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Raikkonen seeking fresh start at French Grand Prix 18 Jun 2008

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari during the Ferrari team picture.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 25 April 2008 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008 retires from the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 8 June 2008

After going two races without scoring a point, reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen is hoping to get his title defence back on track this weekend with a victory for Ferrari in the French Grand Prix.

Raikkonen retired from the last round in Canada after being hit from behind in the pit lane by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. He also failed to score in the preceding Monaco event after losing control and colliding with Force India’s Adrian Sutil.

In fact, the Finn has not won a race since the Spanish round back in April. However, with the calendar moving from the street circuits of Monte Carlo and Montreal to the more traditional venue of Magny-Cours, Raikkonen is eager to put an end to his losing streak.

“I don't remember when I had such a great lust for winning!” he said. “Now we're heading back to Europe to tracks which have been built to be used by racing cars. I think that things will look really different at Magny-Cours, compared to the last GPs.”

Raikkonen is a big fan of the rural circuit, his victory there last year having been a turning point in his title-winning 2007 campaign. Now, armed with a Ferrari that he believes will be well suited to the demands of the Nevers track, he is he hoping for a repeat performance on Sunday.

“The smooth surface of the French track, its demanding corners and the quick changes of direction will underline the characteristics of the F2008,” he said. “It was here in France last year that my season practically started all over again; and this is what I need now, after the two races with no points. I like this track and I think that it's perfect for our car. I think we'll be competitive and that we can go for the maximum result.”

Raikkonen lies fourth in the driver standings on 35 points, seven behind leader Robert Kubica (42) and three adrift of Hamilton (38) and Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa (38).