Q & A with Kimi Raikkonen
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, March 20th 2008, 10:55 GMT|
Q. How do you think this weekend will go?
Kimi Raikkonen: I don't know. It is too early to say. We will see tomorrow how the car runs, how everything goes, but as long as we get everything working well we should be okay. I don't think that there will be issues as long as things go well.
Q. Have you worked with the engineers over the last few days on the problems in Australia?
KR: For sure everybody has been working hard. They have been trying to find the reasons for the problems, but we only had a few days. I think they have found the problems and they have tried to solve them.
Q. What was the problem?
KR: I don't know exactly, I haven't had a meeting yet.
Q. This track hasn't suited Ferrari particularly well in the past. Is that a worry?
KR: Well, I think we have the speed and as long as everything works well we should be okay. I don't think last year was best for us, but we also didn't get the best out of the car. We will see how it goes.
Q. The decision of Jean Todt to leave Ferrari. Does it change the situation inside Ferrari?
KR: I don't think so. I think there are a lot of people who can replace him. He has always been there, and he is very good at what he does, but I think it is not going to change much in the team or how it runs.
Q. After you spoke with the engineers and have seen what they have done, are you more relaxed about the future because you were quite concerned after Australia?
KR: I wasn't worried, but I suppose we were not happy with what happened. We knew from the winter that we could be fast, and we didn't have any major issues, but when we came to the first race we had two failures with the engine - which wasn't exactly what we were expecting. It is a long season and like I said, if we get everything running well, we should be up there. I am not packing, nobody is panicking, but we want better results than the first race.
Q. Are you confident for this weekend?
KR: I don't know. We will wait and see how it is, we need to see how strong we can be tomorrow and I think then we will have a much clearer picture.
Q. You ran off the track twice during the race in Melbourne. How much was that down to the track characteristics, and how much down to you?
KR: It was my mistake; it was nothing to do with the circuit. I knew I needed to get past Heikki (Kovalainen) but I was too optimistic and I went off. I think with all the safety cars and everything, we were not in such a good position. So I needed to get past, and made a mistake. These things happen.
Q. Is it much easier to make mistakes this year because of the lack of engine braking?
KR: No, I don't think it changes anything. Even with last year's car, the same would have happened if I had done the same thing. It was just purely my mistake.
Q. With the rain here on Sunday, how will it be without traction control?
KR: We have had some tests in the race, and I think it depends a lot on the circuits. At some circuits you have much more grip in the wet than the others. Usually when it rains here it is quite heavy, which can make it quite tricky. But it is the same for everybody, and I haven't driven here for a long time in the wet. So I don't know how it will. But I think we should be okay.
Q. Lewis Hamilton has said that he believes McLaren are stronger than Ferrari, and that he did not show the team's true speed in Melbourne...
KR: I don't know. I don't really care what they said. I think we have a strong car, a fast car, and things can work well.
Q. Do you think you have an issue with getting heat into the tyres on the first lap?
KR: I think it is more like it was last year. Probably we are not the strongest on the first lap out, but I think in race conditions we have good speed and good consistency. But for sure we will try to improve on that issue.
Q. Niki Lauda said that he didn't expect your mistakes in Melbourne. How do you react to that?
KR: I made a mistake, so I don't expect to make many mistakes myself. Those things happen sometimes. It is not the end of my life. We come and we race and we try to do better.
Q. The GPDA directors have said they are making a push to try and get you and Lewis into the organisation. Do you have any interest in joining them?
KR: I don't know. It is not really going to change for anything from last year, so we will see what happens in the future.