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Raikkonen positive following F2008 debut 08 Jan 2008

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008. Ferrari F2008 First Run, Fiorano, Italy, 7 January 2008. World © Moy/Sutton The new Ferrari F2008. January 6, 2008. © Ferrari S.p.A.

World champion Kimi Raikkonen declared himself happy with Ferrari’s 2008 challenger on Monday after giving the new car its track debut at a damp Fiorano. Raikkonen drove 55 laps of the Italian circuit on wet-weather tyres, with a best time of 1m 00.897s.

"The first impressions of the new car were very positive," the Finn told the press afterwards. "I don't think we have to make any improvements at the moment. There were some problems today and we still don't have the final tyres; but the impression was really fine. Next week we have further possibilities to see how the car behaves."

Asked whether a lower and maybe shorter car, without traction control, could prove less driveable, Raikkonen responded: "I don't have many points of reference. I can only compare it to the last car. I did a test without traction control before Christmas and I have to say that first of all you have to drive very cautiously and consider that a car with traction control is fast and might respond a little bit faster.

“Surely the first impression is really positive and you can handle the car even without the traction control. The weather could have been better today, but it is really nice to drive this single-seater."

Ferrari will be back on track at Jerez in Spain next week, with both Raikkonen and team mate Felipe Massa at the wheel of an F2008.