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Raikkonen: diffuser issue critical to title hopes 08 Apr 2009

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 5 April 2009 Pitstop for Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 5 April 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 3 April 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, 4 April 2009

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen believes the FIA’s ruling on the legality of the diffusers used by Brawn, Williams and Toyota will have a huge bearing on the outcome of the 2009 championship. Ferrari, alongside Renault, Red Bull and BMW Sauber, have protested the decision of stewards to allow the controversial designs to be raced in Australia and Malaysia and their appeal is due to be heard on April 14.

While Ferrari are yet to score points, Brawn, Williams and Toyota all enjoyed strong pace at the opening two Grands Prix, with Brawn clinching two consecutive victories. And Raikkonen believes that the F60’s underperformance can be chiefly blamed on a relative lack of downforce, a shortfall almost certainly made worse by the disparity in diffuser designs.

“We still don’t have any points after two races and this is a very difficult moment," the Finn told the Italian team’s official website. "The next race is in China, but a couple of days before the FIA’s Court of Appeal will decide about the diffuser. This decision will have an enormous impact on the championship.

"You just need to analyse the performance in the three sectors at Malaysia to understand that we’re losing a lot compared to the best cars. You can see that especially in the middle section, where downforce is really crucial.”

Although settling the diffuser issue one way or the other will help Ferrari decide in which direction their development programme needs to progress, Raikkonen is confident that everyone in the Italian team has been working flat-out to find other solutions to boost the F60’s pace.

“We’re missing grip and downforce and we’ve got to give it our all with what we have,” he added. “There are some new features coming up and I know that the team is working very hard to anticipate the whole development. We’ve seen other moments like this, but we know how to react and we’ll do it already at Shanghai.”

The Chinese Grand Prix will take place from April 17-19.