09 July 2008

Q & A with Kimi Raikkonen

By Jonathan Noble Sunday, July 6th 2008, 16:56 GMT

Q. That looked a very difficult race?

Kimi Raikkonen: We only really made one mistake, which was to choose the wrong tyres. We didn't really expect it to start raining so at the first pit stop we kept the old tyres. So, until that point we had the speed and the car to win the race. But that mistake cost us unfortunately, but at least we scored some points. It wasn't as competitive as the car could have done, but it definitely could have been better.

Q. Did you suggest to the team to change the tyres?

KR: No, it was the team's decision. Everyone is involved with the team so we make the decisions together. Sometimes you get it right, but unfortunately today there was one of those times we didn't. It could have gone in any direction and we had a very good speed at that point. But at that point it started to rain and the tyres were pretty old already so there was nothing to do.

Q. The championship is now very close at the top. What do you expect from the second part of the season?

KR: The last four races haven't been easy for me especially. We haven't had one good race. The last race we had a good speed but unfortunately I had a problem with the car, so if you look after all those things not scoring in two races and not really having a perfect race in the next two, we are still tied in the championship lead so it is not too bad. I am pretty sure we have a car to win races, there are many races to go and we just need to push hard. I think once we get everything running smoothly we should be up there winning races.

Q. In the early stages of the race you were quicker than Hamilton. Was the Ferrari the best car on the track today, if you ignore the situation with the tyres?

KR: I always believe we had a good car. It is not that our car is suddenly bad. We made one bad decision with the tyres and it cost us a lot. We had a very good speed until that point and it was easy going. Unfortunately it was just bad luck.

Q. Now there are three drivers tied at the top of the championship, does this mark a fresh beginning for your title ambitions?

KR: Like I said before, the last four races haven't been easy. I had two non-finishes and okay, the last race we had a good speed but a small problem. Here we couldn't get it right, so we are still tied in the lead. It could have been much worse after those four races. We know we have a good speed but we just need to get the weekend going smoothly and things in order. There are many races to go. Even though it has been difficult in the last few races, I think we are in a good position and we have a good speed so we shouldn't get too worried about it.

Q. You mentioned the mistake with the tyres, but even on new intermediates the car wasn't quick. Why was that?

KR: I was just behind people. We fuelled the car until the end so we were pretty heavy on that point. Also with the rain I went off a few times, once at full speed after the bridge. I just got aquaplaning and luckily got back on the circuit, so I was pretty sure the car was not in the best shape any more. We got it back and it was difficult conditions, and I am sure with the same decision with the tyres we would have been okay and able to fight for the win. Sometimes it goes like this.

Q. Championship-wise are you annoyed, or relieved that it could have been worse?

KR: Like I said the last four races have not been exactly as we want. But we are still in the lead, so it could have been much more worse. I am not worried about it, I am sure we can get where we want. We just need to get it right at the next race and then we will go from there.

Q. Did you do a better job here than the team?

KR: No, we win and we lose as a team. Sometimes we make the wrong decision and we need to learn from those. I don't complain to the team and they don't complain to me. I could easily have said to choose other tyres or keep these tyres on, but it is teamwork and sometimes we cannot get it right. We just need to learn from that.

Q. When you showed you didn't have the pace of Hamilton after the pit stop, did you ask to change again like Alonso?

KR: No. In the end we expected the rain to stop quickly and when it didn't we decided to come in. We were losing too much time, but it is easy to say afterwards that we should have changed all the way back. First of all we didn't expect to have rain and then we only expected it to last a few minutes. In the end we got back to fourth place. It was a disappointing race, but we still got good points and are tied in the lead of the championship so we didn't lose anything.

Q. Can you describe for us the fight with Fernando Alonso at the end?

KR: It was nice. It is always nice to fight and it was important points for me, but I didn't want to risk too much. For Fernando he doesn't have anything to lose so he can take more risks. So I wanted to for sure get one extra point and in the end I got past him, so that was good.

Q. What happened at the start?

KR: I got a very good start and I was planning to go between Heikki and Mark, but Mark came on the left and I had nowhere to go. Hamilton got a good start from fourth place and went past everybody, and I really didn't have anywhere to go. I had good speed but had to back off.

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British GP - Sunday - Team Quotes

Kimi Raikkonen (4th):

"I am disappointed, but I am equally aware that things could have been much worse. We had the possibility to win the race but we made a mistake at the first pit stop, keeping the same set of tyres, because we expected the track conditions to improve. It was a joint decision: we are a team and we win or lose together. Things are not going too well for me at the moment, given all that happened in the last few races, but I am leading the championship, even if it is on equal terms with Felipe and Lewis. We know we have a great potential, but we have to put everything in place to get the most out of it."

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Interviewer: The helmet has a special meaning for many drivers. How important is it to you?_________ Kimi: It protects my head.