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Q&A with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen 24 Jul 2009

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Preparations, Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, 23 July 2009

Kimi Raikkonen’s mood seems to be on an upward swing. The car finally seems to coming his way and the hot conditions in Budapest should suit the F60 well. Whether it will be enough to get him on the podium come Sunday he’s not sure, but any improvement on his recent results will be most welcome…

Q: Kimi, at the last couple of races you haven’t been overly happy about your car but today seemed to be much better…
Kimi Raikkonen:
Yes, the car was not bad. There are little things still not so perfect but I think we can improve that. I was very happy about how the car handled. We’ve seen very tight times today so we have to wait and see what I can do tomorrow - but definitely I am more happy today than the last Friday at Nurburgring. We have to work hard for qualifying because one tenth faster or slower can mean five or six places difference on the grid and starting further in front on the grid is quite important at this track.

Q: One of the very important issues here is the tyres. Do both types - the soft and super soft - work well for you?
KR:
Yes. This year the super soft have been quite tricky to use but we have been focusing on that problem and have come up with a good solution.

Q: Today you’ve looked better than team mate Felipe Massa. Do you have the same feeling?
KR:
I don’t know what they did with his car. As I said before I felt very comfortable today and I am sure that Felipe’s crew will work hard to get the best out of his car.

Q: So would you count yourself among those who will be towards the front of the grid after qualifying given the times from today?
KR:
Well, that’s the same story every race weekend: it’s very hard to make a prediction based on the Friday times. Tomorrow afternoon we definitely know more. But I am pretty confident to be able to do a good lap time.

Q: We have seen in Istanbul that the temperature can have a big influence on the performance of the car. Do you have a clear picture here which temperature will be the best for your car?
KR:
Usually when it is hot it is better for us as we had some issues this year getting the tyres working. This weather conditions here should suit us.

Q: Today we’ve seen 19 cars within one second. Is this the picture that we will see all weekend?
KR:
In Budapest the times have always been very close, even in the past. But probably we will see an even closer field than ever before.

Q: This weekend there is a lot of talk about young drivers. When you came into Formula One how much of a challenge was it, as you were also very young and had little car experience?
KR:
I wasn’t as young as they are now, but I had even less experience in a car race. But the good thing when I came in was that I had a whole winter for testing and to get accustomed to the car and the system. But today, with no testing in the season and limited tests over the winter period, it is very difficult for those guys to come in as the only way they can gain experience is by racing. And even if one has little experience, when asked to join a Formula One team nobody will say no, as there are no other options than the ‘learning by doing’ model.