Kimi: 2004 not a lost year

McLaren ace Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that he knew before the beginning of the 2004 season in Melbourne that he was in for a tough year with the difficult McLaren-Mercedes MP4-19 chassis

Kimi: 2004 not a lost year

The Finn, who won the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa in the heavily-revised MP4-19, believes that the work put in by the McLaren-Mercedes team to turn its campaign around meant the season was not a "lost year".

"At the end of the day it was not a good season," Raikkonen told Motorsport Aktuell. "We had expected more than one victory only. And I think taking everything into account, we could call ourselves lucky that we did get one win. On the other hand I knew before the season that we would be in trouble. So the disappointment was not sudden.

"During testing before the season began, we encountered problems with the engine, and the car itself did not feel right. After the first two races you usually know if you would have a good year or not."

Poor reliability cost Raikkonen several finishes in the early races of the season, but the Finn claims that not all the problems stemmed from the engine.

"The rear end [of the car was a problem]," he said. "If a rear end of a race car does not produce enough grip, you cannot drive in attacking mode. This has nothing to do with confidence in the behaviour. It is simply impossible for a driver to get around that.

"If you attack nevertheless, you tend to overdrive the tyres and will ruin the rubber. So you go from bad to worse.

"At least, we could pinpoint the problems and take steps to get rid of them. So I do not consider 2004 to be a lost year for us."

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