Kimi Raikkonen Q&A: I am ready to go racing 11 Mar 2009
Returning to the pits with a problem on his Ferrari's KERS cooling system probably wasnt the perfect end to Kimi Raikkonen's winter testing season, but after clocking Tuesdays fastest time Raikkonen wasnt too disappointed. Overall the Finn seems satisfied with the F60's development curve. However, as one of the grids most experienced runners, he knows better than most that hell 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 lets wait and see how we are doing at the first race.
Q: On your last day there was a problem with the cars KERS
KR: I dont 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?
KR: Well, the rules are new and with KERS there are always chances that something could go wrong, as we havent 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 didnt seem to have a car that you really enjoyed driving. Do you feel more comfortable in the F60?
KR: 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?
KR: I mean it was okay as we havent really pushed for a special lap time. The car is handling well and that is the main thing, and if we dont 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?
KR: That doesnt 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 wont be a handicap for you for in Melbourne?
KR: 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?
KR: I dont know. I havent got scales. I am happy as long as we are okay with the overall weight, thats all that matters.
Q: Did you change your preparations over the winter?
KR: 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?
KR: I dont know how well the others are doing, but so far Ive 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?
KR: I dont know anything about a different feeling. Its a new season, so its hard to know what to expect. Of course with the rule changes the handling changes a little bit and it can get tricky if its 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?
KR: I dont 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?
KR: I dont know if they have a problem or not, and what they are doing. Lets wait a few weeks and we will know where they are in the first race. They havent probably been as quick as in the past winter but that doesnt mean that they wont 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?
KR: I dont know. You should ask him. I dont know what hes 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?
KR: It could be all tight - but then again, it might not be. I dont know more than anybody else - I just see the times. Thats it.
Q: Have you rediscovered the fun of Formula One racing?
KR: Its always been fun, but definitely if youre doing well its more fun. But we havent started the season yet!