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Kamis, 13 November 2008

2008: 9 Podiums


Malaysian GP – Sunday – Press Conference
23 MARCH 2008
1. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h31m18.555s

Q: Kimi, that was a fantastic win and from the start it looked like a very close race between you and your team-mate Felipe Massa.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, I think so. We were pretty similar speed-wise. Once he went into the pits my car got much better because when you are one or two seconds behind it is a massive difference. I was able to go much quicker on my in-lap and I could pass him. After that when you are in free air the car was handling perfectly and I was able to pull away. After a few laps I don't know what happened to him but it was a pretty easy race after that first pit stop.

Q: You were obviously outqualified by him by a small margin. In retrospect did that reflect the fuel load or was the car a lot better on race day than it had been on Saturday?
Raikkonen: I think sometimes that we still have some difficulties to get the qualifying right. It was good in Q2 but then in qualifying two we could not find the grip with the tyres. But we knew we were running one lap longer, so I was not really panicking. The car usually has been much stronger in the race for us than in the qualifying, so as long as we kept close I thought we would have a good chance to pass him and it worked out in the first pit stop already. The car was very good all weekend but sometimes with new tyres it is difficult to get the best out of it. The team did a great job this weekend.

Q: You seemed to make a pretty good start. Talk us through the first corner as it was pretty close there and for a moment it looked as if perhaps you might have a go.
Raikkonen: Yeah, I got alongside Felipe. I got a bit better start but in the situation I knew that we would run one lap longer, so we didn't want to risk it between the team-mates in the first corner. Maybe if I had pushed harder I could have made it past, but I decided to stay behind and try my move at the pit stop. I think that was better for everybody and it worked out perfectly.

Q: The Malaysian Grand Prix, traditionally, is a very tough race particularly in terms of the heat. But you jumped out of the car and looked pretty fresh when you got out.
Raikkonen: It wasn't too bad really. Of course it is hotter than any other race. Australia was hot but in here it is so humid but for me it was okay. There was a small issue on the podium.

Q: There was champagne under the eye-lid there.
Raikkonen: Yeah, we should put it in the mouth not in the eye. Things go wrong sometimes. Anyway it has been a perfect weekend.

Q: Kimi, what a fantastic bounce back for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team after that weekend in Australia?
Raikkonen: For sure we had quite a difficult weekend in Australia. We didn't really expect to have such difficulties and we were 100 per cent sure that it was going to be different here. Speed-wise we knew that we were going to be fine once we were in the right place. Even in Australia the speed should have been okay in the race. Everything worked perfectly here and we took it quite easy in the race to make sure nothing went wrong. We still have a second race with the same engine, so we saved the engine quite well here. It was a perfect job by the team after a difficult first race to come back like this. Overall we would have been happier if Felipe had been on the second place but things go wrong sometimes. This is a good start now for the season for us and we are in a pretty good position.

Q: Kimi, congratulations. It has really looked good all weekend, hasn't it?
Raikkonen: Yeah, I think so. The car has been good all weekend. Of course we had a small problem in first practice on Friday. The car was not exactly what we wanted in qualifying but we knew that we should have a good race pace and it worked out perfectly.

Q: Who have you felt most threatened by during the weekend?
Raikkonen: For sure Felipe has been fast but like I said from last year already that the qualifying has not really been the strongest point. Again we had a good Q2, then the tyres didn't work as well in the final qualifying. That was a bit disappointing but I mean we knew that the car would be strong in the race and we would stop one lap later. We put a lot of effort on that and it worked out good.

Q: Do you think your pace was comparable to Felipe?
Raikkonen: We were very close in the first stint. Once he went into the pit my car was much faster. When you do not have anybody in front of you it improves a lot. After the pit stop we were quite easy to pull away from him in the clear air. It is always difficult to follow people close and you need to be very close to be able to pass them at the pit stops so it makes it more difficult.

Q: And after that quite a lonely race, really.
Raikkonen: Yeah. For sure we could have gone much faster if we had pushed but we had already turned the engines down before the first pit stop, after the first laps, so it was quite easy for us.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi and Heikki, this was the greatest ever Grand Prix result for Finnish drivers. How does it feel to be a Finn and when will we see a one-two result?
Raikkonen: It hasn't changed anything, even the results, for me at least. For sure it was a good day for Finns but it's still early season. Hopefully at some point we will be one and two, but I will be looking for first place all the time and a best possible overall result. It was a good day for us.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, were you surprised at the start when Felipe was closing on you a little bit?
Raikkonen: Not really. I think I had enough space. He was pushing me a little bit on the right side but that's racing. It was OK.

Q: (Mark Danby - Auto Magazine China) Kimi, did your tyres behave to your expectations at the end of each stint?
Raikkonen: No. The first stint was the most difficult because I was quite close to Felipe so, like I said, once he came into the pits, the car suddenly felt much better. It's always when you're one or two seconds behind somebody that there's still a massive effect on the aerodynamics. Apart from that, it was very good, the tyres felt perfect. I think the soft tyre could have been the faster one in the end, but of course we didn't push any more in the last two stints.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, after the quite disastrous race in Australia, how much more confidence do you take from this race that the rest of the season will be OK?
Raikkonen: We never lost confidence in our team. Of course we had quite a difficult race in Australia, but the whole winter the car has been working well, it's been quick. Unfortunately we had some problems which we didn't really expect at the first race and hopefully we can get rid of them like here where we didn't have any issues but you never know, we're still not one hundred percent happy with things. We still try to improve them but for sure, we have confidence in the team, in the car, in the people, so we will definitely do the best that we can, and hopefully we can be fast again in the next race.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, were you surprised McLaren were so far behind you?
Raikkonen: No, I think it's been the same all weekend. I already said in Australia that our speed should be fine. When you start behind someone, as in Australia, you can never use your own speed. Australia is not exactly a normal circuit, so sometimes you get slightly wrong results there. Last year we were much faster than everybody there, and coming here we were not so happy anymore, so it's a bit the opposite now. I think the next race can be different again, so we need to wait and see and after a few races we will get a clearer picture where we are exactly.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Kimi, in the lap that you came in for the first pit stop, you did the best T1 and T2 times of the race at that stage. Could you do that with Massa in front of you or did you expect him to go into the pits to do that?
Raikkonen: Like I said already, when he went in my car got much better because I was quite close. It always affects the car. I think it needs to be around six seconds in front of you before you don't feel anything anymore. I was only less than two seconds, so once he pulled in my car just got much quicker and I was able to go more than half a second faster on the in lap. It was enough, we knew that it was going to be close and it worked out perfectly. Once I was in front of him the car was much better in the second stint and I was able to pull away.

Bahrain GP - Sunday - Press Conference
6 April 2008
2. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h31m10.309s

Q: Kimi, you have taken the lead in the World Championship but an interesting day for you. Playing catch-up virtually from the start, but a nice pass around the outside of Robert in the second lap there.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: The whole weekend has been pretty difficult, one of those things when we cannot really get the car right. But anyhow it was one of those bad weekends but I still finished second and the next race might be completely different again. We are leading the championship which is the main thing and we know that we have the speed once we get everything right. The race was quite difficult but anyhow I am happy with second.

Q: Putting the handling problems with the car to one side, you had a slight delay in the first pit stop and came in a little bit early at the second stop.
Raikkonen: In the second stop we had an easy time because we were one-two and we were not really racing against each other. We knew when we were going to stop, so we took it pretty easy. The first stop I had some difficulties. There was some problem with the light system, so it took a bit longer but it didn't change much the things in the race. I was second, but like I said, it was a difficult weekend, so second is a good outcome.

Q: There were phases of the race where you were setting fastest laps and putting pressure on Felipe. Even at that point how was the car handling and how did you feel in the car?
Raikkonen: I mean it hasn't been perfect all weekend. The problem is that one lap is good but the next lap is different and we haven't really found the perfect mid-way if you like but that's life. I have never been too happy on this circuit but out of these first three races it is really important to get as many points as possible. Usually after that the season really starts, so I am happy to be leading going back to Europe and hopefully we can be really strong in the next races.

Q: Kimi, you don't seem to be terribly excited about coming second, but having said that, it's better than coming third again.
Raikkonen: Yeah, of course we want to win races but we've been a bit off-pace all weekend, one of those difficult weekends when we just don't seem to get things as we want but second is still a good place to finish. We are leading the championship now, so if we can score second places I'm not too disappointed, but of course we would rather win than be second.

Q: Tell us about the overtaking manoeuvre on Robert.
Raikkonen: I don't think it was anything special, really. He went to defend the line on the inside and I did my normal braking on the clean side. It's really quite difficult here when you try to defend when you're not on the clean braking area, to know when to brake, so I had the advantage there, so I went round the outside.

Q: Were you much affected by the oil on the circuit?
Raikkonen: Yes, the same as everyone else. We needed to try and drive around the oil and I really didn't know when it was a good moment to try to use the proper line because I didn't really want to go off the circuit, so I took it pretty easily. But it was quite tricky for many laps but anyhow, not too bad.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Kimi, you said that you didn't have an ideal car all weekend, but Massa says the car was perfect. You tested for six days here in February, can you explain that?
Raikkonen: Well, it's completely different conditions from when we were here, we knew that. It just didn't work for me this weekend so there's not much to explain.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Was it the set-up?
Raikkonen: I said that we couldn't get it working this weekend, the set-up, that's all. It's a small thing but sometimes when you cannot really get it right it makes your life a bit difficult but that's racing and it's not the first time. We were still second, so it's OK.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, what did you think when you saw Lewis stall at the start?
Raikkonen: I didn't really know what happened to him, I just knew that I got a better start than him and of course that was good for us. He was leading the championship, so we knew that we should be able to beat them anyhow but if they don't score points it's even better for us. I don't know exactly how the points are but I'm leading and whoever is second it's good for me. We caught up a lot in the Constructors' championship also. I think we are only one point behind now, so one race can make a big difference, so I think overall it's been a very good weekend for the team.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Kimi, when you tried to approach Massa, did you try to put pressure on him? Did you really believe that you could overtake him?
Raikkonen: We knew when the other was stopping, so I knew that I was going to stop earlier. Of course, you always try to overtake but when you stop first, there's a very small chance. I was just pushing as normal and tried to get close to him. Sometimes when I got close he would pull away, so it didn't really change much overall during the race. So after the last pit stop I just cruised around, so there was nothing I could really do.

Q: (Anne Giuntini - L'Equipe) Question to Kimi: yesterday you told us that maybe another strategy could have been better for you. Can you tell us which kind of strategy you would have preferred?
Raikkonen: No, I was pretty happy with what we had. We knew after qualifying within the team where we were. Of course we didn't know about other teams but we had some idea and I think it worked pretty well today. We didn't really have the speed to win anyhow, so it worked well for second place.

Spanish GP - Sunday - Press Conference
27 April 2008
1. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h38m19.051s


Q: Kimi, pole position, fastest lap and it looked like you were in control from minute one of the race. A perfect day at the races for you?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yes, but I didn't get the perfect start. But anyhow it was good enough to stay in front. If we had wanted we could have gone a bit faster but there is no point to push it when you don't need to. I think it was closer than we expected but saying that there were many safety cars, so without them maybe it would have been looking a little bit different. It was a good day - everything was brilliant. I am happy that Heikki (Kovalainen) seems to be okay after his accident. I cannot ask anything more as the guys did perfect work apart from the second pit stop when I had two cars in traffic, so it took a little bit too long to get out and I had to wait a bit for them to pass me. Apart from that it was okay.

Q: It appears it was your great pole lap which allowed you to get the lead in the race.
Raikkonen: This circuit is very difficult to overtake. The start is the best place and when you have a lot of things going with the safety car you might be lucky or very unlucky, so the best place to try to win is always from the front. It was good yesterday and it really helped us today. We had good speed all weekend.

Q: What were the track conditions like today?
Raikkonen: Not too bad. I had one incident in corner three when I was coming in for my first pit stop. There was massive understeer and then the front bites, so I always got sideways. Of course sometimes when you get those unexpected things and it happens in one lap it is more luck than anything else you do not get off. But apart from that the conditions were pretty good today.

Q: Kimi, focussing on Turkey now and Ferrari are obviously very strong there as well.
Raikkonen: I think so. If you look what happened here last year it was quite similar. Last year was a different race. Our car should be quite strong in Turkey. It is a great circuit and I am looking forward to going there and trying to do the best job we can. As a team we had a great weekend here and we will try to repeat it in Turkey and hopefully we can do it. Whatever it brings we need points and whatever we get is always a bonus.

Q: Kimi, it looked like a pretty perfect day, was the car perfect?
Raikkonen: Yeah, it was pretty good. We could still improve it. We always try to improve it but it was very nice, very good balance all the time, so it wasn't too bad.

Q: It looked as if you lost a little bit of time on the harder tyres in comparison to the McLaren. Both of you were lapping at the same pace, roughly speaking, but the McLaren was lapping quite a lot quicker on the harder tyres for the first two or three laps.
Raikkonen: We didn't need to push. If we wanted to push, we could go much faster, for sure, but there's no point in risking anything or using the engine more than you needed to. The first thing was that they were trying to catch us and the second thing was that they would try to overtake, but if they don't even catch us, it's fine. In the last part of the race, you don't see the true speed of most of the people, they slow down if they can.

Q: You also lost a little bit of time to Felipe for about two or three laps round about lap 40.
Raikkonen: No, I lost some time in the traffic with the same car. I think it was Sato twice. He wasn't too helpful but apart from that, I don't know if something happened. There was no problem with the car. Maybe I made a mistake or had traffic. I don't remember.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, first of all, when you saw Heikki's car in the tyre wall, what did you think?
Raikkonen: First of all, we didn't know which McLaren it was. I asked the team and they said it was Heikki. It probably looked worse than it was in the end. Luckily he seems to be OK, so that's the main thing.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) You now have a nine point lead in the championship. How much easier does it make your life?
Raikkonen: It doesn't change anything, so far. It's a good advantage but there are 14 races to go. You have one bad race and it's all gone. There's a little safety in it, in that if you don't finish one race it's not totally disastrous afterwards, but so far it's been good. We just need to keep on going and try to improve the car.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Kimi, were you afraid at the second pit stop when you were two seconds slower than Felipe? Did you think you could lose your lead?
Raikkonen: You're always thinking about it because you're going slower and the other guys are going full speed on the circuit but it was only because there was traffic coming when my car was being refuelled and I needed to wait, because there were two cars, Lewis and a BMW at the same time, so I just needed to wait. Once they went, I could leave my pit. You cannot see but the team always tries to tell me (what's going on) and I had a reasonable gap, so I didn't really worry about it too much, but you would rather go when you can and not have to wait.

Q: (Rodrigo Franca - VIP Magazine) Question for Kimi and Felipe: Michael Schumacher was here all weekend. How much did he help you and Felipe to win this race, and during the tests and during the briefings etc?
Raikkonen: I saw him yesterday for the first time, so I think he's helpful for the team overall. During the season he did some tests but I do my work with the engineers and he's not involved. He's a part of the team and he's always been there, so if we wanted some help from him, he would help, for sure.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, in 2005 you won the race almost in a similar fashion and you said after the race that it was very boring. How was the feeling now? Was it as boring as it was then?
Raikkonen: I think my race was much easier that race. OK, we had a safety car then also, but it was on the first lap, so it was a pretty clear race. Now, during the race when you get the safety car, you have got to get back together, you never know if they have even more fuel or less fuel and you need to push again. For sure, I needed to push all the time, so it wasn't the easiest.

Turkish GP - Sunday - Press Conference
11 MAY 2008
3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h26m53.722s

Q: Kimi, a good points' scoring day for you. Tell us about that first corner incident with Heikki Kovalainen which resulted in a puncture for your compatriot.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I didn't have a very good start. I got to the side of him on the braking. Then I got a little bit squeezed on the inside and I tried to slow down and get behind him, but he just turned in a little bit. The unfortunate thing for both of us is that I broke the front wing and he had a puncture. It didn't help for either of us. We chose to use the front wing for the whole race because it takes too long to change it and it wasn't too bad. The weekend was a little bit difficult but at least we got some good points and we need to get a better weekend at the next race.

Q: What was the handling like with the broken front wing as you did set the fastest race lap?
Raikkonen: It wasn't too bad, but it never helps as the end of the wing was damaged. It is difficult to say how much better or different it would have been with the proper wing but for sure it doesn't help you.

Q: Part of that was starting on the slow, the dirty side of the grid, which was the result of a relatively poor qualifying for you. Can you talk us through your problems up to qualifying?
Raikkonen: It wasn't the best qualifying for me, but it has been my weakest points. We had a bit more fuel than the others which is one reason but also the lap wasn't as good as I wanted. But anyhow I think it all started on Friday when we had a problem. But like I said we had a difficult weekend but I am still happy being in third place and we didn't lose too many points. It is early season and we still have good points, so we will see what we can do in the next few races. The next two races last year were very difficult for us so we need to see how strong we can be and hopefully we can challenge for wins and go from there.

Q: Kimi, you were saying you weren't too badly affected by the front wing damage, could you see what it was, could you feel it at all?
Raikkonen: I knew pretty much what had happened. I hit the rear wheel of Heikki and the bottom of the end plate came off. I didn't look at the end how much it was damaged but for sure it doesn't help, but it's difficult to say how much the difference was.

Q: Are you in agreement with Felipe that perhaps the harder tyre was easier to use?
Raikkonen: Yeah, if I'd chosen now I would go onto the harder tyres at the first pit stop but it's too late. I think the first set of soft worked pretty well for me, but the second set, when it was new, was quite difficult and it was at a point when we needed to be faster, so that's one of the reasons that we lost second place, but anyhow, it's been a difficult weekend, so third place is the best we could do.

Q: Did you pretty much settle for third, one hoped you would have a go at Lewis at the end?
Raikkonen: For sure we tried to be in second place but we couldn't, so I would rather take third than anything else.

Q: (Will Buxton - Australasian Motorsport News) You've pretty much all admitted that the hard tyre is the one you would have preferred to have been on all weekend for the race. With that in mind and looking at the final stage of the race - the only time you were on the same fuel weights - how much do you feel the teams are now more on an even playing field, given that your sector times were pretty much identical to each other for the last ten/fifteen laps?
Raikkonen: It's the same answer really. It's very difficult to say. Everybody did slightly different things, so you cannot really be a hundred per sure, but I still think that once we get everything running, we can win all the races, so every race we at least have a chance. For sure it's closer now than it was a few races ago but I still think we have a good car and a good package.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, this was certainly a weekend where the nine point lead that you had coming here helped you. What are your thoughts about the championship, still having a seven point lead after such a problematic weekend?
Raikkonen: Like I said before, this race is early in the season and it's good to have a little gap to the others but we already saw today - or this weekend - that if you cannot get everything out of the car then you are going to lose some points. We've lost a few points now but it doesn't change too much. I don't worry about it too much. We go race by race and try to win and try to gain the points on the others, but sometimes you need to be happy with what you get and today was one of those days, so this weekend I was never really where I wanted to be but six points is still good.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Moto und Sport) Kimi, you lost two positions going into the first corner, was it not such a good start due to the line you had to start on or was there a technical problem?
Raikkonen: The inside line is never going to be as good as the clean side but also, when I was side-by-side with Heikki and then he was turning in and I needed to slow down because otherwise we would have hit hard, so both of us were pretty slow in the corner, so I think people came round the outside. I think Kubica or somebody else came and passed us. I lost some places there but it all started to go wrong at that point.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado do Sao Paulo) Kimi, after seeing Hamilton in front of you after the last pit stop, did you believe it was possible for you to overtake him?
Raikkonen: It's always difficult to overtake but we tried, we tried to push him but unfortunately we couldn't get close enough because we knew that we have good straight-line speed on the back straight but if you don't get close enough... I was always catching him but I was too far away, so there was nothing that we could do.

French GP - Sunday - Press Conference
22 JUNE 2008
2. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h32m08.229s

Q: Kimi, I guess you are delighted to score points in a race where you had a relatively serious mechanical failure on the car.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, it is disappointing in the end having a good car all weekend, being on pole, leading it quite easily and then having a problem with the car. But, unfortunately, that happens sometimes. In one way we are still lucky to finish the race and get eight points as in the last couple of laps the car almost stopped a few times. I mean even though it is disappointing not to win when we should still have, I still take the eight points and it looks much better now in the championship. I am in a more confident position and it was a great result for the team, just an unlucky situation.

Q: We could see problems with the exhaust just from the half distance. What was it like from your point of view driving the car in terms of what you felt?
Raikkonen: We just lost massive power. That was the biggest problem. Sometimes you just lost all the power and then it came back. It was slow in a straight line and especially out of low speed corners it was difficult. But luckily we went fast enough in the beginning to go away from the others and we had enough of a gap in the end but I expect a few more laps and we would not have finished second. Like I said before it is disappointing not to win but eight points is good for the championship. It is a good result for the team and everybody did their best but unfortunately things didn't go right but that happens as we have seen in races before. We still had a one-two which is great.

Q: How bad was the problem when the rain started towards the end of the race? What was the response from the car?
Raikkonen: It was like bad traction control with no power out of the corners. It got a little bit slippery in some places but it did quite a lot of damage to the car, so it is good that we finished the race.

Q: Tell us about the start and those early stages as your car was phenomenal?
Raikkonen: It was good. It has been good all weekend, so it is a bit disappointing not to win, but that's racing. Things go wrong sometimes and luckily enough we still got second place, so it is better than nothing.

Q: Was there anything you could do with the car? Was there anything you could change with a setting like that?
Raikkonen: Not really, no. The exhaust broke and it changes all the setting and you burn a big hole on the side of the car. In the last few laps it almost stopped a few times so I think a few more laps and we would not have finished the race. Luckily the car was strong enough and it lasted, so even with the broken exhaust we were still fast enough and we had enough gap to the third place, so we were able to keep the second place.

Q: Even after you lost the lead to Felipe you managed to match him on times.
Raikkonen: Yeah, I don't know if he was full speed or not. For sure we could have gone much, much faster without the problem. But like I said, luckily enough we were fast enough in the first place, so that even with the problems we could still match the other people's speed and get a good second place. It is a bit disappointing but a good result for the team. We were a bit unlucky but still a good place to finish.

Q: You needed the points?
Raikkonen: Yeah, it is not ideal but for the team it is good. It is a long championship and we have been in worse positions, so we will see what we can do.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Germany) Kimi, what did you feel in the car at the moment when the exhaust broke and what did the team tell you? Did you think the race would be over already?
Raikkonen: Basically I just lost power. Then I told them that I had lost power and basically then I told them what was wrong because I saw in the mirror that the exhaust pipe was hanging on one of the cables at the back of the car. Usually when that happens it doesn't take too long before something else goes wrong but luckily the car was strong enough, the engine was strong enough. Even with a big problem like that we could still do pretty good lap times and finish second.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Moto und Sport) Kimi, when the problem started, you had lap times of high 1m19s and 1m20s and then you dropped down later on to 1m18s. What did you change in your driving style to drive that fast with your problem?
Raikkonen: Basically the problem kept changing. Sometimes it was a little bit worse, sometimes a bit better. It really depended on how the engine behaved. Luckily enough, after a few laps it started to work a little bit better and then in the end it got really worse again and it almost stopped, but we made it to the finish and that was the main thing.

Q: (Asen Stoyanov - Monitor) What do you think about the idea of having a French Grand Prix on the streets of Paris, in 2010 maybe?
Raikkonen: There is always a lot of speculation where the races are going to be in a few years but there's no point in really talking about it before we get the green light and it's going to happen. It's just wasting time really.

Hungarian GP - Sunday - Press Conference
3 AUGUST 2008
3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h37m43.923s

Q: Kimi, for most of the race you were trapped behind Alonso. But it all came alive for you in the last stint.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Yeah, I think we could have managed to do the race a little bit better but we were stuck behind Alonso all the way to the second stop. Then on the in-lap I was eight-tenths faster on my own but it was a bit late at that point. But at least we had a good car and we got in front of him and I was able to catch Timo but we needed to back off in the end. We were a bit lucky with all of the other people going all over the place and ended up with most points of the first three guys in the championship. I mean we have the speed in the race but if I can't get the qualifying right we are going to end up every race in the same situation like here and in the last race, so we need to sort it out. If we can be in the front, then we can fight for wins but in this position when we are just following people, then we cannot use the speed. The guys did a good job but we just need to fix a few problems and for sure we can be back in the hunt for wins.

Q: Did you think there would be a possibility to pass Timo?
Raikkonen: I was ready to try anything. I don't really care if I had lost a win but unfortunately we needed to back off. We were much faster like we were with Alonso but it is so difficult if the guy in front does not make a mistake, it is really, really difficult to get past. You need to get something very special in one corner to get close enough. But at least we got him behind but unfortunately I could not try to pass him. But third place in the end after what was a very difficult week for me was a good result.

Q: Kimi, where do you think the balance of power now lies?
Raikkonen: I think it is still very, very close and it is very difficult to draw any conclusions who is ahead. It just depends whoever nails it on the day. It is so sensitive at the moment that if you don't get the set-up perfect and if you don't get the tyres feeling perfect and if you don't get your driving perfect there are going to be three or four guys ahead of you straight away. I think it is quite interesting. I think it is really spectacular for all the fans. For us it puts a lot of pressure on everybody to maximise everything but it should be a very interesting end of the season with all the teams pushing very hard to see who comes out on top at the end.

Q: Kimi, I think a lot of people might have said that Ferrari didn't seem to be potential winners today, but Felipe was leading, you're on the podium. Did you have confidence throughout the weekend?
Raikkonen: We had a pretty fast car all the time. Felipe was very unlucky today. For myself, it's been quite a disappointing weekend but in the end we got a pretty good result. We have the speed in the race but if we cannot qualify, we cannot use it and we saw that again today. Most of the race I was stuck behind Alonso and once I got on my own, I could go almost a second faster on my in-lap. We need to get something sorted and get in the front and then we can fight for wins, for sure. The car seems to be working well, we just need to find a good set-up again. It's been a bit difficult for me in the last few races but we are still in the championship, so it's not too bad.

Q: What were the messages you were getting before that final, crucial pit stop?
Raikkonen: Yeah, I think we could have managed to do it slightly better at the beginning of the race but in the end we thought it's going to be close and we were probably going to stop on the same lap and I went off a little bit just before the pit stop. Luckily he (Alonso) came in one lap earlier and I could go very fast on the in-lap but the problem was that when I made a mistake I dropped off a little bit but I was fast enough to get in front of him. We had a very good pit stop, that was the big key point and then I was fast enough to catch up with Timo but then I needed to slow down.

Q: And on the softer tyres?
Raikkonen: It was good all the time but it's difficult to say with the harder tyres only. The in-lap was very good but I was like a second all the time behind Alonso, so you get the wrong idea from the car and you cannot use the speed. When I was on my own, the car was fast, so we just need to get in the front in the first place to use the speed.

Q: And what sort of message did you get after Felipe had stopped?
Raikkonen: I saw him stop, unfortunately, on the main straight. I didn't know what had happened but they told me that probably it was something do with the engine, so they just said to take it a little bit easier.

Q: (Istvan Simon - Auto Magazine) Did this extreme heat disturb your performance on the track today?
Raikkonen: It was OK. It's harder for the cars, for everybody, but it was no problem.

Q: (Anne Giuntini - L'Equipe) Kimi, was there some warning of some specific risk on your cars from something working wrong, or did you decide to lift off as a precaution?
Raikkonen: Let's say that I just slowed down.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, how do you feel now, because until 20 laps to go to the end, it was a bad weekend and now you are the only one of the two guys to score more points than the other two?
Raikkonen: For sure, it was not the weekend that I was looking for. We had good speed in the race but I made a mistake in qualifying, and without it we should have been in a different position in the first place, but the issue seems to be the qualifying. The speed is there once we get in the front but if we are not there, we cannot use it. Straightaway when I was on my own it was good but of course looking at all the problems staying behind the other cars all race long, finishing in third, so scoring more points than the guys in front of me (in the championship) is not too bad a result. I take it any way I can get it. We will see how we can sort things out for the next race and see if we can be stronger and fight for victory. There are still many races to go, we're there in the championship, so I'm not too worried about things. It will be nice to go on holiday.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport) And the mechanical problem that you had at the end of the race; could it affect the next race?
Raikkonen:We can fix the problem.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, how crucial do you think is this qualifying problem for the championship?
Raikkonen: It didn't really affect me too much today. For sure we could have been fighting for victory but at least we got some good points today. It's mainly to get the car as we want. You can easily see that in the race it's not the problem but with new tyres, it's a bit the same issue as last year, that it seems to be difficult to get one lap out of them and stay on the circuit, so it's probably more up to getting things right. I think there will be races that will suit me better and some not. We will see what happens in the next race.

Q: (Juha Paatalo - Financial Times Deutschland) Kimi, you seemed to have quite a good start but got very much on the right side, pushed by Kubica. Can you describe what happened there and was it very dirty on that side?
Raikkonen: Yeah, the first initial part was good but I decided to go on the inside and he pushed me a bit on the inside and I lost a place, so it wasn't a very good start in the end. Unfortunately, I was stuck behind Alonso but that's life.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, where are you going now for holiday and which sport will you be watching at the Olympic Games?
Raikkonen: It will be nice to see all of them. I think the BMX biking will be interesting. I think I will go to Switzerland now and then somewhere, but I don't have plans. I will do what I want, see what happens.

Japanese GP - Sunday - Press Conference
12 OCTOBER 2008
3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h30m28.292s

Q: How was the first corner from your point of view?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I got a pretty good start and got into the first place but then braking into the first corner I was trying to turn in and there was first one McLaren and then a second and I think they both hit me and I had nowhere to go. I needed to go straight and I lost many places and got some damage in the front but luckily enough I was able to get back on the circuit but then I was all the time behind people. I was catching up and getting past some people but then just before the pit stop I was behind Robert and then I was fighting against him and in the last stint I got a few tries to get past him but I always caught him just in the last part of the circuit, the main straight, and he always went on the inside, so I didn't have anywhere to go, so I tried the outside and then the inside and once we were side by side but I knew that if nobody was going to lift in corner three, I had no options than to run off the circuit. I tried but then my tyres started to grain a bit and his started to clean up, so I lost a bit of an opportunity there. It is a bit disappointing what happened in the first corner as we could have had a better result but at least I got to the finish this time and got some good points for the team and we will try to do better next race.

Q: There was some damage to the left front wheel. What did the car feel like in those few laps?
Raikkonen: The front didn't feel the same anymore. I think it was Heikki who hit me harder. The front felt quite light, it didn't feel the same as before but I didn't know. I asked if we had damaged something but I couldn't see what happened really. The car was okay but for sure we were missing something as we were not able to be fast enough to catch up with the guys in the front. Just before the second pit stop I was stuck behind, I think, Barrichello for one lap and I lost like a second or something and it was just enough to get me behind Robert after the stop. But in the end it was quite a difficult race but we got third place, so hopefully we can start scoring better from here.

Q: Kimi, the performance seemed to be very much up and down during the race?
Raikkonen: Yeah, a bit but then when you're behind people it's very tricky, the tyres don't last as well and the car doesn't work as well as if you're on your own. Overall it wasn't too bad, we got six points but we definitely wanted to challenge for the win. It already went away in the first corner when the McLaren came and I had nowhere to go and I had to go straight on and they hit me. After that I was always trying to recover and you know that the people who started behind you often have a bit more fuel, so in this kind of place it's hard to improve but we did the best that we could, not as quick in the race as we were hoping but that was the end result today.

Q: What about your battle with Robert and you also had Nelson behind you?
Raikkonen: Yeah, I think he caught us because we were fighting together but two or three times I had the chance to get past him, I just caught him in the last part of the straight but he always defended on the inside, so I didn't have much choice. I needed to go outside, try to cut inside. One lap I managed to get on the inside of him on the exit of corner two. I was a bit ahead of him in corner three but he was inside and I was outside, so I knew that if we were both pushing one hundred percent in the corner, I would only have one way to go and that was running off the circuit, so I tried but then after that I got some graining on the tyres and his tyres cleaned up, so the chance was there but I couldn't get by him. It would have been nice to be second but at least we got some valuable points for the team. McLaren didn't score any points and I think we scored seven points, so it wasn't too bad overall. I'm definitely a bit disappointed because being in first place in the first corner but then being pushed out didn't help and being in the front could have given us a better result but anyhow, that's racing.

Q: (Frederic Ferret - L'Equipe) Question to Kimi and Robert: you're still in the battle for the championship, how do you rate your chances?
Raikkonen: I don't even know the points' situation now. There's always a chance. It's not going to be easy but we saw today that the guys in front of us were quite excited. Anything can happen, they can crash again and we could end up in front. But I'm in the worst position out of the four guys. I saw last year that things can go right or wrong, so we keep pushing and trying.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) To Robert and Kimi: you had a similar fight in Hockenheim with bad tyres. How hard is it to keep Kimi behind and for Kimi: is Robert the most difficult guy to try to overtake?
Raikkonen: I think all of them are more or less similar. Some are a bit more aggressive but it depends a lot on how your car is handling at that stage of the race and on different circuits. Sometimes you have a lot of difficulties and sometimes it's easier to get past people but I think the differences are not very big and on this kind of circuit, you probably have one or two places to overtake. I couldn't get close enough, early enough. It was a good fight but I lost it, so next time I try again.

Q: (Frederic Ferret - L'Equipe) Kimi, were you surprised to be doing the same lap times as Robert ahead of you in the second stint? Do you think that had something to do with the damage to the front end of the car?
Raikkonen: As I said, we hoped to have a little more speed today. I was catching up sometimes and just as the car started to get a bit better I got stuck behind Barrichello in the first part of the lap. I lost around a second at least. It was a crucial moment. And then at the end, just before the pit stop, I caught up Robert a lot but it was a bit too late. It was a close fight but I just didn't have the speed to beat him today. For sure, we expected to have a faster car in the race but it didn't happen today.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) The stewards decided to give Lewis Hamilton a drive-through penalty for what happened at the start. Do you consider that was fair?
Raikkonen: I don't know. I didn't see the whole thing. I only saw him when he came up next to me. I'm not sure if he hit me or not but they make their decisions, so I have nothing against it.

Chinese GP - Sunday - Press Conference
19 OCTOBER 2008
3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari), 1h32m13.848s


Q: Kimi, Lewis has just said it was inevitable that Lewis would finish second. Talk us through the last phase of the race.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I mean we know what we want as a team and that's what we did it. It is normal in these situations. Today I had a very good car, all the time no major issue. The car was handling quite nicely but unfortunately it wasn't fast enough in the moments when we needed it. At the start Lewis pulled away a bit and then I started to be able to do the same lap times, a little bit catching, but every time I was faster it was too late and the gap stayed the same. Then in the second stop I was catching him a bit and then I got traffic three times and it cost me a lot of time. I mean even if I had been right behind him we were stopping on the same lap, so without mistakes there was no way to get past. Second and third was the best we could do today, hopefully the next race we can challenge them a bit more. I mean once we came here on Friday, Lewis seemed to be very quick, so it was not easy but we did our best but it didn't work out this time.

Q: With team orders not being allowed it is difficult not to influence the outcome of the race, so how did you handle that?
Raikkonen: Like I said, I know what the team expects and I know what we want which are results. It is racing and I have nothing to lose or win in a way. I am driving for the team, so it is a normal situation. I was pretty happy with the way things went in the race apart from we could not challenge the McLaren today but apart from that the car wasn't too bad. But like I said, we just did not have the little bit more speed that we needed.

Q: Kimi, give us an idea of the start and the pace of Lewis in the opening stint.
Raikkonen: I think we had pretty much similar starts. He was pulling away at the beginning of the race. There was nothing I could do. It took a few laps for me to get going and once the car started to work better, he was already I don't know how many seconds away and I could just about maintain a similar gap. He was pulling away a bit. At some point later on I was able to catch him a bit but it was too late and then the gap stayed the same on the second set of tyres, pulling away at the beginning again, and I was then catching up. But then I was stuck behind some traffic and lost quite a bit of time. We just didn't have the speed today. The car felt quite good all the time but we were just missing a few tenths all the time, so I was not able to challenge him really. It was a bit of a shame but there was nothing we could have done.

Q: Do you share Felipe's optimism about Brazil?
Raikkonen: The car was very good there last year, so it's another race, another weekend. It can be very good for us, nothing is over yet, so we go there and try to do the maximum that we can and see where we end up but it's too early to say. Once we do the Friday there, I think everybody will have a little bit better idea what the speed difference between the teams is and then it will be easier to go from there.

Q: You had a difference tyre choice in comparison to Felipe; were you happy with that tyre choice?
Raikkonen: No, we had the same tyre at the start of the race. I think he was on soft tyres, I was on hard. They wanted to try different... to see if we could catch up Lewis. There wasn't really a big difference between the tyres. I thought they were very similar in the end. The difference wasn't there, the amount that we were losing out. So we tried but it didn't work out.

Q: (Bob McKenzie - The Daily Express) Kimi, as World Champion, how tough is it to have to put in a lap that's two seconds slower, for your team-mate to go past you?
Raikkonen: I'm not in a position to challenge for the championship. I know what the team expects from me and I'm happy to try to achieve the maximum points for the team, what we need. Unfortunately we missed a few points today, overall. But like I said, it doesn't make any difference to my season.

Brazilian GP - Sunday - Press Conference
3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (McLaren Mercedes), 1h34m27.670s

Q: Kimi, talk us through the race from your point of view.
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I knew what I was supposed to do and it wasn't the best race ever. The car was quite difficult, I don't know why. The tyres felt quite tricky, especially the front tyres on the first set. The second set was a bit difficult at the beginning. It started to be a bit better in the end and I was catching up Fernando but then came the rain and I was right behind him and I got some instruction not to risk anything for Felipe and I decided to stay in third place. For us we won at least the team championship. It was unlucky for Felipe but that was one of our aims. I mean we got that at least and it was what we wanted and we could do it. It was not the easiest year for the team and for both of us but we got good results for the team and we must be happy. It was Stefano's (Domenicali) first year as team boss and it has not been easy all the way through, so I am very happy for him.

Q: Kimi, obviously you were catching hard at the end, was it that the tyres really came to you? Was it a struggle early on?
Raikkonen: The first set, especially, was quite difficult. The car didn't want to turn but it was slightly better at the beginning of the second one, the second set of dry tyres, and then it got better all the time, so I was able to catch up. As Fernando said, when the rain came and I got close to him, they told me not to risk anything because if I went off, it would not be good for the team, for Felipe's situation at that moment. For myself it was no difference and the team would have won the championship anyhow, so we just came home third.

Q: What were the conditions like out there?
Raikkonen: Of course, it was wet at the start but the grip was not too bad, actually. It was trickier on dry tyres when there were some wet patches and I took it very easily at those places. My only mission was to get points for the team. Not the nicest race in the end but we got what we wanted, so that was the most important thing.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Kimi, you just lost your championship title to Hamilton. How do you feel about that?
Raikkonen: You can always lose some points. OK, I lost it this year, so well done to him, he deserves it in the end. He got the most points from this year, so I don't feel bad. Of course, my season was not what I wanted in the end but that's racing. Sometimes you have bad moments during the season and it cost too many points for me this year but I will try to come back next year and it's a completely different story again. I won it once and for sure I want to win it more times but this year didn't happen and we will come back stronger next year and try to get it back.

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