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Raikkonen on Melbourne: 'I almost fell asleep!' 22 Mar 2007

Race winner Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2007 takes the chequered flag.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 18 March 2007

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has revealed just what it means to drive an entire Grand Prix without any team radio contact. Raikkonen’s lights-to-flag victory in Melbourne may have looked straightforward, but it seems the communications issues brought with them their own unique challenges.

To stay informed, the Finnish driver relied on regular pit-board updates but, unable to talk with his race engineer Chris Dyer, Raikkonen’s afternoon was a solitary one. With no one on the other end of the radio pushing him, he admitted he experienced several lapses of concentration during the 58-lap Grand Prix.

“On one occasion - just about ten laps before the end the race - I almost fell asleep!” the Finn told Ferrari's official website. “I got distracted, my concentration levels dropped a bit and I locked the wheels and took turn number 3 slightly too wide: even without radio I knew that they were saying: 'Kimi, wake up!’”

And although he ended the race as easily the fastest driver, with a best lap of 1m 25.235s, Raikkonen also divulged that without the communication difficulties he may well have been tempted to go even quicker. The Finn’s revelation will undoubtedly worry the competition, who were all over a second slower than the Ferrari driver’s F2007.