"Obviously," said McLaren's Ron Dennis after the French Grand Prix, "we're delighted that Kimi [Raikkonen] won over [Felipe] Massa. It means he [Massa] is only a couple of points closer to Lewis [Hamilton], and didn't close the gap that much, even to Fernando [Alonso]."
Now, Ron doesn't lie, so it would be incorrect to suggest that the above statement includes a falsehood. But - how shall I put this? - it contains a lot more than the truth.
Sure enough, its logic is faultless. Prior to the French Grand Prix, Massa (39 points) was seven points ahead of Raikkonen (32) in the world drivers' championship standings.
So in that sense the fact that it was Kimi who took 10 points in France, and Felipe eight, was arithmetically less damaging to the championship chances of McLaren's drivers, who finished third (Hamilton, six points) and seventh (Alonso, two points), than it would have been had Felipe led Kimi across the line instead.
But although in that sense what Ron said was the truth, and perhaps even nothing but the truth, it wasn't the whole truth.
Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen on the podium in France © LAT
Because the whole truth - and the essence of the very motivation behind Ron's decision to say anything on the subject at all - was that he wanted to discombobulate Raikkonen in the wake of his glorious return to winning form. Because Ron knows better than anyone how effective, and how dangerous, Kimi can be when he gets championship momentum behind him.
He saw that - and we saw it, too - in 2003 and 2005, in both of which years Kimi almost won the drivers' championship for McLaren, failing in the end by a gnat's whisker and through no fault of his own. (Mercedes engine unreliability was the chief culprit, especially in 2005.)
Can Massa win be champion this year? Of course he can. Will he? He may. But, for Ron, and indeed for many paddock insiders, Felipe is still an unknown quantity - a man who, for the most part, was out-driven by Michael Schumacher in equal machinery last year. A man who, before this year's Bahrain Grand Prix, indeed, was almost no-one's idea of a possible 2007 world champion.
Preseason, Kimi, by contrast, was almost everyone's idea of a probable 2007 world champion.
And, in his heart of hearts, though it suits him to issue utterances that serve to diminish the threat posed by the Ice Man, it's probably Kimi, and not Felipe, whose championship charge Ron fears most.
Discombobulate? Most dictionaries define its meaning as 'to confuse or upset'. If Ron were publicly to welcome the victory of any rival driver other than Kimi, on the basis that, so minimal were that driver's championship prospects that said victory constituted a waste of 10 points (which is what, in effect, "we're delighted that Kimi won over Massa" means), then that driver would indeed be discombobulated by Ron's remark.
But not Kimi. Nothing discombobulates Kimi. He's profoundly cool.
And here's an example of what I mean by that. In the Indianapolis paddock, on race morning, I spotted Kimi lolling on the kind of chair in which it isn't easy to loll (i.e., a straight-backed steel number, not an armchair), outside Ferrari's hospitality accommodation.
Beside him, also lolling, was a chum, a fellow Finn. Kimi looked relaxed - happy - and yet, I thought to myself, how could he be? How, when he'd qualified only fourth, beaten once again by his team-mate (Massa), by his old rival (Alonso) and by his brand-new nemesis (Hamilton)?
And when the paddock was awash with rumours (erroneous ones, it turned out, but damaging ones nonetheless) that he'd recently admitted to the Ferrari management that his drinking was out of control?
And when he hadn't made the podium since Bahrain (a race won by his team-mate, who had since stood on three subsequent podiums),how could Kimi not be feeling wretched? And yet it appeared that, lolling and smiling and chewing the fat in Finnish, he did not.
Kimi Raikkonen lounging in the paddock © LAT
So I approached him. "Kimi," I said, "have you got a minute?"
Perhaps he wanted to say no. For, although I've always got on well with him, and although regular readers of not only this column but also F1 Racing will know that I've always rated him extremely highly and have written about him accordingly, he's never what you might call 'clubbable'.
No, when he's stone cold sober (i.e., whenever he's on parade, for he never mixes business with pleasure, whatever you may have heard to the contrary), he plays his cards remarkably close to his chest.
He'll chit-chat with his Finnish mates, but he won't welcome approaches from 'outsiders' - and certainly not from forty-something British journalists, however positive their reporting of him has been hitherto.
"Do you have a minute - no, half a minute?" I repeated, sensing his alarm.
"Er, yes," he replied (but he meant "no").
I drew up a chair. His mate, a blond 20-something Finn, looked askance.
"Kimi," I began, "despite all the hype around Lewis, which I have to reflect in F1 Racing and in my autosport.com column, for obvious reasons, and despite the iffy start to the season you've had, I want you to know that ..."
And as I paused, searching for the right words - something like "I want you to know that I know you're as quick as ever, which means fantastically quick, and I'm certain you'll come good soon, and win races, lots of them, for Ferrari this year ...".
Only not that, exactly, because, when I framed that sentence in my mind, it sounded so grovellingly corny, which wasn't what I wanted it to sound like at all - Kimi raised a hand, smiled, and said, in his trademark ungrammatical staccato, "Not surprise. Not problem. I think so that it's understandable. You're English. But thanks."
Which kind of said it all.
A few hours later, he finished a mediocre fourth, the four top drivers of 2007 completing the race in the same order in which they'd qualified for it the day before - and, yet again, post-race, paddock rumour-mongers were saying that all wasn't well, that Kimi was struggling, even that his Ferrari seat wasn't safe.
Was Kimi confused? Was he upset? Discombobulated, even? No, he was not. And two short weeks later he went to Magny Cours, qualified behind Massa yet again - but then won the race fair and square, optimising his two-stop strategy and prompting not only his old boss but also his team-mate to attempt to use the media to play mind games with him
"Traffic was a problem. I lost the victory because of that," said Massa in the post-race press conference.
As sure as eggs are eggs, such gamesmanship didn't work - not on the part of Ron and not on the part of Felipe. Why not? Because Kimi's mind isn't hooked up that way. He is, as I say, profoundly cool.
He's happy to have won again - of course he is - but his win hasn't altered his mindset. It hasn't cheered him up - because he didn't need cheering up.
But what it has done, and no mistake, is put the wind up Ron, and up Fernando, and up Lewis, and, yes, up Felipe, too.
Kimi is back, and it's good to see.
And he likes Silverstone ...