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Raikkonen: we're third, but for how long? 26 Aug 2009

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia Spain, Friday, 21 August 2009 The podium (L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren, second; Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Brawn Grand Prix, race winner; Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari, third.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, European Grand Prix, Race, Valencia Spain, Sunday, 23 August 2009 (L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing with Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, European Grand Prix, Race Day, Valencia Spain, Sunday, 23 August 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia Spain, Saturday, 22 August 2009

Fresh from his third podium finish of the season at last weekend’s European Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen is thrilled that the points he scored from his third-place finish in Valencia have helped to bolster Ferrari’s position in the standings. The Italian team are currently third in the constructors’ championship, five points ahead of traditional rivals McLaren.

“I really enjoy winning, but even a third place can give you some good feelings,” Raikkonen told Ferrari’s official website. “We started the European Grand Prix from sixth on the starting grid, we had a good start and we managed to gain another place on the podium. We can hardly expect more than this. Our goal is to fight for a position amongst the first three teams and we’ve reached this goal.”

But Raikkonen fears that as the season progresses, it may get more and more difficult to maintain their current position, with McLaren making great strides forward in recent weeks with their MP4-24, and Ferrari opting to halt development of the F60 and instead focus on their 2010 car.

“With the points we gained, we are still ahead of McLaren in the constructors’ championship,” continued the Finn. “This is our goal as a team, but it’s very difficult to reach, considering that we have stopped developing this car, and are instead concentrating on the one for the upcoming season.”

Despite his concerns, Raikkonen is keen to do all he can to get another podium at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. With a real affection for the Belgian track where he has taken three race wins, in 2004, 2005 and 2007, the 29 year-old will be working hard to get the most from his car and finish in the top three again.

“The main goal is to hold the standard of the last races, which means that we have to try to get on the podium again,” he concluded. “I always loved racing at Spa where I’ve won many times since I started my career in the smaller racing series.

“I really like driving here: 44 laps might be not enough! Last year everything went up in smoke due to the rain at the end of the race and I ran into a wall. I set all on victory and I didn’t have anything to lose. This year the situation is slightly different, and because we don’t have a car that’s able to compete on the highest performance level. But we’ll give it our all - and even more - for a good result.”

The action will get underway in Belgium with first practice on Friday.