it was an issue, but it could have been at any other place also.

3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (McLaren), 1h26m10.599s

Q: Kimi, it was very close with Michael there going into Abbey. What was it like in that early phase of the race for you, with Michael and also Fernando just in front of you?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: We were really a bit too slow in a straight line to challenge anyone. I got quite close to Fernando after the safety car and on the first lap I just couldn't quite pass him. Then I was in front of Michael and I didn't know that we got so close but we didn't hit each other which was good. It wasn't an easy race, we weren't quick enough so there wasn't much we could do, but I did the best I could and we finished third. I think that was maximum that we could have done today.

Q: A good podium finish for you, but Giancarlo Fisichella was very close to you in the closing stages. What condition was your car in at that point?
Raikkonen: It wasn't perfect. I lost the rear end a little bit at the end of the race and I also got the lapped traffic in the first sector and Fisichella was always very quick through there. It was sometimes a bit difficult when you follow someone and on the back straight he was quick, but he wasn't too much of a problem. But I could have done without it also, but I'm happy with third place.

Q: Kimi, obviously frustrated to have lost second place.
Raikkonen: Err, yeah, but we were just not quick enough and there's nothing that I could have done. I went as quickly as I could but with Michael on new tyres there was no way that I could have kept him behind any more. We tried, but it wasn't enough.

Q: And you were really having a go at Fernando in those early stages.
Raikkonen: Yeah, but as I said, they were quick on the back straight and I got a very good exit in the last corner before the straight but I just couldn't get a tow and we were just not quick enough so it made it impossible to overtake him.

Q: Was it an aerodynamic thing when you say slow in a straight line?
Raikkonen: I don't know if we're running more downforce. Maybe we are, because we need to get more grip in the corners or maybe there is a slight difference in engines but I think it's the only way we can manage to go quicker around the lap so that's what we chose to do and I still think it's the best result we could have had today. The car was pretty OK, it was a bit difficult to drive when you pushed the whole way through the race but that's how the racing is.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Deutschland): Kimi, Once Michael passed you, you dropped back from him a bit. Were you pushing hard still, or did you accept that Michael had passed you and not go full speed anymore?
Raikkonen: We were still going as quick as we could because Fisichella in the second Renault had still not stopped and so we didn't really know where they were going to end up and we saw that they were very close to us and in the race it is important to us to have to go as quickly as we can because otherwise we might lose places, so I was going as fast as I could.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) As you said, it was not an exciting race, so, how exciting is it to race to win when you cannot even overtake - the overtaking is just in the pit-stops. Is it fun to race like that?
Raikkonen: Yeah, For sure everybody would like to have more overtaking, but, ever since I've been in Formula One it's been like this so it's not only for me, it's for everyone in Formula One, so in some races you have more, and some traces on high-speed circuits you just have it where people overtake on the last pit-stops. It's this kind of thing sometimes.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, when you finished fifth in Barcelona, you said that was the maximum from the car. Now that you've finished third, is that more than the maximum.
Raikkonen: I think the car has maybe improved a bit from Barcelona in a bit and that is good because we struggled a bit in Barcelona, so hard to say how much improvement we've had. We are still too slow to try to fight for wins in the races. I think Monaco was a special place where we could challenge for a win but here it's back to reality

3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (McLaren), 1h34m46.121s

Q: Kimi, pushing Fernando in the early stages of the race, but time lost in the pit stops.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah. It wasn't the easiest race. The car was pretty good to start with but then at the first pit stop we had a problem with the clutch and when we put the clutch in the wheels were still spinning so it took a long time for them to get the rear wheel on and then at the second pit stop the car just stopped because the clutch wasn't working any more. I also lost second place to Michael on the second last lap or something. I just got on the sand or whatever you call it. The circuit was breaking up in a few places, so when I got on that there was nothing I could do. It wasn't ideal but anyhow we got some results and for me it doesn't really matter whether it's second or third if we cannot win, so I don't really worry about it.

Q: You appeared to be carrying more fuel in the second stint; what affect did that have on the tyre wear in that situation down at the hairpin?
Raikkonen: I don't think that that was hurting any more than if we'd had a little bit less fuel. The car was not maybe the easiest to drive but the problem was more the circuit breaking up so that made it more difficult than anything else.

Q: Do you think your car was maybe more affected by that than Michael's for instance?
Raikkonen: No, I don't think so. I don't know. It's hard to say but it was just a mistake and it cost us one place but that happens sometimes.

Q: Kimi, you nearly got by Fernando on that lap; talk us through it?
Raikkonen: Yeah, he ran a little bit wide in the same place where I made a mistake at the end of the race. I got on the inside of him but you can't get two cars through the chicane and if I braked later I would have had to go straight on so I couldn't manage anything. We got close but not close enough.

Q: And you were pushing pretty hard...
Raikkonen: Yeah, for sure. We can usually keep up in the first part of the race, but after that we seem to lose some speed. We had problems in both pit stops with the clutch and it wasn't working so it always took an awful long time and I don't think we also had the speed to fight against them.

Q: Two moments at the hairpin, two pit stop problems; third place wasn't bad really.
Raikkonen: Yeah. It could have been second but in the end I don't think it matters whether it's second or third. I'm not fighting for the championship any more really, so we only want to win and that's the only thing that matters.

Q: What about your feelings about Indianapolis?
Raikkonen: Usually the car has been quite good there. I would say it's usually better there than here so it could be a completely different story this year but I think it could be quite good for us.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, you said that you probably didn't have the speed to win again. What did you mean by that?
Raikkonen: Usually, in the first part of the race we can follow them, but then in the middle stints we always seem to lose some speed in comparison to them and even with the problems that we had in the pit stops, we couldn't really be as close as we needed to be for a win, so I think we are still behind.

Q: (Rob Martier - CJAD 800 Radio Montreal) Indianapolis is next on the docket. With what has been said this week by Bernie Ecclestone leading up to the race and Tony George, I was wondering if you think we should continue to have a race there?
Raikkonen: Yeah.

Q: (Daniel Bastien - Radio FM 103.3) The last, the Q3. Is there anything you'd like to change instead of going around for 15 minutes just burning gas?
Raikkonen: Maybe it could be a bit more interesting for the drivers - not just wasting the fuel in the first part, maybe do something that we can go with low fuel and put some new tyres on - I think so that would be nice for us. It's a bit boring just to drive around and waste fuel.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Kimi, as far as we understood, you kept the rear tyre on the car coming into your second pit-stop. Is that correct? You had a problem in your first pit-stop.
Raikkonen: I had in both of them. First and second, but in the second one the car's engine stopped so I did re-start it.

Q: How hard is it to drive the car in these conditions?
Raikkonen: Not so much change. It doesn't make much difference so we knew already after the first pit-stop that it would be difficult to keep the engine running so unfortunately it just stopped and when I selected a gear again. Luckily enough we got in front of Michael, so it didn't make any difference.

Q: (MC) Can you clarify this, because we thought the right rear wheel hadn't been changed at the first pit-stop.
Raikkonen: On the first one of the second?

Q: First one.
Raikkonen: I didn't feel it.

Q: You didn't feel any difference?
Raikkonen: No, they tried to change it and I don't know if they changed it or not. Maybe they did but I think so the tyres were turning because the clutch wasn't working so...

Q: But they hadn't changed it?
Raikkonen: I don't know. Usually they change it. I don't look in my mirrors to see if they are changing it. I just get out of the pit-stop, so...

3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (McLaren Mercedes), 1h28m04.899s

Q: Kimi, congratulations to you: P3, a three stop strategy and just finishing your first German Grand Prix - there seemed to be a fire after the race...
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, it happens quite a lot when you slow down. The heat shield just caught fire, so nothing too serious.

Q: Talk through your race: on the pole, an early pit stop, talk through your strategy and your thinking as you went into this race and how it panned out for you?
Raikkonen: Yeah, actually I think we had some problems yesterday, to be honest, between the second and last qualifying. When we were fuelling the car we really didn't get as much fuel as we wanted. Then it turned out that we needed to get on pole because we knew that we didn't have as much fuel as planned but in the end it worked out pretty well, because we came in quite early although the tyres were on the limit. I blistered my second set also, so it was a bit difficult at that moment. I also had a hydraulic problem so I lost a place to Jenson earlier. Because of that, the car was behaving really badly and I wasn't getting full power and the gearshifting was all over the place. Looking at those things, we are happy to finish third and the end of the race was very strong for us, so no problems.

Q: And you lost time in the pits with the jammed wheel nut.
Raikkonen: Yeah, so I think we had a lot of problems, but in the end we were still quick enough to gain all that time back on the circuit, so it shows we have definitely improved the car, but there is still some way to go to beat the Ferraris, but I think we are getting there and hopefully next race we can do better.

Q: Kimi, could you have made a better tyre choice, do you think?
Raikkonen: No, I think it was right. The tyres were pretty okay. I had some blistering on the second set but some others did also. I had a problem with the car so, the rears were locking and the gear selection was not working so I think so it spoilt it also.

Q: If you didn't have all these problems, could you have won?
Raikkonen: For sure we could have been much closer, but I don't know if we could have been quick enough for a win this year. We seem to have still some problems during the race, but the main thing was we still ended up on the podium. We just weren't quick enough up on the circuit when we were chasing time up after the situations.

Q: Also you came out of the pits just ahead of Mark Webber. That was pretty close.
Raikkonen: He was on the outside and I tried to look in the mirrors and he was far behind, and then suddenly under braking he was next to me and so it was enough.

Q: But I think you would have been quicker anyway wouldn't you?
Raikkonen: Yeah, but in racing you try to be at the front and overtake, so I was chasing Jenson Button and caught him quite easy so it wasn't really a problem.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, was the three-stop strategy clear yesterday or was it only because of the fuel problem for the Q3?
Raikkonen: No, we were thinking of three-stops anyhow. Not as early as it came out though. It was purely because of the problem with the refuelling.

RAIKKONEN (McLaren Mercedes), 1h15m00.021s 3.

Q: Kimi, a great start, pressure from Michael in the early stages of the race.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Umm. Yeah. The start worked very well. I was a little bit concerned about our starting, because the previous starts haven't been exactly good, but the guys did an excellent job fixing the start system and everything worked well. I had a good start and I was just trying to go as fast as I could before the first pit stop, because I was thinking that they might stop a little bit later, so if I could pull out any gap, any chance we could have to try and fight for a win, but as it turned out, we were not quick enough today. But second was quite easy, so in the end I just slowed down and brought the car home and got second place. Unfortunately that was the maximum that we could have today, but it is still a good weekend.

Q: Kimi, a little bit disappointed?
Raikkonen: Yeah, of course you want to win but unfortunately we didn't have the speed today. The car was working well, it was nice to drive but it was just not quick enough to challenge Michael today. Second was easy, but that's not what we want but anyhow it was a good weekend.

Q: And your feelings about joining Ferrari next year?
Raikkonen: Of course, it's next year. I want to finish this year as well as I can. I'm happy to join a team with a history and all the great things, but first of all I want to finish this year as well as I can and then see what happens next year.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Deutschland) Kimi, can you describe the reasons why you chose Ferrari as your future team?
Raikkonen: There are many reasons. I have had five years at McLaren and they are a great team and nice people to work with, but in the end I wanted something else and there were only two choices - to stay with McLaren or to go to Ferrari and for me personally I wanted to go there one day and this was the best moment and I think it is a great team to join and there will be people I will miss in McLaren, but that's how it goes. Sometimes you want something in your life.

Q: (Marco Evangilisti - Corrriere dello Sport) Kimi, are you somehow concerned at taking the place of the most winning driver of all time?
Raikkonen: Not really. It's a nice place to go and of course the team will expect a lot but in the end I also expect a lot from myself and I want to win and this is different again to McLaren where there was Mika world champion twice and wasn't easy then and it will not be easy this time and I will go there and do my best and hopefully it will be enough for everybody.

Q: (Heikke Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, three years contract with Ferrari... How quickly do you expect to become a world champion?
Raikkonen: I have been expecting it to happen already so you never know what will happen but for sure we try next year again and hopefully we can do it, but there are so many things that can go wrong or right so we just need to work as hard as we can and I have full confidence that the team will give me a very good car so we will see what happens next year.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News) When did you decide that Ferrari was the better of your two options?
Raikkonen: It doesn't matter when I took my decision. It is just that decision that I took in the end.

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