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Ferrari: Raikkonen now mindful of Massa's title bid 15 Sep 2008

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 13 September 2008 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 13 September 2008

Ferrari have come their closest yet to admitting that Kimi Raikkonen could now support team mate Felipe Massa in his bid for the 2008 drivers’ title. It follows another frustrating result for the Finn in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.

The reigning champion failed to score at Monza after finishing ninth and now trails standings leader Lewis Hamilton by 21 points with four races to go. By contrast, Massa’s sixth place pushed him to within a single point of the McLaren driver.

Asked if Ferrari must now throw their weight behind Massa, team principal Stefano Domenicali said: "I've always said that our main interest is the team. Of course, that's the most important thing and the drivers know it.

“From now up to the end of the season, in the way that it's possible to do, of course Kimi will do his best to be as aggressive as possible but also consider the fact that Felipe is much closer to the championship leader, Lewis."

Ferrari endured a difficult weekend in Italy, where they struggled to generate sufficient heat in their tyres in the cool, damp conditions - a problem Domenicali knows the team need to solve as quickly as possible.

“For sure it's not really the atmosphere we like to race in, with rain and cold,” he admitted. “But we cannot do anything about that so the only thing we have to do is work very hard and see what we can do to improve our situation in these conditions."

It will be just one of the issues Ferrari will attempt to address this week in a three-day private test session at their Mugello circuit in Italy. Raikkonen and Massa will both be on track, as well as official test driver Luca Badoer.