Illien: Raikkonen will need a Ferrari tank
|Thursday, January 18th 2007, 15:49 GMT|
Ferrari's new Formula One car will have to be built like a tank to withstand the treatment Kimi Raikkonen dishes out, according to former Mercedes-McLaren engine expert Mario Illien.
"No one drives the machine harder, no one bangs it so hard lap after lap into the kerb," the Swiss, who left Formula One in 2005 and now has an Ilmor MotoGP team, told Sport Bild on Thursday.
"Ferrari will have to build Kimi a tank if they want to win the title with him."
Raikkonen has moved from McLaren, who won no races last year for the first time in a decade, to replace retired seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher at Ferrari this season.
The 27-year-old Finn, twice an overall runner-up in the drivers' championship, suffered repeated engine failures in his time at McLaren. In 2003, he lost out to Schumacher by just two points.
Illien's Ilmor engines powered Finland's Mika Hakkinen to the 1998 and 1999 Formula One titles with McLaren while they have also won the Indy 500 on 11 occasions.