Raikkonen expecting Ferrari to stay ahead in Spain 23 Apr 2008
Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen is confident he can maintain his lead in the drivers championship at this weekends Spanish Grand Prix, despite covering minimal laps at last weeks test session at Barcelonas Circuit de Catalunya. Raikkonen, who joined the test on the final day, found his running restricted by wet weather and completed just 33 laps in the F2008.
That's not a problem, the Finn told Ferraris official website. I think we'll have a good performance and we can be really competitive; at least the components are all there.
I've raced many times in Barcelona and I have to say it is always a very challenging circuit. But this time it will be special. I'll come to Spain as the leader of the classification. If I can manage to keep all the others behind me in the race that would mean that I keep them also behind in the championship. My approach is the usual one: giving 100 per cent, just like the whole team.
Ferrari arrive in Spain having won two successive Grand Prix victories at Malaysia and Bahrain. Although Raikkonen is wary that their rivals may well have raised their game during the three-week break, he is optimistic that the Italian team can retain their edge.
The situation can change very quickly in Formula One, he added. That's why it's very important to collect as many points as possible in every single race. It's hard to say how things are at the top after last week's tests here, because the teams' test programs and the fuel loads usually are very different.
It's going to be very close: all the teams have introduced updates ahead of the first European race, which makes it even more interesting. We have won the last two races and that might make our competitors even hungrier to win. We had our ups and downs over the first races, but now I expect Ferrari to stay where we were in Bahrain and Malaysia.
Raikkonen is leading the driver standing on 19 points, with a three-point advantage over second-placed BMW Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld. McLarens Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen, meanwhile, are tying for third place with Heidfelds team mate, Robert Kubica, on 14 points.