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Raikkonen remains positive about chances

Kimi Raikkonen is adamant that his world championship hopes are not fading, despite falling further behind the leaders at the Monaco Grand Prix

The Ferrari driver only managed to finish eighth at Monte Carlo after a crash in qualifying put him down in 16th on the grid. That result has left him 15 points behind joint championship leaders Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

And although Alonso has said that he believes Raikkonen is just one step away from being out of the title hunt, the man himself thinks there is nothing to worry about with his situation.

"Sure, the gap between me and the top makes life harder, but this is still the first part of the championship," Raikkonen told the Ferrari website. "We will give it our all to catch up and we will fight until the end.

"In case nothing really surprising happens, there are four drivers who can win a Grand Prix. This situation might actually help me a bit with bridging the gap.

"I knew that McLaren were to be very strong in Monaco, but I also knew that we could have a very good rhythm. It would be nice to have a direct confrontation. I hope that everything will finally go well at the next race. I'll go to Canada after a short trip to Finland."

Raikkonen has accepted full responsibility for his qualifying incident, where he swiped the barriers at the second part of the Swimming Pool complex.

"In the second session I started on extra-soft tyres and when I came out of the swimming pool chicane I bumped with the right front wheel into the guard rail," he said.

"It was not a very heavy bump, but enough to break the steering (arm) and to crack the suspension's lower arm: in the past I already hit the guard rail in a much more violent way and nothing happened.

"This time there was nothing we could do, although the team tried very hard. It would have been much too risky to get back on the track without having everything set up perfectly. This was my mistake. Let's not make a drama out of it, because these things happen in racing and there's no point in crying over spilt milk."

Raikkonen said his disappointment with what happened in qualifying was magnified by the fact that his car felt so good to him throughout the rest of the weekend - including the race.

"The car was perfectly set up since the beginning of the weekend, as it also was during the tests at Le Castellet the week before. I felt that maybe for the first time this year I could have given the max with the F2007.

"It's annoying when you're always stuck behind a slower car and you can't do anything to improve your position. At least we managed to bring home one point; still better than nothing."

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