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Raikkonen: I’m more motivated than ever 28 Aug 2008

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008 retired from the race with a blown engine.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, European Grand Prix, Race, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 24 August 2008 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, European Grand Prix, Race, Valencia, Spain, Sunday, 24 August 2008 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, European Grand Prix, Preparations, Valencia, Spain, Thursday, 21 August 2008 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia, Spain, Saturday, 23 August 2008

With his last race victory dating back to April’s Spanish Grand Prix, it is no surprise that reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen has been criticised recently for his dwindling results. Raikkonen, however, has dismissed speculation that his motivation is fading and believes his championship hopes are still very much alive.

After retiring from last weekend’s European Grand Prix, Raikkonen saw team mate Felipe Massa overtake him in the standings to go second behind leader Lewis Hamilton. He now trails Massa by seven points and Hamilton by 13. But last season the Finn made up an even greater deficit to clinch the championship at the final race, and he believes there is still plenty of time to salvage his title defence.

“Life would be much easier if you could always win,” the 28 year-old told Ferrari’s official website. “But sometimes it doesn’t seem to go your way. It’s useless to cry over spilled milk: what happened, happened and now we have to look ahead. It’s not over yet. I’ll keep fighting to get the results I want to achieve. One third of the season is still left and it’s enough to fight back. If someone has doubts as far as my motivation is concerned - go ahead. I want to win more than ever!”

As well as enduring a four-month wait for a win, Raikkonen has also come under fire for his poor results in qualifying. He took his last pole position at June’s French Grand Prix and has since qualified no higher than the third, at July’s Silverstone race.

“There has been a lot of talk about my problems in qualifying,” he explained. “But the truth is that in a couple of races - at Hungary and Germany - I made some mistakes and I had to start from the sixth position. At Valencia I missed the third position by a whisker.”

Raikkonen, who will test at Monza later this week, is already working hard preparing for forthcoming Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, an event he is looking forward to with relish. “I love the track,” he added. “I'd like to race there all the year round. It's the best of all the tracks and I hope that I'll have a car that works the way I want. I'll give it all to win again.”

Spa-Francorchamps would seem a likely venue for Raikkonen to rediscover his form - he hasn’t lost at the famous circuit since 2002.