Domenicali: we plan to swap Raikkonens engine 02 Jul 2008
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has confirmed that the Italian team intend to change Kimi Raikkonens engine ahead of this weekends British Grand Prix, following his exhaust problems at the preceding French round. World champion Raikkonen was forced to settle for second place behind team mate Felipe Massa at Magny-Cours following his engine strife.
Fortunately, in a change to the regulations for this season, each driver is allowed his first unscheduled engine replacement without receiving the customary 10-place grid penalty. And Domenicali has decided that the broken exhaust on Raikkonens F2008 will necessitate the team substituting old for new.
"As far as Kimi's engine is concerned and keeping the rules in mind, to avoid a penalty, I think that we will use a new unit to try to reduce the risk, Domenicali said in an interview with Ferraris press office.
The world champions have earned 91 points this season and currently lead the constructors standings by 17 from BMW Sauber. Their traditional rivals, McLaren, meanwhile, are a further 16 points adrift, but Domenicali believes Ferrari must remain on their guard and continue to work hard if they are to defend their title successfully.
Looking at the numbers we can be satisfied of what we have done until now, but we can't forget that it wasn't all that smooth, he added. We left some important points down the road, because of a lack of reliability or because of mistakes on every level. Our situation in the championship could be much better.
Even during a weekend when our performance was much better than the one of our competitors, we risked to not reaching our goal by a defect of some minor detail. We were able and also lucky to bring home Kimi's car. But this alarm bell has to keep us alert.