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Happy to disappoint by keeping Ferrari seat - Kimi Raikkonen Q&A

09 Jul 2016

Barely 24 hours after signing a contract extension for 2017 with Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen came out of a scrappy qualifying session at Silverstone with a half-second advantage over team mate Sebastian Vettel. Cause for celebration? Not exactly, according to Raikkonen - although he is happy to have put to bed the constant speculation linking other drivers to his seat with the Scuderia...

Q: Kimi, let's start with the obvious: you have been confirmed for another year. Does that make things easier?

Kimi Raikkonen: For sure it makes things easier. Because people will stop asking the same question over and over again! And that makes a huge difference. (laughs) It also gives me pleasure that it is disappointing a lot of people who had high hopes. So it was good that there was a decision now and not towards the end of the season, because from now on we can fully concentrate on the remaining 2016 season and the changes for 2017. The rest - the racing and working with the team - doesn't really change. Of course I am very happy to stay with Ferrari. Also I am interested to experience the changes of 2017. Faster cars and wider tyres - that sounds pretty good to me.

Q: Coming to today, what do you make of the gap to Red Bull and Mercedes?

KR: Well, it is not ideal. But the conditions have also been pretty tricky. There was simply not enough speed and with the wind that is here we probably knew that we would suffer a bit. I hope the race will be much easier, at least concerning the wind.

Q: And what about your gap to Sebastian Vettel - more than half a second. What do you make of that?

KR: Ah, I don't make anything out of that. I know that the media jump on things like that. But for me it is completely irrelevant. If it would be about pole position and P2 I probably would waste a thought on it. But it is about P5 and P6 - and that is not worth thinking of.

Q: You just mentioned that the conditions were not easy for Ferrari. Did you come here expecting to face some oddities?

KR: Well, we probably knew that there would be some issues in the handling of the car. But then you come here and find conditions that make it a bit harder to handle than expected. Overall we are where we expected to be. No big disappointment - and no miracles.

Q: Was there a particular reason for your spin?

KR: It was just going over the kerbs - but it didn't have any impact other than probably losing some time.

Q: What kind of difficulties are you facing here exactly? Is it the set-up, the temperature of the tyres? Can you say? And are they Silverstone-specific, or more generic?

KR: It is the same story at all the races so far this season. We want more downforce and find it hard to settle on the right set-up in that situation. And then if you have conditions like today it adds fuel to the fire. But that is how it is and we know that not enough downforce is one of our weaknesses - but we also know that you don't fix that in the blink of an eye.

Q: So the set-up issues are at every circuit, or particular to Silverstone?

KR: It is basically just here. On top of that we had some small issues here and there to be really comfortable. That adds up. And on top of that we suffer from the wind. Everybody is suffering from it - maybe us more than others.

Q: When you look at the race tomorrow, do you expect to suffer more than others again then - at least if the conditions stay dry?

KR: Ha. I have not driven other cars so how would I know? And as for suffering from the wind, the key question is always the direction it blows. Maybe we will see tailwind tomorrow - who knows?