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Kimi Raikkonen Q&A: I am ready to go racing 11 Mar 2009

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari. Formula One Testing, Day One, Barcelona, Spain, 9 March 2009. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Barcelona, Spain, 10 March 2009. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60. Formula One Testing, Day One, Barcelona, Spain, 9 March 2009. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari. Formula One Testing, Day One, Barcelona, Spain, 9 March 2009. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Barcelona, Spain, 10 March 2009.

Returning to the pits with a problem on his Ferrari's KERS cooling system probably wasn’t the perfect end to Kimi Raikkonen's winter testing season, but after clocking Tuesday’s fastest time Raikkonen wasn’t too disappointed. Overall the Finn seems satisfied with the F60's development curve. However, as one of the grid’s most experienced runners, he knows better than most that he’ll have to wait until Melbourne to discover where he - and the rest of the field - truly stand…

Q: Kimi, how are you feeling two weeks before the start of the season?
Kimi Raikkonen:
I feel okay and the car seems to be good. So let’s wait and see how we are doing at the first race.

Q: On your last day there was a problem with the car’s KERS…
I don’t know exactly what the problem was - the engineers are checking it. I guess it was a small leakage in the cooling system, and I am sure they will fix it. Apart from that everything worked very well.

Q: Will reliability be the biggest concern this year for everybody?
Well, the rules are new and with KERS there are always chances that something could go wrong, as we haven’t had so much testing with it. But I think we are on a pretty good level with it, so hopefully everything goes well.

Q: Last year you didn’t seem to have a car that you really enjoyed driving. Do you feel more comfortable in the F60?
I am happy with how the car works now. But of course testing is something very different to racing and we are going to many different tracks, so we will have to wait and see. But as I said, for now I am pretty happy and the rest we will see in a few weeks.

Q: Are you happy with both the consistency over long runs and quick single laps?
I mean it was okay as we haven’t really pushed for a special lap time. The car is handling well and that is the main thing, and if we don’t face anymore problems we should be okay. It is very difficult to say what everybody is doing so we better wait until the first race with any predictions.

Q: You are heavier than Felipe Massa. How big is the weight penalty for you when KERS is on board? Are you restricted in any way when setting the car up?
That doesn’t seem to be a problem and we are more or less where we need to be with the weight - so it should be okay.

Q: So that won’t be a handicap for you for in Melbourne?
If the car works as well as here, because we cannot move the weight distribution, there should be no issue.

Q: But obviously you have lost quite some weight. How many kilos?
I don’t know. I haven’t got scales. I am happy as long as we are okay with the overall weight, that’s all that matters.

Q: Did you change your preparations over the winter?
Not really. We have done different things with the cars but apart from that I have spent my winter just trying to get ready for the season.

Q: Does your driving style work well with the slick tyres?
I don’t know how well the others are doing, but so far I’ve been pretty happy with how the car has been working. I am okay to start the season!

Q: The car is certainly different, but do you feel different to last year?
I don’t know anything about a different feeling. It’s a new season, so it’s hard to know what to expect. Of course with the rule changes the handling changes a little bit and it can get tricky if it’s bad weather, but then that goes for everybody. I am ready to go racing, and then we will see how well we can do.

Q: Last season you started as the reigning world champion, now you are the hunter again. Which role do you like more?
I don’t mind. Everybody starts from the same level so hopefully we can score good points in the first few races and go from there.

Q: You drove for McLaren for many years. This winter seems to have been a little troublesome for them. Does that mean hope for everybody else, or do you think they can come back?
I don’t know if they have a problem or not, and what they are doing. Let’s wait a few weeks and we will know where they are in the first race. They haven’t probably been as quick as in the past winter but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be fast in the first race.

Q: What about Felipe? Is he still the same guy he was last year or has he changed a lot?
I don’t know. You should ask him. I don’t know what he’s been doing, so if you want to know something about his life you should speak to him.

Q: Who do you see as your main competitors this year? The McLaren duo or is there somebody else?
It could be all tight - but then again, it might not be. I don’t know more than anybody else - I just see the times. That’s it.

Q: Have you rediscovered the fun of Formula One racing?
It’s always been fun, but definitely if you’re doing well it’s more fun. But we haven’t started the season yet!