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Selasa, 18 November 2008

2007: 12 Podiums


Australian GP - Sunday - Press Conference
18 March 2007
1. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h25m28.770s

Q: Kimi, it looked like a walk in Albert Park this afternoon; what a fantastic day for you!
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah. The weekend has been very good, so thanks to the team. Today the race was not as easy as it might have looked. Just before the start my radio broke so I didn't have a radio the whole race so it was a bit complicated but at least before the race we had a plan what we wanted to do so I knew pretty much what I was meant to do, but in some places it wasn't an ideal situation. Anyhow, it was a good race for us. I didn't have to push too hard, just have to pace myself a bit and look what the others were doing: an excellent start.

Q: The two guys either side of you were racing each other at the start, giving you a bit of a break on the opening lap.
Raikkonen: Yeah, but I don't think it made much difference in the end. We were quite quick so I didn't have to push. Maybe it helped on the first laps that I didn't have to push as hard as I could have. But as I said, the car was perfect all day and in the end we were just bringing it home.

Q: Well, you set fastest lap but we also saw you have a bit of a moment at turn three towards the end of the race; talk us through that.
Raikkonen: I just locked a wheel. I was looking at something else, not putting in too much effort. It was my mistake completely I was following another car but fortunately it didn't cost me too much.

Q: It is your first win for over a year; what are your thoughts and emotions about that?
Raikkonen: Of course, it's always nice to come to the first race and win straight away. I've never done that before. We've had good races here before, but we've never been able to win. With a new team, with everything basically new this year, it's the ideal way to start the season. The car is very strong. I think the atmosphere in the team is perfect and the people are really making my life very good and easy. I really enjoy it. As I say, it's a perfect way (to start the season) and I hope we can keep it up.

Q: Kimi, it was an easy day for your today, but how do you see the next few races, how do you see the competition developing?
Raikkonen: I don't know really, it's too early to say. We need to wait a couple of races before we can see where we are and what's the deal with the other teams. We're getting some new parts for the next race so for sure we can improve. And if it gets hot it can be useful for us. We will just do the best we can in the next race and see where we end up. We're in a good position now, we just need to work hard, keeping improving and try to win as many races as we can.

Q: Kimi, what was it like, standing on the rostrum there, with the Finnish anthem and then the Italian anthem?
Raikkonen: It was good, for sure. It's been a long time since I heard the Finnish one. The Italian I've heard quite a number of times, but it was nice to be involved in the whole situation.

Q: It seemed to be quite hard to pull away in the opening stages, but then you seemed to pull away more easily.
Raikkonen: I didn't push so hard at the beginning because I kind of knew what was going to happen in the race, so we didn't really need to push as hard as we could have. So it was not so difficult, but of course we needed to be careful that if something did go wrong, we at least had some margin. The biggest problem was my radio. It stopped working just before the start, so I didn't have radio contact with the team the whole race, but at least we had a plan which we went through before the race, so that helped.

Q: Were you relying on a pit board, then?
Raikkonen: Yeah, basically, and what we planned before. Luckily we didn't have any major issues or anything so it wasn't too difficult, but not ideal.

Q: You mentioned a moment that you had towards the end there, but at about half distance you lost about three seconds...
Raikkonen: Yeah, there was quite a lot of traffic and I followed a few cars for more than a lap, so it wasn't ideal and they didn't move over even though they had blue flags. That was quite poor in this race. Hopefully we can improve that because it's not ideal if you're leading and you have to wait and wait for people to let you past.

Q: And the difference between the two tyres; was there a big difference?
Raikkonen: Yeah, there was a difference but I didn't need to push at the end so it was hard to say exactly what the difference was but for me, both tyres seemed to work pretty well so I was happy with them.

Q: (Salvatore Zanca - Associated Press) Kimi is this just another win or is it special because it is your first win for Ferrari?
Raikkonen: Of course, it is a special moment - with a new team, everything new and we can win in the first race so, it is ideal. At least people will not ask when you are going to win. I am happy because it is a new season and to win straightaway so that is good also. I am really happy with the team, and how things are going with the people, how the car is so it could not be better than it is now.

Q: (Tobias Holtkamp - Bild) Kimi, who was on the phone that Jean Todt gave you?
Raikkonen: I think it was Michael, but the line was pretty bad so I couldn't hear him.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, is this the payback for your bad luck here in previous races?
Raikkonen: No, I wouldn't say that. It was just a perfect day for us -- or not perfect because we still had some problems, but at least they didn't cost us anything and so we can always improve, but at least we got the result we wanted from the first race of the season and it is a good place to start the season and hopefully we can keep it up.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, did you have any problems in the race?
Raikkonen: Like I said, the radio broke before the start. That was the main issue we had. And in the race, nothing major really.

Q: (Georg Nolte - Bild) Kimi, how did you and Michael work together in the last month?
Raikkonen: I have seen him twice -- when they launched the car and I think at one test. He came, but I left at the same time almost. So, we haven't really been spending time together.

Q: (Bobby Arifin - Bola) Malaysia is a bigger track, hotter place. What do you think your chances are there?
Raikkonen: I will try to keep it up, like I said, but it is a completely different circuit, different weather that usually makes it much more difficult to get the car right because the tyres are not working as well in the hot conditions, probably. We will just see how we do in the testing next week and then we will work from there.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, are you surprised at how easy it was today?
Raikkonen: I think we were expecting this, but we were not 100 per cent about what would happen and even today we did not have to push 100 per cent so we are in a good position right now but in the next race it could be a completely different story so we need to push and improve the whole package and go from there.

Q: (Niki Takeda - Formula PA) Kimi was the car close to perfect today?
Raikkonen: No, of course, you can always improve, but it was very good today. The biggest problems were with the back-markers to get past and it took ages for them to know you were there. The car was working well all the time so no complaints.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, when did you realise that this was your race?
Raikkonen: When I passed the finish line, of course, but you know anything can happen even in the last lap. We knew that if everything worked we should be okay after yesterday. It all depends if you get a good start and you have the speed. We had the speed and everything kept going right and we thought it could be our race and that is what happened.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi did you see the accident involving Wurz and Coulthard on the big screen?
Raikkonen: No. I saw just a little picture of it. I didn't have time to look too much. But luckily enough, with the problem with the radio that we had, if the safety car had come out... so, it was good that it didn't.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Deutschland) Kimi, since you made a mistake because you were looking at something else, did you have a lot of boring moments during this race?
Raikkonen: No I didn't, but sometimes if you don't push 100 per cent you can have one of those things if you decided to do something that you shouldn't do but I was just a little too late on the brakes and locked a wheel, but I knew I had enough time so I didn't have to hurry up too much.

Malaysian GP – Sunday – Press Conference
8 APRIL 2007
3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h32m33.269s

Q: Kimi, you must be very happy the way the weekend has gone for you, to be on the podium for the second successive race.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, of course I'm happy to get some points but a bit disappointed how the race ended up. The whole weekend was quite difficult but I think we needed to compromise too many things and we lost too much speed because of those things, but it was one of those weekends where we needed to do what was most important and try to get as many points as we could. We just didn't have enough speed today and couldn't do much more.

Q: Well, you had a terrific spectator position for that battle between Lewis and your team mate Felipe Massa. Talk us through that from your point of view; you nearly passed Felipe. Well, you did pass Felipe eventually.
Raikkonen: Yeah, in the end when he made a mistake but unfortunately I didn't have enough speed in a straight line to try to challenge either of them when I got behind Lewis. I got close to him but I didn't have as much speed as Felipe so he could always challenge him but I was not able to do that. I always tried to get close to them because I knew that they would have a fight and I thought that maybe I could get passed one of them, and in the end it worked out but unfortunately I didn't get past Lewis. But I think we did the best we could and at least we scored important points, so we need to make everything 100 percent right at the next race.

Q: It looked like your car was much more competitive in the closing stint than the middle stint.
Raikkonen: Yeah, it wasn't difficult to drive but it was just not fast enough. I think we know the reasons why we were not quick in this race, but unfortunately, as I said, we were in a position where we couldn't do anything else. Hopefully we can turn the tables in the next race and fight for a win again.

Q: Kimi, it looked good in the early stages - you were really charging...
Raikkonen: Yes, but not enough. We needed the speed, as much as Felipe, who seemed to be very strong in a straight line, but we had to do some compromise as a team and so it cost us a little bit, maybe a bit too much in this race, but at least we scored a podium and points and we finished the race. We learned a lesson and we will do things better in the next race.

Q: Can you give us an idea of those compromises?
Raikkonen: No, I can't, but we know what we have done and that is the main thing and hopefully we can do better at those things in the next race.

Q: What were the track conditions like, given there was a serious rain-storm last night?
Raikkonen: I think quite similar, quite slippery all the time and not very easy conditions, but it was the same for everybody. Especially, being behind people all the time is not the easiest one - you don't really get an idea of the car, or how good it will be when you run alone. It was quite okay when I was on my own especially near the end, but it came too late really.

Q: And the middle stint, you seemed to lose time then?
Raikkonen: Yes, just the speed really...

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, how disappointing is it not to win this race for Ferrari after having dominated free practice and the qualifying?
Raikkonen: It is a little bit disappointing, but it is the early part of the season, but we did the best we could in the situation we were in and so the team did very well, I think, a very good job. We knew when we came here we had some handicaps. So, I think we maximised our speed, but we wanted to win and be top of the table - but we did the best we could here and we just need to work better in the next races and in the coming weeks and improve the car. I think we have some big improvements coming, but probably not next race, but for Barcelona it should be ready.

Q: (Niki Takeda - Formula PA) Was there any concern about your engine during the race?
Raikkonen: Not any more than before the race. As I said we needed to compromise some things and it was not the ideal situation to start the weekend, but I think we got the most we could from it. We wanted a better position, but we couldn't, but it is a long season and we still have a good position. We know we have the speed when we everything right and it is going to be a close fight in the coming races, but that's Formula One.
Q: (Anne Giuntini - L'Equipe) Kimi, when you say that you knew you had a handicap was it on your car only or on two cars?
Raikkonen: I think we knew that the engine was not 100 per cent and we had to be a bit on the safe side, but there were some other things, which were not perfect so we could not take risks to do anything stupid with what we had, so hopefully next race we can have all the right things in the car and be 100 per cent again like in the first race.

Q: (Marco Evangelisti - Corriere dello Sport) Kimi, was it the battle between Fernando and Felipe in the first corner that somehow cost you a position to Lewis?
Raikkonen: Of course, I didn't want to get into that. Our tyres were not really as good as theirs then so we lost a few metres in the first metres, but then also in the first corner with all the things going (on), but I think they did a better thing in the first corner than us.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, don't you think that Felipe was too aggressive and that this cost Ferrari another race?
Raikkonen: You need to ask him that yourself. He wanted to get past and I would have wanted to get past also while he had the speed and he had an opportunity and he tried to take it. But it cost him and that's racing.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Kimi, your team-mate had a bad day today, does that mean anything to you?
Raikkonen: It is unfortunate for him, but that's racing like I said. Sometimes you push hard to gain places and it doesn't work out as you planned. It has happened to many other people and it will happen maybe one day again. It is not ideal for the team, but you really need to hear it from him. I am not the guy here answering questions about him. So, I don't know what happened - or if he had a problem or not. So, I am not the right guy to give you those answers.

Bahrain GP - Sunday - Press Conference
15 April 2007
3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h33m38.354s

Q: Kimi, stuck behind Fernando Alonso in the early stage of the race. How much did that define the day for you?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I think it did. After that it was too difficult to come back and challenge at the front. I got past him but we needed to go a little bit shorter in the middle stint to make sure we got in front of him but then it was too short to challenge Lewis. I came very close at the second stop but it wasn't enough. I think there was also a bit of a mistake by me also on the start button but we got third place and we know where we are losing time, so hopefully in the next test we can find something which is a bit better for me.

Q: You made a very aggressive start down the outside there but I guess from the second row it was always going to be difficult?
Raikkonen: Yeah but then I was also getting very close to Lewis and at the left-hander after the first corner I needed to back off because I got understeer and so Alonso got a very good run at me into the next corner. I was on the inside but he could brake later and took the place from me.

Q: When you were very close to Fernando you seemed to have a lot of moments running wide under braking. Was that just losing downforce being so close to him?
Raikkonen: Yeah, it's not easy to be very close to people and also the wind was making it even more difficult and so at places where it was hard even on your own it was even worse behind someone, but that's normal. I think this year it's even more difficult following people than previously.

Q: Kimi, how frustrated were you behind Fernando?
Raikkonen: A little bit. I was expecting to stop later, so I knew that if I didn't get past I would try to get past during a pit stop and it worked out. Of course, I had more speed, so I could have kept behind the two leaders, but there's nothing that I could have done after I lost the place. We could have challenged for the top two places, but it didn't work out.

Q: So are you a bit disappointed with third?
Raikkonen: Yeah, I think the whole weekend has been quite difficult, not the easiest one really. I think we're missing a bit on the handling, so hopefully we will find something. We have some new parts which hopefully will improve the situation for me, so we can start to try to be in front again.

Q: And how did you feel the car was on hard tyres at the end?
Raikkonen: Not too bad really. I think it was OK but I knew, following Fernando at the start of the race, that you cannot get past if the guy doesn't make a mistake, so there was no point to push any more after I couldn't get past Lewis after my last pit stop, so I took it easy after that. It wasn't too bad, the car was not too bad in the race, it (the problem) is just more in qualifying.

Q: (Alberto Antonini - Autosprint) Kimi, I think you mentioned in the unilateral that this year it has become increasingly difficult to follow another car. Is it down to less grip in the car which makes the aerodynamics more critical?
Raikkonen: Maybe, because once you lose the tyres' grip you're much more affected when you're behind someone so you're going to lose more if you don't have as much grip from the tyres themselves in comparison to last year, so it's going to be more difficult, at least, it feels like it now. OK, here it was very windy, so it made it even worse. We will just see what happens in the other races.

Q: (Ottavio Daviddi - Tuttosport) To both the Ferrari drivers: Lewis said that they (McLaren) have closed the gap with you; do you agree, and if so, what do you need to improve?
Raikkonen: I think we are going to get more parts for the next test and I'm pretty positive that it's going to change things quite a lot. I think maybe they are a little bit closer than in the first race, but then Australia is always a bit special. I think we still have a little edge on them but we just need to keep working and push hard.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, 22 points from three races; are you satisfied with that?
Raikkonen: I think it's a bit better than previous years but of course we wanted to have all thirty but I think we are in a good position after three races and we just need to improve our situation - or mine - a little bit and we can have a good season, but it's going to be hard this year. Everybody is very close to one another every race so it's going to be a difficult season.

French GP - Sunday - Press Conference
1 JULY 2007
1. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h30m54.200s

Q: Kimi, taking second place at the start was obviously key to your strategy.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, finally the start worked for me and helped a lot. I think the car was good all the time, but not exactly perfect but I was very happy with the car. I just tried to push and keep up with Felipe. I knew that he was going to stop a bit later, so just before the first stop I had quite a bit of traffic but then at the second stop I managed to get in front of him. It was a good day for me and the team.

Q: You had a very good run when Felipe came in for his second stop, very quick on the circuit at that point.
Raikkonen: Yeah, we needed to be. I was a bit further away from him than I really wanted to be. But that's racing. I couldn't really stay close enough but it worked out perfectly at the end, so I couldn't ask for more. Of course, you would rather start from the front, it makes your life easier, but we knew that we should be OK in the race. It all really depends what happened at the start and we had a pretty good start this time.

Q: Your first win since Melbourne at the start of the season. Talk us through the last couple of months and what this win means to you now
Raikkonen: It's nice. I think we had a bit of a hard time but I kind of expected to have a bit of a difficult time so OK, people always think that you've lost it when you don't have a good result but we just worked hard and try to get it right and I think we can still improve and we're still not where we want to be. But we are definitely much happier with the car since the last test. In the last races we just couldn't get it together. I think it seems to have good speed now so we must keep it up in the next races.

Q: Kimi, your feelings going to Silverstone?
Raikkonen: I think we had a very good test there so hopefully we get the parts that we tried there for the race. We were not able to get all of them here so that should help us. Our car seems to work well there. Testing is always testing but I think we are pretty confident that we're going to have good speed there also. You never know; the weather there can be very tricky but we go there this weekend and we try to do the best and hopefully can try to win.

Q: Kimi, how much of a relief is this victory, because obviously you haven't had a win since the first race of the year, and you've had one or two problems within the team, so is this a bit of a relief to have won here?
Raikkonen: It helps always, definitely, but I think we knew what our problems were. We try to improve them all the time and I think the work is starting to pay off now. It maybe took longer than we expected but I think in the end that it's good that we got the win and we're kind of back in the right place now. We just need to keep it up and improve.

Q: And you must be really pleased the way the strategy worked as well.
Raikkonen: Yeah, I think we expected it to be good, so it wasn't such a big surprise but it helped that we got a good start and we were in second place. Without that, I think it would have been very difficult.

Q: Drivers always practise their starts, but have you been specifically working on it? I seem to remember you did a fair number of starts at Silverstone in the test.
Raikkonen: Yeah, we did but actually it's nothing to do with me, really. We just improved our start system and I think it worked this time. The last few times it hasn't worked perfectly anyhow, so it's up to the system really, more than anything else.

Q: How hard was Lewis pushing you during those early stages?
Raikkonen: I didn't even look where he was, really. I knew that we were going to go longer than them so it wasn't anything... even if he was close but he wasn't ever close enough to even try so I just tried to get everything working and try to keep up with Felipe.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, did anything come to your mind in the last laps about what happened in Adelaide corner five years ago?
Raikkonen: For sure, I remember that, but I wasn't expecting to have the same problem. It was an unfortunate thing that time, but I made sure that nothing like that would happen.

Q: (Sal Zanca - Associated Press) Kimi and Felipe, is this the beginning of the expected Ferrari revival?
Raikkonen: I think so. We didn't expect to have the problems that we had in the last few races, so I think we are back where we expected to be. It wasn't that we lost something. Maybe we just didn't get everything out of the car. Everything works well and we try to keep it up and improve.

Q: (Mark Hughes - Autosport) Kimi, how tough was it to stay within striking distance of Felipe? Some drivers this year have said it is tough when behind another car to prevent tyres from graining... Did you have that problem?
Raikkonen: No, I didn't have a graining problem, but it hurts you when you are behind someone. You think they are quite far away, but it still hurts. Once I was in the pit lane, my car improved suddenly, so it was something to do with when you follow people very closely. It is never easy. You try to hang on there and stay close enough. For sure, the traffic did not help anybody today. But it is part of the racing and sometimes you are lucky with it and sometimes you are unlucky.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, how far from perfect was the Ferrari car today, for you?
Raikkonen: I think the car was good, but it is never perfect. There are always places where you can improve and you can always push forward, so even the car sometimes it is very good and you can still improve some areas. We can still improve and get the car quicker.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, how well do you feel in your car now?
Raikkonen: Like I said, it is not only the car, but a lot of areas like in qualifying and in the race and there is no point to talk about it here. As long as we know what we want and expect to do, that is the main thing. We are working all the time to improve those areas and if we can do that it will help me a lot also.

British GP - Sunday - Press Conference
8 JULY 2007
1. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h21m43.074s

Q: Kimi, a fantastic win for you, effectively won in the middle phase of the race, those six laps after Fernando had made his pit stop. You seemed to have a relatively free track in terms of traffic and you took the lead.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, we had a little bit of traffic but I think we had a good car all day - all weekend, actually. At the beginning of the race I was just trying to save some fuel and look after my tyres and car and then once Lewis pitted I tried to push and gain some time on him and that went well. And then Fernando did a very short stop, so we knew that we were going to run longer in the second stop so I just tried to push as hard as we could once he came in and it was enough. After that, it was pretty easy.

Q: Let's talk about that first phase of the race: Lewis took the lead, you seemed to match him, fastest lap for fastest lap for the first few laps of the race and then it looked as if you could put pressure on Lewis.
Raikkonen: Yeah, like I said, we just saved fuel and then once we knew that we had enough I was able to close the gap pretty easily and try to overtake him, but then we were expecting him to stop a bit earlier, so I didn't want to risk too much. I think it worked out pretty well.

Q: Different tyre combinations for all three of you in terms of the Bridgestone hard and soft compound; what was it like from your point of view in terms of the car balance and indeed, any other events in the Grand Prix?
Raikkonen: I think it was good. Both tyres seemed to work very well. It didn't make any difference really. The hard one was very good at the end but then we didn't need to push any more. So far everything worked well.

Q: And the British Grand Prix is always a special event for any racing driver; your thoughts on your closing lap and the slow-down lap, the Lewis Hamilton crowd out there but you spoilt the day for them.
Raikkonen: Yeah, it was a very nice feeling to win the race of course. We've been close here a few times, but something has always happened and we haven't been able to win. Now, finally, we got the win and it's one of the nicest races really so it's very nice, a nice feeling and it was a good day.

Q: Kimi, two great wins in a row now for Ferrari and for you. It looks as if you have the edge, but the championship is not over yet.
Raikkonen: Hopefully. You never know. It's going to be a long season still. We seem to have good speed right now but I also think it depends a lot on the circuit conditions and the places where we go. But I'm pretty happy now with the car, all weekend being good. I just made a mistake yesterday which made our life much more difficult than it should have been in the race. But in the end, we came out with a win, so that's the main thing. The guys did a great job in the pit stops, being able to stay ahead of the other guys. I think we've had a pretty good weekend and we try to improve the car again and go and try to do the same next week, or the next race.

Q: Kimi, two in a row, two wins, how significant are these two wins?
Raikkonen: Of course they're important. We gained some points on the other guys, also in the team championship. I'm not sure we gained today but anyhow, it's important, for sure. We seem to have got the car a bit better for me now and everything seems to go a bit more easily. It's definitely nicer now than it was after the first few races but I think it's still a long season. Right now it's looking good but everything can change again at the next race. We just keep pushing.

Q: Different tyre choices; you were really challenging Lewis in the opening stint on the softer tyre. Very often people complain about graining when they're very close behind another car. Did you have that?
Raikkonen: No, nothing. Not at all, not even on the second set. The tyres worked very well today, also the last set, the hard one, was very good at the end, but I didn't need to push at all so even just driving slowly it seemed to give you a good lap time. I think both sets were very good today.

Q: On lap 14 you got very close to Lewis in the Complex.
Raikkonen: Yeah, I know. He was slowing down a bit so we tried to put some pressure on him and then I got very close to him. I had a little chance to overtake but I think it would have been a bit too close. There would have been a little bit of touching so it was better to wait than take the risk. Then we were expecting to stop a little bit later, so we were able to pull out a big enough gap.

Q: And did you just ease off at the end, because the margin was just coming down and down and down?
Raikkonen: I don't think we pushed at all for the last ten laps. We just kept the gap to Alonso and then just backed off.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi do you now have a better feeling going into the second part of the season compared with 2005 when you were chasing Fernando?
Raikkonen: No, I think it is a different story completely. A different kind of year, different kind of rules and everything. I have a good feeling but like I said every race can be completely different so I'm not too much thinking that. If we can repeat our times from today then for sure we have a good chance every weekend as long as we get everything working well.

Q: (Sal Zanca - Associated Press) Kimi and Fernando. Did the better car or the better strategy win the race?
Raikkonen: I don't know really. It doesn't make any difference any more. We were first, they were second. We had a good speed but I think to look in qualifying Fernando was a very similar speed so if you put the two cars on the same fuel loads it could have been very close.

Q: (Marco Evangelisti - Corriere dello Sport) Kimi, did you shout in the radio after all?
Raikkonen: Still no. It is not what I do.

Q: How would you judge the first half of the season?
Raikkonen: For sure we would like to be in a better position in the championship but we expected to have a few difficult times and we have so far. But at least it is going in the right direction. So maybe we can have a strong end of the year.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Kimi, you are now in front of your teammate in an important period in the championship. How do you analyse it? Is it easy for you?
Raikkonen: We want to be ahead of everybody so if a guy I race against is in my team ok, but if not I race against all the rest. I am not looking for him [Felipe Massa] really. I'm looking at how we can improve and how we can analyse. If you only race against your teammate it is not probably the right thing to do. Like I said this is a perfect result, this is what we aim for and if we repeat this we will be ahead of everybody.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, you were quite critical on yourself when mentioning the mistake of yesterday in qualifying. How angry were you after that happened?
Raikkonen: I wasn't happy because I know that this can damage our race. I expected that we would be quick in the race. I really thought we should have started in pole position, so after my mistake I was not happy at all. But luckily enough we could recover from it and still win the race. But for sure I made life much more difficult today than it should have been.

Hungarian GP - Sunday - Press Conference
5 AUGUST 2007
2. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h35m53.706s

Q: Kimi, I guess you know every square centimetre of the back of that McLaren now; you spent the whole race behind him. There were moments that you were right there and looked to be slightly quicker on the road.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, I think we knew that we were going to be quick at the beginning of the race. I expected them to drop out a little bit more but they didn't really suffer as much as I was hoping, but I would close up and just stay there. The problem here is, especially when two cars are very close, is the other guy in front really has to make a big mistake to give you any chance to get past, so it was a kind of a boring race just driving behind and waiting for something to happen and try to push as hard (as possible) to make him make a mistake but nothing happened so we really finished where we started.

Q: How difficult was it following in his wake and his turbulence in terms of tyre and aerodynamic performance?
Raikkonen: For sure, it makes it a bit trickier, especially in one of the fast corners, maybe not as bad as some other circuits. I think the downforce and the grip here seems to help a bit but for sure, I had a very good car today. If I could have been in the free air, we could have had very good pace but we couldn't really use it, so...

Q: As you've said, an encouraging day in some ways, given that Ferrari were concerned about these high downforce circuits and particularly this track, and you were right there.
Raikkonen: Yeah, but that shows that in qualifying we could not really use our car as we want, we are not quick enough in qualifying in this sort of circuit but in race pace I think we were on the pace. For sure, when we go back to normal circuits like Turkey, our car should be pretty good there, so we try to do the best we can there, get some points back. It's going to be hard but there are many races to go. One bad race and things can change quickly. We've seen that this year already.

Q: Kimi, good start, you picked up a place there.
Raikkonen: Yeah, we were expecting to have a good start. It's been working pretty well in the last few races, so it was good to get behind Lewis but it wasn't enough, unfortunately. The problem really was that we came in on the same lap on the first pit stop and it's really guessing, guessing what the other team will do and we didn't get it right. We had enough speed with the same fuel load if we had been behind them, to stay there, even with more so. Unfortunately we got it wrong and we couldn't do anything after that, really.

Q: You seemed to be less competitive in that first stint than the other two.
Raikkonen: Yeah, I think our car is maybe not exactly suited to this circuit, so once the circuit picked up some more grip I think we were expecting to have a better car and it went that way. So we definitely we had plenty of speed but we couldn't use it.

Q: Lap 13, you lost 1.5s, do you remember what happened?
Raikkonen: Yeah, I remember. I ran wide in two corners, in the last sector, so I lost some time.

Q: But otherwise pleased with second?
Raikkonen: It's better than where we started but for sure what I needed to do was score more points than the three guys ahead of me and I couldn't, I could only score more points than two guys and not more than Lewis, so in that way it didn't help me, it only hurt me more. But we did everything we could. Hopefully it should be better at the next races when we get to more normal circuits.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, when did you hear that you were starting third and what was your reaction?
Raikkonen: I heard it last night, maybe it was 12 o' clock or something, just before I went to sleep.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, in the very first laps you lost quite a bit to Lewis and it had, for me, the impression that you would have had graining on the first three or four laps. Can you just confirm if that was the case?
Raikkonen: I didn't really have graining but we knew they were going to be fast with new tyres in the first few laps. It is basically a similar situation to qualifying, so I knew that once the race would go normal I should be ok and hopefully we can gain some time. Actually we did, but I had a small mistake, we lost a bit, we got it back but we were all the time a bit behind and if we would have come on different laps into the pit lane then it would have made it slightly easier. But we were just guessing how much fuel they are going to put in their car and we got it wrong so it didn't work out.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, looking that you lost two points to Lewis don't you feel that you should have tried an attack somehow? Now you are twenty points behind and in six races it is getting more and more...
Raikkonen: For sure I would have tried if I would have had any chance because I don't have much to lose. Even if we would have ended up off the circuit it wouldn't have changed much for me. But I didn't have any kind of chance to have even a reasonable chance so there is no point in being stupid. If I would have had a nice try then for sure I would have gone for it but with the race what is was, we were too close to each other speed-wise. On these kinds of circuits you don't really have chances.

Q: (Peter Farkas - Auto Motor) Kimi, after yesterday's qualifying when obviously the gap had been quite big, were you actually quite surprised that the Ferrari has been so close to the McLaren today?
Raikkonen: Like I said before, we knew that they would be strong here. Especially in qualifying. I expected the good race car that we had but unfortunately not enough. Next year we need to get the car sorted for one lap but then I know from past experience with them [McLaren] that they are fast here. They are going to be fast in some other places. It has been every year the same thing, so it wasn't a surprise for me that they were strong here, so I think the next circuit will be ok for us but I'm pretty happy with the second. For sure I needed to win but unfortunately we were not up for it.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) One question for Kimi and one for Lewis. Kimi, since this was not a very suitable track for Ferrari, do you think Ferrari is coming out stronger from this race for the last part of the championship?
Raikkonen: I think so we are going to go back to the situation we have been in for the last few races. Turkey is good for us. Or that is what I have heard, I have never been there with the team. I'm pretty sure that looking at the circuit, knowing how it is, that the car will be good there and I think we can have a good strong end of the season. Hopefully we can gain points and get back in the fight.

Turkish GP - Sunday - Press Conference
26 AUGUST 2007
2. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h26m44.436s

Q: Kimi, it looked like a frustrating day for you. As Felipe said, you got into second place from the start but that's where you stayed. You pushed Felipe pretty hard going into the second pit stop.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, we had a pretty good car but unfortunately these days in Formula One it's pretty difficult to get past, so the race was really decided yesterday already. If nothing else I pushed hard and got as close as I could and tried to do something at the pit stops, but when two team-mates are fighting it is usually that whoever is first is going to stay there. The car was really good but there was nothing I could have done.

Q: Again you chose the softer of the two Bridgestone tyres. Was that a big decision going into the race, how it was going to perform?
Raikkonen: I think as Felipe said we were pretty confident that both tyres would work pretty well. It was not a big difference and we decided to take the soft one for the start for many reasons and it worked well. It was still difficult to say which one would have been better. They were very equal.

Q: Kimi, tell us about the start.
Raikkonen: I got a good start as we were hoping for but that's about it - I was following Felipe all race long and there was nothing I could have done.

Q: How did you see the end of that first stint?
Raikkonen: It was good. I had a little bit too much understeer at the start and I couldn't push as hard as I wanted. The car got better and better and in the end was very good and very easy to drive. But I had big difficulties with the handling at the start of the second stint. At the end I could go very fast but when you have two guys behind each other in the same team, usually the second guy has to pit first and there is nothing more I could have done.

Q: But a little bit of a statement two laps from the end?
Raikkonen: Yeah, but it's so boring behind other cars. Unfortunately in Formula One these days the races are pretty much decided after qualifying, so it's a shame.

Q: Fastest lap, two laps from the end, similar to Hungary...
Raikkonen: Yeah, it's something to do.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, you already said that this is your second race in a row where you are following the leading car and you said it's a little bit boring being there, but having said that, you did the fastest lap in both races. Is that just to keep you awake or is it more to try and see how much you can get out of the car?
Raikkonen: I think we can get more out of the car if we really push but there's no point in really wasting your second position to push like crazy and maybe go off so... It was just that I wanted to try and see how good the car was and maybe we can learn something. As I said, it's a bit boring because you quite often know, especially after the pit stop, where the other cars will stop and that's it. You know that you cannot really do anything if you don't get past the guys and it's very difficult to get past.

Q: (Ian Parkes - The Press Association) How much has Lewis's puncture helped your title chances?
Raikkonen: Yeah, it was definitely better for us. We know that anything can happen in a race, we gained more than if we had finished third, so it's helping but there are still many races to go, so we just need to keep pushing and try to win and see what happens.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, is starting from pole the only way to win at Monza also?
Raikkonen: Not really. It depends how much fuel you have against the others but racing with teammates, you know exactly much fuel the other guy has, so when you are in that situation, you pretty much know what will happen in the race. If it's someone else it's a different story but for sure, pole position makes your life easier, you have better chances but it doesn't really decide the race completely.

Italian GP - Sunday - Press Conference
3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h19m05.131s

Q: Kimi, that looked like a hard race for you. How much of it was affected by your accident yesterday in terms of your slightly stiff neck, and how was the performance of the car?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: The car wasn't too bad actually. In the first stint it was pretty OK. OK, we were heavier than the McLarens, so we knew that they would pull away. We tried to keep close enough but actually we were not quick enough today, but probably the biggest problem for me was that I couldn't keep my head upright any more under braking, so my neck is not in such good shape after yesterday. That was the main issue. But we just didn't have the speed today. That's how it goes.

Q: We could see from the replays that you appeared to be looking forward in the cockpit as Lewis was coming down inside you into the first chicane.
Raikkonen: Yeah, the problem wasn't under braking. It was a bit hard to keep the head up. It didn't help, for sure. After when he passed me, first of all I couldn't have a good exit on any lap out of the last corner, and I knew they were very quick in there and on the straight. I tried to do my best but then he got too close and got past me, so after that I just slowed down and drove to the finish of the race.

Q: Surprising for Ferrari after their one-two in Turkey for things to be changing so quickly here at Monza.
Raikkonen: Probably this is a bit more like Montreal. We knew that McLaren would be fast here, very strong, so we knew from last week's test that we were not where we wanted to be. For sure they were strong here, stronger than us but I think once we go back to Spa it should level out a little bit. Then it will probably be closer again. But of course we wanted to win our home race but we couldn't do that, but we still got a podium, lost some points to McLaren but they were just better today.

Q: Well Kimi, you did a long stint on the softer tyres and seemed to do a very good job, particularly with a heavy fuel load.
Raikkonen: Yeah, the car was working pretty well, not ideal but it was not too bad actually. The first stint was probably better than the second stint. There was no problem with the tyres.

Q: Would you do a one stop again or do you think a two stop would have been better?
Raikkonen: I don't know. I don't think it would have made much difference for our final position. We were not quick enough in the end, so we couldn't really do better. That was the main problem.

Q: And when Lewis came out of the pits behind you, did you think second place or was it just a matter of time before he got you?
Raikkonen: I knew that they were going to be fast on new tyres. I had some other problems to deal with at that time and I tried but for sure I was expecting him to try to get past me. I did my best but it just wasn't good enough.

Q: When we spoke on the drivers' parade, you said you had a stiff neck but you weren't certain it was going to affect you in the race, or were you? Or did you fear it might?
Raikkonen: No, I already felt it yesterday in qualifying, so I pretty much expected it to be good fun in the race, but it turned out to be a bit worse than I expected.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, was this physically the most painful race for you?
Raikkonen: This year, probably yes. Not because of the circuit, but because of the problem yesterday.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, four races to go and you are still 18 points behind Lewis and 15 behind Fernando - do you still see a realistic chance?
Raikkonen: Yes of course, we still have a chance. It is not going to be easy because we lost some points again but you never know what is going to happen in the next races, so we keep pushing as long as we have a chance and then we see.

Q: (Ottavio Daviddi - Tuttosport) Kimi, you have a better position in the championship than Felipe. Do you expect that both the team and Felipe will support you to try and win the last races?
Raikkonen: I don't know. You need to ask the team. The main thing is we try to win the championship, which is going to be very difficult, but you never know. After the next two races, we will know if we have any chance or none at all, but I don't know what is going to happen in the next races.

Q: (Stephane Barbe - L'Equipe) Kimi, the next track in a very few days is very demanding. Do you think your neck will have recovered?
Raikkonen: It should be okay. If it had happened a few days earlier, the accident, probably wouldn't have any problem, but we have a week so it should be fine.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, Looking back, was there any way you could have kept Lewis behind you in that moment?
Raikkonen: I would have tried if there were any chance, but there wasn't any...

Belgian GP - Sunday - Press Conference
1. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h20m39.066s

Q: Kimi, from the pole, it looked like a perfect day for you. You were worried, before the race, perhaps, a little bit about your neck and also about a vibration or a feeling in the rear of the car in qualifying, but it looked to be perfect.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yes, I think so, not really any issues during the race. Only places were sometimes when you came up to lap some people it was pretty difficult because here it's pretty low downforce, so you seem to lose a lot of grip, so it was pretty hard to get past people. But it was the same for everybody. Apart from that, the car was very good, everything went well and it was a nice race.

Q: And the neck and problem with the rear of the car?
Raikkonen: We never found anything, so it was probably in my head. The neck is OK, it's not perfect but it's definitely OK and for sure it's going to be like normal in the next races, so that's not a worry. It was a perfect thing for the team, one-two, and they did everything right today.

Q: It is amazing how quickly things have turned around from Monza. Only a week ago, a very tough race against McLaren Mercedes, but dominant here in the Ardennes.
Raikkonen: We knew that we were going to be much stronger here than we were in Monza. We know the reasons why we cannot challenge on the circuits like Monaco, Monza, Montreal. We try to fix that problem for next year, hopefully we can, and then we should be pretty strong. This is more to do with aerodynamics and our car is strong in that area, so any circuits like this are going to be OK for us.

Q: Kimi, we just heard Fernando say that he thinks the circuits coming up will suit the McLaren-Mercedes. Your call - the next race, Japan obviously, a completely open book.
Raikkonen: I don't even know how the circuit looks, so it's pretty difficult for me to say but I heard that it might be not the best place for us but we will see. I think the last three races can go either way really. I think it's going to be a close call between the teams. For sure in qualifying we always seem to have a hard time against McLaren. In the races, in some places we can be stronger but overall I think we need to improve first in qualifying. We can always challenge or at least be better in the race, so we just try to keep working and try to improve but hopefully we can win more races.

Q: And in terms of the Drivers' championship you're only a win and a bit from Lewis Hamilton and Fernando now.
Raikkonen: Yeah, like I said before, we haven't given up and we are still in the hunt. We reduced the gap again. We lost a little bit in the last race but I think anything can happen. There are still three races to go. Everybody is so close and for sure we're going to fight hard, and sometimes you get it wrong and something can go wrong for all of us. We just keep pushing and see what happens. If we can do it, it would be amazing but it's going to be difficult, but we don't give up.

Q: What does it mean to win three races in a row here at Spa?
Raikkonen: For sure it's nice. For sure it's my favourite circuit, it was even before I came into Formula One, so it's nothing to do with if I win or lose here. I just like it here, but I think that's the reason that I have won here. It's just a good circuit.

Q: And now you've closed up on the McLarens as well, leading a Ferrari one-two.
Raikkonen: Yeah, but unfortunately there's still a long way to go but as I said before, we're still in the championship and we keep pushing hard, hopefully we can catch up more in the next races and see if we can do it anyway.

Q: It seemed to be a troublefree race; how was the car on the softer tyres? Felipe was saying his was really good.
Raikkonen: Yeah, actually I was a bit surprised. I thought that maybe the first two laps would be OK and then it would go away a little bit but it was very good. Both tyres were working very well. I think the soft could have been very fast if we had been pushing 100 percent, so no complaints on that side at all.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, how big was the temptation to try for the fastest lap again?
Raikkonen: I didn't want to risk anything. The car was very good but unfortunately you don't get any points for that. Sometimes you might do it for fun but I didn't have any temptations really on this one.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News) Kimi, we saw you do a bit of a donut spin there coming back into the pits. What happened?
Raikkonen: I lost it. (laughter) No, I have always wanted to do one and here it is much easier so... And it was the second race engine, so it doesn't really matter if you make life harder for it.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, you already talked about we are a long way into the title but does it give you any boost winning here?
Raikkonen: I think so, it doesn't matter if you win here or any other race. It helps me in the points and it helps me in the championship, so for sure it is much nicer to win than to finish third or fourth, or fifth, or second. I would rather win and have a better chance for the championship. That is what matters really.

Japanese GP - Sunday - Press Conference
3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 2h00m44.057s

Q: Kimi, a brilliant drive from you too from the back of the field, sadly - tell us about that decision off the line to be on the Bridgestone wet instead of the extreme wet and having to come in so early in the race?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: We made a decision to start on intermediates. It started to rain a little bit actually behind the safety car. That wasn't really the issue - it was more for me to be able to see anything - on the straight I couldn't see the car in front even if it was 50 metres in front of me. After the race, I heard there were some rules or they forced everybody to start on full wets but the FIA or the race control forgot to tell our team, and we had to pit again under the safety car. So it cost us a lot but there was nothing we could do at that point. All race I couldn't do much because I couldn't really see anything. I tried to get past people in the lowest part of the circuit because you could see more. I actually got past Heikki on the last lap but went a bit too fast, and he got me on the exit again. So the biggest problem for me was to see all of the other cars. It was quite a difficult race but at least we got something out of it.

Q: You did - a podium finish, and you're still alive in the World Championship. What was the car like in terms of the downforce level you had - it appeared you were pretty quick in a straight line but therefore had not a lot of grip in the corners? On that, you seemed to go off quite a lot but not lose a lot of time when you did go off?
Raikkonen: I aquaplaned off many times but just kept coming back. The car was set up for the dry, so it wasn't perfect for the wet. I thought that we had a good car but for sure if you are in front and you can see something, it makes it a lot easier. The whole race I tried to get past people. We lost points from Lewis again but we couldn't do much after the pit stop where we were forced to change the tyres.

Q: Kimi probably knows a fair amount about bad visibility as well, don't you?
Raikkonen: Yeah, I didn't have any visibility really during the race but that's part of coming from behind.

Q: It must have been really action-packed, coming all the way through from the back.
Raikkonen: Yeah, but as I said, the most difficult part is to try to see where the people are on the straight. If somebody slows down, there is no way to know. You're going full throttle, full speed on the straight and hoping nobody is slowing down because, for sure, you would hit him. When you get in low speed corners, it's much easier when you can see other cars. But it was pretty tricky.

Q: What are your feelings now about the championship?
Raikkonen: It doesn't look too good right now but there's nothing else that we could have done today, really, we did the best that we could. We lost points but there are still two races to go and we're still trying, we're still pushing and we'll see what happens.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, why was Ferrari the only team to chose to start with intermediate tyres, even if you didn't read this e-mail from the FIA? Considering the conditions was it not too much of a gamble?
Raikkonen: I don't know. It could have gone either way. I didn't have any problems really behind the safety car. The only problem was that I couldn't see anything but we didn't know any e-mails or any new rules that came up and they somehow forgot to tell us but it's quite an unfair situation to end up with, them forcing you to stop when you don't really want to but that's now behind us. We needed to stop because there were so many places but I don't know if it would have made a difference or not.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, how were you told to come in and change the tyres and what went through your mind at that moment?
Raikkonen: The team just told me that I must pit on the fifth lap or whatever it was. They didn't really know the reason why we were forced to at that point but then I heard after the race that there was some paper or some information given but they forgot to give it to our team.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) What did you think at that moment?
Raikkonen: Ah, nothing. I knew that I was forced to come in, so there was nothing that I could have done. The team didn't really know the reason, so we just tried to do the best that we could after that.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, did you have any problems with the fuel because you had two quite short fuel stops at the beginning of the race, and another one which was pretty long in time, considering how long Lewis pitted?
Raikkonen: No, we didn't.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) To Kimi. How did it feel to be on the podium, two Finns at the same time, and the third one trained by a Finnish guy?
Raikkonen: Ah, it's like any other podium really. I would rather be in the middle. Third place doesn't really give me anything.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, what about the Ferrari set-up? It looked like you were not as competitive in the wet as McLaren. Was it because you were hoping it would be drier, so that yesterday you were working with more of a dry set-up?
Raikkonen: It was exactly the same as it was in dry conditions, so we didn't change anything. We were not sure about the weather conditions today. We were expecting that they probably should have been better than yesterday but it wasn't, so it probably could have been better but I don't think that that really cost us anything. The car was pretty nice to drive today and yesterday.

Q: (Carole Capitaine - L'Equipe) A question for Kimi. How do you explain the last pit stop for Felipe at the end of the race when he was in front of you, was it planned or was it a help for you?
Raikkonen: You need to ask him.

Chinese GP - Sunday - Press Conference
7 OCTOBER 2007
1. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h37m58.395s

Q: Kimi, a fantastic win in difficult conditions. Lewis had the advantage early on but when it started raining at around lap 27 you came into your own?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, at the start of the race I had some problems with the front tyres graining and it was understeering way too much. I just kept pushing as much as I could. We expected to run quite a bit longer than Lewis and so it worked out well. After the pit stop I saw that he could not pull away anymore and I was catching him little by little, and with a little rain my car was pretty good. One time I went to pass him but there were too many yellow flags and I backed off, but in the end I could pass him and quite easily pull away. I waited for the right moment to change onto dry tyres and everything worked well and there was no problem.

Q: A great second phase of the race for you on the Bridgestone softer tyre. It looked like the white band had disappeared towards the end of the race. What were the conditions like for you as the track dried out?
Raikkonen: It was okay. I had basically a similar balance as on wet tyres at the start, too much understeer and I again just waited to get rid of the graining on the front and once the front came back I was able to keep the gap and push hard and open it up a little bit. I just waited long enough and was thinking that the front might not come back, but once it did the car was good. It was a bit tricky to get past people on only one dry line but everything worked well and the team did a good job. I'm very happy.

Q: You were about 8s ahead of Fernando, so was he still a pressure there for you?
Raikkonen: For sure, he was pushing hard and catching me at first when I had some problems with the front tyres, but once everything started to work I could keep the gap the same and knew we should be fine. I kept pushing because, you never know, if it rains again it can change the whole picture and I was happy to have some breathing space. Like I said, it all ended well, we are back in the championship and it will be interesting in the last race.

Q: Kimi, a three way championship fight going to Brazil, the first time that has happened since 1986. All three of you have fresh engines; it's a winner takes all situation, virtually?
Raikkonen: Not really, it depends on what happens to the others who will win. But for sure it will be interesting. I've no idea how the car will be. If we look at last year, Felipe won and Ferrari was strong, so hopefully the car will be good and it will be an interesting battle the whole weekend. It's not up to us only what happens but anything can happen as we saw today. We are in a better position than coming here, but it will still be very difficult.

Q: Kimi, a great win, you can now make your mind work at how you can turn this championship around?
Raikkonen: For sure we needed that. I always said we needed to win and I can't control what happens to the others. Today we scored more points than Hamilton and got back in the championship and the last race will be interesting. Things can go right or wrong for people, so we will push at the last race and see what we can do.

Q: What was it like on the worn tyres because at your first stop you just kept the tyres on?
Raikkonen: It was too dry to put any new sets on, it would have been way too slow, and in the end when it was wet it was quite tricky but I was much faster than Hamilton, so I was able to catch him quite quickly. But the problem was that there were yellow flags and every time I got alongside him I had to back off in case I got a penalty. I finally went past him when he made a mistake. The car felt pretty tricky at that stage and I think the rear tyres were in bad shape, but I was still able to set quite good lap times.

Q: You had one moment, on lap 38, I think?
Raikkonen: Where was that? I don't know. I can't remember.

Q: And otherwise no problems?
Raikkonen: The balance was quite tricky at the beginning, too much understeer and the front didn't work too well. While the circuit dried the car came back a bit and I just had to wait for that. I knew that we should have quite a bit more fuel in and so it was just being patient and waiting for the car to come back and start pushing again.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, this is the second time going into the last race that you had the possibility to win the championship. When you compare the situation now to 2003, what do you feel?
Raikkonen: I think I'm in a few points' better position right now, otherwise I don't think there's much difference. Different team but anything can happen, we just need to try to win the race and then see what happens to the others, same as we did here. I'm not really thinking about it too much. I'll just go there and do the same as here, or at least try to do so. We will see what we can do.

Q: (Balazs Vajta - Eszak Keleti Naplo) Question for Kimi. At the end of the race your left front tyre seemed very worn out. Were you worried at any moment or did you adapt your driving?
Raikkonen: Not really. Like I said, I had some problems with the graining, like Felipe. It took ages to clean up which is why it was a bit worn out but once it stopped graining and cleaned up it was good, a lot of grip, but of course the balance is not ideal because the tyres shouldn't be in that condition but it worked well after that, I got the front end working, so that's the main thing.

Q: (Flavio Vanetti - Corriere della Sera) Question for Kimi. In an interview published by The Guardian, Bernie Ecclestone said that Kimi would not be an ideal World Champion because he doesn't speak too much and Fernando because he didn't do many things for Formula One in the two years when he was champion. What do you think about this declaration?
Raikkonen: I think everyone has their own opinions. I don't really care too much what people say about me.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, were you really expecting at this point that you could win today, Lewis retiring and you would still be in the championship, or is it something that has surprised you a little bit?
Raikkonen: OK, we were hoping to have some bad... not bad luck but a difficult race for the other guys in front of me, but I was very confident that we could win in any conditions. The car has been very strong all weekend, so we knew in qualifying that we had good speed, so in this kind of race people make mistakes. That happened to Hamilton today. He lost many points, so it helped me a lot, helped Fernando a lot, but it's going to be very difficult to catch him but there's one race to go. I don't have anything to lose, so we keep pushing and see what we can do in the last race. Similar things can happen, so there is still hope. We will see.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, were you surprised to see so many Finnish flags here in China - more than in Hungary - and did that big support help you in any way?
Raikkonen: No, I don't think it helps a lot, I don't think about the flags when I'm driving but of course it's nice to see them, nice to see a lot of fans here. I think here and Japan there's always been a lot of Finnish fans, so I was a bit surprised that there were so many here, more than anything else, but it's always nice to see them.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Motor und Sport) Just before you pitted a few guys had already changed onto dry tyres and did remarkable laps like Wurz and Button, much faster than you did. Did you ever talk to your pits whether to change a little bit earlier onto dry tyres?
Raikkonen: No, I think we knew exactly what lap times everybody was doing. Felipe was out and he was faster but there are many reasons to wait. I was in a position where I didn't really need to come in too early. I was waiting to ensure that there was no more rain coming any more. For sure we knew that slicks were faster but you never know, you only need a little bit of rain again, maybe you have to change to rain tyres again, so I had enough of a gap to the others, so we could wait.

Brazilian GP - Sunday - Press Conference
21 OCTOBER 2007
1. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h28m15.270s

Q: It wasn't so long ago this season that you were saying really the chance has gone to win this championship and today, magically perhaps, it's all come right.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I don't remember that I was saying that. I think maybe somebody else was saying it, but for sure we were not in the strongest position at some points of the season, but we always believed that we can recover, we can do a better job than the others and even in the hard times everybody was sticking together and we didn't give up. It was good because as we saw in the end, even from a long way behind, we could reduce the gap and go ahead and win the championship, not just Constructors but also Drivers and I need to thank the team, they did a great job not just today but all year. Like I said, we had some hard time with some problems but we always work hard and improve the situation and I think we had a perfect teamwork, Felipe helping all the time also. We had a hard fight with him all year but then he unfortunately didn't score and he couldn't be in the fight any more, so he's been a big help also, and also the sponsors have been a big bonus for us. The team is very close, they've been doing a great job for us, improving the fuel and everything to help us with the new regulations, so for sure I'm going to enjoy today and probably the next month, but I'm very happy.

Q: But it was a beautifully clean race for you, a great race for the team as well, following Felipe, passing Lewis Hamilton into the first corner and then taking the lead in the second phase of pit stops.
Raikkonen: I got a very good start actually, side-by-side with Felipe but we didn't really want to race against each other too hard and the main thing was to get past Hamilton and then I saw his in the mirrors in the corner and I think he went off and I thought that maybe we had some chance now. We had very good speed in both cars. We were just taking it easy, saving the tyres and the cars. We could have gone much faster if we wanted to. It was perfect teamwork from the team and it paid off very well. It's not only been in this race but the whole year, so thanks to everybody.
Q: You're known as the Iceman but what was it like in the closing stages of the race, presumably your team saying 'Kimi, stay where you are, you're going to be World Champion.' What was going through your mind?
Raikkonen: Not much really, I wasn't really 100 percent sure because we weren't sure if somebody needed to stop in front of Lewis. He was seventh then even he had finished and I finished the race but there were people who needed to finish and we didn't know 100 percent, so I was just really waiting and it took a long time to hear that we finally won it and it's amazing, after the last few races, being up and down and we scored good points even in difficult situations, so it's been a good finish of the season and great work from everybody and I'm very happy, it was an amazing day.

Q: Kimi, it is beginning to sink in now no doubt, your 15th win, perhaps you could reflect on your career a little bit, where you've come from in Finland, the struggle to get here and what it means to win the World Championship.
Raikkonen: I think it's very difficult to put it into words, but for sure, it wasn't the best place to start in racing. I came from pretty much nothing, but the family put in a lot of effort always, our friends, our cousins and all the sponsors in the beginning helped us to get here but it was a long time ago. I've had great people behind me, great managers to help me here and the teams that I've driven for have got close to the championship a few times but I have never been able to really be there at the right moment. This year it looked like it was getting away again, but we have a great team, so we put everything together and just believed in ourselves and worked. Probably nobody else was thinking about us anymore but we knew that we still had a chance, so I need to give a bit of thanks to the team. I love the team, I have such a good time with the team, I enjoy Formula One much more now than last year. I have much better feelings from this year than any other year, so I must say to all the people who have been helping me: thanks to them. For sure, there have been hard times in the career, but that's normal for everybody and this is what I've always wanted and I've got it now so anything that comes after this can only be a plus. We're just going to go next year and try to do it again. It's going to be difficult but we will see what we can do.

Q: Well done Kimi, at the start of the season, could you have imagined that, even this morning?
Raikkonen: The start of the season was good! We were in the same position as we finished, so it was good, but for sure, we had some hard times, we had some reliability problems and we lost quite a lot of points. At one point, people were saying that we weren't in the championship anymore, but we showed them that they were wrong. We were able to come back and we came back strongly in the end, and it was great teamwork from all the people, from Felipe and the guys on the team, so it was a great season.

Q: What were your feelings this morning when you came in?
Raikkonen: For sure it was really like any other race for me. There were some people who said for sure I was going to win but I didn't take them too seriously really. There were so many things that needed to go our way today but it all really happened on the first lap. We made a good start and certain things went in our direction and then after that we had a very good car, we were able to keep the pace as we wanted and try to just make sure we were one and two and hope that the rest went right for us.

Q: I guess it was vital to overtake Lewis at the start.
Raikkonen: It was. I expected to get past him at the start. We've had a very good start system since maybe the third or fourth race this year. I almost got into first place but we didn't want to take too much risk between me and Felipe, so it was most important to get in front of Lewis and that worked out well, and then we just tried to do the best that we can.

Q: And really the pace of the Ferraris today was phenomenal.
Raikkonen: Yeah, but if we want to go faster we probably could have gone a second faster, so the pace was there all the time. The car was great, the tyres worked very well even though there were some question marks whether they were going to last but for us the car was very good.

Q: And of course your pace as well when Felipe went for the second stop, you had a couple of laps extra.
Raikkonen: Of course, yes, that was a crucial moment but like I said, we had it planned, we knew what we wanted to do as a team. We had a clear picture of that, so we were not really racing against each other, so a big thanks to the team, a big thanks to Felipe. That's what we needed and that's what we got.

Q: And what were you shouting on the radio on the slowing down lap?
Raikkonen: Not really shouting too much, just thanking the team, waiting to get the confirmation whether we won or not. A really great feeling, it's been many years... two times quite close but it never really happened and this year was looking like it was going to be one of those again but it was a good job by us to come back and we did it in the end. For sure, I know that this hurts for Lewis, because you've been working for a whole year and then when you lose it, it's not a nice feeling and it's a long time before you can try to win it again or even get close. You never know. You try to take it when it comes and it worked well for us this year. It was close but then that's how it should be and we won in the end.

Q: Just one point...
Raikkonen: Yeah, I lost it a couple of years ago by two points. Luckily we were on the right side this time, but it's a great year for everybody, I think. For sure there has been a lot of different talk about the whole situation between teams and drivers, but I think that has only made it more exciting for everybody, so sometimes it's good for the sport and for sure much more fun.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, I feel great and I can see that you feel great, very great. Do you feel even greater if Marcus wins the world rally title?
Raikkonen: Good for him, good for Finland, yes, but nothing changes in my life, so I am happy for him if he wins and it will be hard for him. But I am going to enjoy my own victory now as the world champion, so we will see what happens in the other races. I am not too interested in that now.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) How much did the team tell you about the positions of Lewis and Fernando during the race and how much did you think about the points during the race?
Raikkonen: Actually, I saw it on the first lap when Lewis went off and I think at the third corner I saw that Fernando got past him and then in corner four Lewis went off. So I knew he had hurt his chances for a podium at that point, but they were telling me about his problem or something that had happened so, from that point, we knew we had a better chance now than we had had for many races. For sure, I knew what was happening behind me but I knew we needed just to make our own race and try to be one and two and then it was not up to us, just what was going to happen, so it was the main thing just to go the whole way.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Do you think that after the Spy Story there is some kind of justice in this final result?
Raikkonen: I think so, maybe, yes. It is so difficult to say. It is such a complicated situation. And I think that it has now been decided and we should put it behind us and there is no point in thinking about it anymore. It's a different story from racing, so it is not a nice thing. Unfortunately it was a big thing this year and so let's hope it doesn't happen again in future.

Q: (Timo Kunnari - Iltalehti) Kimi, tell us about your feelings as a champion? Are you going to dance the samba tonight?
Raikkonen: I don't know about dancing. I am not going to be in condition for dancing. We will just see what happens tonight - for sure we are going to have a big party, not just tonight but next week and I felt great after the race, a good feeling, but it has been a long season and it is hard to realise that we finally did it after many years and in my first year here at Ferrari and because it has been not in our minds to be a world champion because it seemed so far away, but we managed to come back and win it. So it is hard to believe that it happened. I feel great but it will take a little time to have the real feeling.

Q: (Valeria Zukeran - O Estado De Sao Paulo) Kimi, you have a reputation for being an unlucky driver, but today a lot happened and you won the championship?
Raikkonen: I don't know. I never said I am really unlucky. I don't believe in luck too much - it is down to hard work and sometimes you do things wrong and sometimes you have problems, but today we needed help from the others and it turned out to be good for us. Sometimes this year we have had hard times in the races when we have been leading and something has gone wrong. But today everything went right and worked out for us beautifully. I don't know if it is luck or whatever but I take it. It was good and that is the main thing.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport) In your first season with Ferrari you have won the championship - only Fangio has done this before. How do you feel to be compared to this great champion? And how is your feeling to see McLaren beaten in the last race, the team you were with for five years?
Raikkonen: Like I said before, I enjoyed every moment with the team. I enjoy Formula One more this year than the last few years for many reasons, but not because of the driving - for other reasons. And I am more than happy to win the championship with Ferrari, especially the first year with the team has been a great year overcoming all difficulties and giving me such a nice big family and great people to work with - and I would rather win with them than with anybody else.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News) Kimi, how do you see yourself coping with the increased media demands of being an ambassador for the sport and world champion?
Raikkonen: For sure, I will have more appearances and it is not going to really change my life too much and people will probably look differently at me and make more stories about me and my stuff, but I am not going to change myself. I never have before and I don't know what is going to happen in the future. So I will have to be more careful whatever I do. So we will see what happens. Maybe you should ask Fernando because he can tell - he won it before and he can say if he changed a lot or not. I am not going to worry about it and I am going to lead my life as I want and that's it.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, what was the best of your six victories?
Raikkonen: It is very difficult to say which is the best. For sure, this was the most important. We won the championship with this one-two for the team, so if you look at what is most important, ok, every race, every win is important, but this one when it decides everything is the best I would say. It is hard to compare wins, when you win it is nice but this brings more out of you because we won the championship and not just one race.

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