Raikkonen 'in love again' with F1
|By Biranit Goren||Monday, October 29th 2007, 23:50 GMT|
Kimi Raikkonen says he has 'fallen in love again' with Formula One after winning the world championship last week in Brazil, as he begins a lengthy holiday before resuming testing in December.
The Finn appeared in Mugello on Sunday and took his championship winning F2007 car for a demonstration run in front of 30,000 adoring fans.
"It seems I can't stop smiling," he told Ferrari's official website. "Wherever I go there are people who congratulate me. It seems that everybody in Italy is as happy as I am!
"Wednesday in Maranello was wonderful, when we celebrated the wins of the two championships with everybody from the Scuderia. But I have to say that yesterday in Mugello was even better - in front of thousands of fans and numerous Ferrari clients.
"When I was going to the race track in Tuscany, I remembered the first time I drove a race car, back when I was driving in the Formula Renault, and then my first race in Formula One with Peter Sauber.
"I remember these feelings, but it is really something else driving the car, with which I just won the championship, here at Mugello: it was like a second triumph.
"I was really happy and very proud being part of the Ferrari family when I saw all the fans celebrating. Thank you all so much, with all my heart!"
Raikkonen, who will not join Ferrari at Barcelona when testing begins in mid-November, said he looks forward to getting some much needed relaxation - although he admitted he will find it hard putting Formula One aside.
"Now I'm on holiday," said the 28-year-old, who went to Helsinki on Sunday night to celebrate his title with wife Jenni and close friends. "I'll try to chill out as much as I can and charge up my batteries.
"I drove almost every week during the last season and now is the time to think of something else than four wheels.
"I'll try to forget Formula One a bit, but that will be difficult. This year was really special to me. I can say that I fell in love again with this sport.
"I won't go to the tests in November in Barcelona, but I might be back on the track in December. It will be great to start my second year with Ferrari now that I won the title.
"It will be a new challenge, even more exciting, because I want to feel this joy again, one more time!"