Raikkonen: 2003 was More Painful

Kimi Raikkonen has said that losing this year's title has not been as painful as when he came three points short to beating Michael Schumacher in 2003

Raikkonen: 2003 was More Painful

The McLaren driver, winner of six races so far this season, had to be content with second place after Renault rival Fernando Alonso clinched the title at last month's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Two years ago, Raikkonen took his Championship challenge down to the wire and eventually finished two points behind Ferrari driver Schumacher.

This season, the Finn is 23 points behind Alonso with only two races remaining.

Speaking ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, Raikkonen said losing this year's title was not a big shock.

"I think the first one [was more painful], it was more close so it was more painful," said Raikkonen of the 2003 season.

"We saw quite a long time ago that it would be very difficult to catch them [Renault].

"We saw that they are very reliable and even though we kept winning they kept finishing behind us so unfortunately it wasn't such a big thing though, but of course we would rather win it than lose it."

Raikkonen has not had to fight against Schumacher this year, the Ferrari team struggling for pace, but the Finn believes the seven-time Champion is not to blame for his poor showing.

"Michael, I don't think he has lost anything of his speed," he said. "I think they have had a difficult season this year, their package has not been as good as before, so people are just thinking that he is a bit slower than last year but I don't think that happens so quickly."

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