Q & A with Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen arrives in Brazil ready to help teammate Felipe Massa in the championship, but aware that the Brazilian will need the same amount of luck he had in 2007 to clinch his title

Q & A with Kimi Raikkonen

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Interlagos race on Thursday, however, the Finn made it clear everything is possible, as he found out last year.

Q. What can you do to help Felipe this weekend?

Kimi Raikkonen: In the end it is not up to us, we can only try to be 1-2 and it's up to McLaren if they have a problem of finish third, there is nothing we can do. The first aim is to try and be 1-2 and see what happens. There needs to be a bit of luck involved but we will see where we end up.

Q. Do you expect the same performance and result as last year?

KR: Definitely last year we were strong and the year before strong also, this year has been slightly more difficult. We have a little bit different tyres this year so probably not as good as last year, but I expect our car will be strong here anyhow and we should have a very strong race.

Q. What are you feelings about the weather?

KR: I don't know. Somebody local knows more very well, last year seemed sometimes very hot and sometimes quite cold, it changes very quickly. You just need to get the best out of it and make the right decisions when it comes so we will see where it comes.

Q. There are lots of youngsters now like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. In F1, is there space for drivers below 30 years of age?

KR: I am 29, so not so old! There are others older and I have been many years in F1 but I can easily have four of five years if I want in F1. There is no issue if you are 30/31, if you are good enough you will stay there, even now we have a couple of guys who are 35 or 36, it depends which teams you are at and how you do. It is not a question of how old you are.

Q. Are you impressed by the new generation?

KR: For sure they are good, they seem to make good races all the time. You always going to get the young guys going and if you get in a young team they will get strong races.

Q. What do you think about the new regulations for 2009?

KR: New rules, new tyres and different things that are unknown for teams and drivers, it is difficult to say where we will be next year and how close the teams will be. For many we have had same regs so smaller teams caught up with big teams. Next year the big teams have an advantage and next year who makes the best job with the new car first will have a big advantage. There will be a bigger difference between the teams than in the past.

Q. Do you think Ferrari have overcome the qualifying problem with the tyres?

KR: I don't think there is an awful lot of difference to come here or the the last couple of races, it is more how the weather will plan out. I was pretty happy in the last few qualifyings so definitely for myself it has been better but we need to see. There is a lot to do with the weather and the surface of the circuits, last year we were strong here so we will see what we can do.

Q. Have you any idea how many times you have been asked if you are going to help Felipe, and does it bother you?

KR: Every time every race lately they ask and I think it is a normal thing, I know what I need to do for the team and in the end we try to win two championship. I am not interested if people don't like what you say or how it pans out, that is what I am here to do.

Q. McLaren seem faster in colder temperatures, do you see that as a problem and do they have a weak spot?

KR: I answered the tyre question already, it all depends on the weather and surface. Sure McLaren are often very fast on the one lap but I haven't been in McLaren for two years so I don't know if they have weak points, they seem to be strong they don't seem to have man mechanical problems and doesn't seem to be a weak point now. We don't think about it much, we try to do our best and if that is not enough there is nothing we can change.

Q. Will the change to slick tyres next year change your driving style?

KR: The rules have changed in the past and still more or less everybody drives the same way because you need to change a different way of driving but you try to get the car working for you and then you drive as you want. Like I said before it is new rules and new tyres so it's difficult to say how it is going to be. We need to wait until we get the new cars and in the winter you get a bit of an idea with new car and new tyres and teams will change cars to suit next year's rules, the first answers we get when we get new cars.

Q. How quickly will it take you to adapt?

KR: I don't think it takes a long time, now we have new tyres and new parts but we get a little bit of an idea over the winter. We do a few tests and we are learning all the time new things about new cars and new things but should not take too long.

Q. You worked with Juan Pablo Montoya and David Coulthard. Do you believe Massa is the strongest of your teammates?

KR: It all depends on many different things, the cars and in the past years who has been happy with what. For sure he is definitely one of the strongest I have had, it is only a good thing you push each other and help the team go forward but definitely he is one of them.

Q. Last year you came here fighting for championship, this time you don't have any chance. Have you learned something from 2007?

KR: Like I said I don't have a chance this year, last year we had a small chance and were able to win it. For sure this year we learned from small mistakes that we did and we tried many things and we will have a better understandings on a few things next year and it definitely helps us.

It's too early to say how it helps us but I am expecting next year to be strong as well. We had a bad moment in the season and that is why we cannot win the championship but we had good bits before and afterwards, I am not worried about next year at all.

Q. Who is your tip for the championship? who has more pressure Felipe or Lewis?

KR: Felipe in the end does not have anything to lose, even if we are 1-2 it is not up to us any more, McLaren need to make mistakes so they need to be fifth, in the end they have more to lose than us, they have more pressure but we need to have a little bit of luck and if they have a very bad weekend then it is not too difficult, we see every race this year they are more or less there, top four of top five, it will be difficult but you never know.

Q. Is this your worst season since racing for McLaren and Ferrari?

KR: No, I would not say that. I would say the first McLaren season I think I finished only six or seven races all year, sometimes you have a bit more difficult season and after last year when I won the championship you have a little bit more difficult season and they look more closely, for sure we have had some good races and good plans, the overall results is not what we want but it is one of those years that is not easy and we made some mistakes, it hasn't been good but hasn't been the worst of my life.

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