Going up

Maranello, 29th September 2009

The only positive thing from the Singapore weekend was that we both finished the race without any reliability problems. As far as the performance was concerned we were a bit in trouble as of the start of the weekend. As I’ve said many times before it’s impossible to predict anything before the start of the race weekend. We already understood on Friday in Singapor that it would be tough for us.
The car was very nervous and we didn’t have any grip at all.
In the end the situation gets more and more difficult. We stopped the car’s development quite some time ago, while there are other teams, who, for one reason or the other, improve their cars. Considering that the last two races were held on special circuits it was predictable that on a track with such a high downforce like the one in Singapore the improvements the others brought had a bigger impact. After the qualifying we knew that also the smallest goal, reaching the points, was something hard to achieve. We went for the hard compound for the first two thirds of the race, but the car didn’t have any grip. The situation was slightly better with the soft compound, but then it was too late and I don’t think that we could have gained more than one point.
Now we’re going back to Suzuka, where I drove a Ferrari for the first time. In Fuji I went onto the podium twice, but this one here is a different track: it’s very fast and demanding. I had one of my nicest wins there in 2005: I started from the back and took over the lead in the end. It’s a very demanding track for us drivers. The realistic goal is to reach a place in the points. We’ll give our best, but it will be difficult; as difficult as to defend our third position in the Constructors’ standings with McLaren catching up.


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To Monza to remain on the podium

To Monza to remain on the podium

These are very intense weeks: after the two consecutive races in Valencia and Spa now there is Monza on the calendar, this year’s last race in Europe. In Belgium we won and we want to go on like this in the last races, trying to stay on the podium. It’s one of the most important GPs of the year, because we race in front of our fans and it would be great to give them satisfaction. The success at Spa was very important for the team: I could see the guys in front of the podium and understood how much this victory meant for them, especially in such a difficult season. It was great for me to listen to the Finnish and the Italian national anthems after such a long time. And it would be excellent to repeat it until the end of the season. Racing in Monza in front of our fans with all the Prancing Horse flags in the wind is a fantastic feeling. I’ve never won a race in Italy, but I always liked racing at Monza. For me there’s no extra pressure, but I know how much the team wants to have a great race here.
The track is the fastest of the season and the KERS should help us just like in Spa. You need to use the kerbs well and this wasn’t the strong point of our cars over the last years. We’ll see what will happen as of Friday. We didn’t do the usual test on the track so it’s difficult to say because the cars haven’t used this aerodynamic set up so far. I’ll have a new teammate, Giancarlo Fisichella. I always got along very well with him. He’s one of the most expert drivers and we will give our best to help Ferrari keep the third place in the Constructors’ Championship. The performance levels changed from one race to the next this year. There are team like us who stopped developing the car and others making pressure, because there are still several goals to reach. Looking back I’m happy because I’m the driver who gained the most points over the last races (25): who would have said that after such a start of the season?
It will be a difficult weekend, but I can promise the fans that we will give our best as usual.


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All the best, Felipe! Good luck, Luca!

Finally we are getting back to the track! This year the summer break was longer than usual and I had the possibility to recharge my batteries for the last part of the season. The first week of the break I dedicated to the Finland Rally, which was an experience I really enjoyed a lot, despite the outcome. It was really fun driving at the max in the Rally in my home country, seeing so many Ferrari fans there. Then I spent some time with my family and my best friends, doing some sport to keep me fit.
I will have a new teammate at Valencia. Instead of Felipe – and I want to wish him all the best for a speedy recovery again – there will be Luca Badoer. He has been the official Scuderia test driver for many years, and I’m glad that he finally got the chance to race a Ferrari. I really wish him good luck and I am sure that we’ll work well together.
We got a good result in Hungary, which allowed us to climb back on the third place in the Constructors’ Championship. This is the Team’s realistic goal for the final part of the season. For myself I hope to win at least one race, after a third place in Monaco and a second at Budapest. In Hungary we seemed to be back to the duels we saw over the last two years, Ferrari vs. McLaren, but I don’t think that this will be the case at the European GP.
We are racing on a city circuit at Valencia, but with very different characteristics compared to the others and compared to Budapest, which is the fastest of them. This year we did quite well on tracks like this, just look at Melbourne – where I could have finished on the podium – Monaco and Budapest. Last year I did not end the race at Valencia caused by an engine failure. So this year I want to return and maybe even gain a place on the podium. This is our realistic goal, although we know that it will be difficult.
The qualifying will be fundamental: it will be important to start from one of the front rows, maybe even from the clean side of the track. It is really a disadvantage when you have to start from the dirty side of the grid on this track, because it has never used during the rest of the year. It will also be important to have constant performance throughout the race: it’s easy to loose time with little mishaps. I am expecting extremely high temperatures and humidity, which will make it all even more difficult for us during the weekend.


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Barcelona a year later

It’s a bit more than a year ago that I won my last Formula One race. At Barcelona in 2008 I had my best weekend with Ferrari: pole position, victory and fastest race lap. Since then I came very close several times – I’m thinking of Magny-Cours, Montreal and Spa – but for one reason or the other I could never make it. Having said that, a driver never looses the lust for winning and I want to have that feeling again as soon as possible. After four races outside Europe it’s always very nice to come back to the Old World. Furthermore I really like the Circuit de Catalunya a lot, also because I could win here already twice in my career.
I really liked hearing from the Team that the new aerodynamic package’s first signs are positive. It will be really interesting taking the car out during Friday’s free practice sessions. We drove on this track back in March this year, but it’s always really difficult to understand from the tests, who’s really strong in the field. Furthermore many cars have changed quite a lot since then. With the new aerodynamic package we’ll have more downforce compared to the first four races, but also almost all of the others will show up with some updates. We’ll see who has done better work.
Aerodynamic efficiency is crucial at the Circuit de Catalunya for a good lap time. It’s a very demanding track from a technical point of view and you need a good car to be competitive. A good qualifying will be important to avoid getting stuck in the field with all the risks coming with a situation like this at the start; we paid our price for that at Bahrain. Overtaking is never easy at Barcelona, but now we’ll see if the KERS can help to make it easier. On such a track it might make the difference, especially at the start.
Until now we gained only three points. The sixth place at Bahrain was a decent result, but now we have to reach much higher. I spent some days at home in Switzerland. I trained and followed the ice hockey world championships, which are held in Switzerland this year. Obviously I’m shouting for Finland. Monday night we played very well and we won against Canada: this match showed that you should never give up and fight right until the end. This is what we’ll do at Ferrari. This week I am in London for the opening of the new Ferrari Store on Regent Street. On Thursday I’ll fly to Spain. It will be a very interesting weekend.

僕はスイスの自宅で何日か過ごした。トレーニングをして、今年はスイスで開催されているアイスホッケーの世界選手権を見に行った。もちろんフィンランドを応援したよ!月曜日の夜、フィンランドはいいプレーをして、カナダに勝った。この試合は、決して諦めずに最後まで戦うべきだってことを証明したね。これはフェラーリがすることと同じ。今週はロンドンのRegent Streetでフェラーリストアのオープンに行くよ。そして木曜日にスペインへ飛ぶ。面白い週末になりそうだ。

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The Chinese GP – Preview

The Chinese GP is held earlier this year than it was its tradition and was moved from autumn to spring. The season doesn’t change a lot in what I’m aiming for: gaining points and maybe even winning. In the past this race has always been good to me. I won here in 2007 and I often gained a place on the podium. Obviously I hope to repeat that.
I know that things are slightly more difficult this year. We started on the wrong foot, although honestly, we deserved at least some points for what we’ve seen in terms of performance. It’s useless, as I always say, to cry over spilled milk. We have to look ahead and we have to try to improve. The season is still very long, although the Court of Appeal’s verdict will have an important impact. We’ve got to develop the car even more, now that we can’t test on the track. We have to make up and we’ve got some aerodynamic improvements already here at Shanghai. But we also know that the others will do the same.
We’ll see how the situation will be on Friday, but I hope that we’ll be a bit closer to the front-runners. After Malaysia I went back home to Switzerland. During Easter I went to Finland, where I spent some time with my family and friends. It was really nice to go ice skating, just doing something different for once. I’ll arrive in China Thursday. The goal is the usual one, being ahead of everybody else, or at least on the podium. The rest doesn’t count for much.


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Kimi Australian Review – Malaysian Preview


It was the first time in many years we were left without a single point in the first race. So, obviously, yes – it was not a good start to the season. By far. It’s frustrating, but there is nothing we can do to change it anymore. We just keep pushing hard and try to improve next time.
It was only one race and things can turn around very quickly. Also last year Melbourne was not that good place for us and then one week later I won in Malaysia. Again things can turn around very quickly. The weekend overall was a very disapointing experience. We did not score any points and we did not have the quickest car on the circuit. There is a lot of work to be done, but I have a great team behind me to change things quickly.
It was one of the toughest weekends I have ever had in F1. We lost some valuable time in practise and it was a painful setback. Every lap counts, especially now when testing is so limited. It’s always hard to say how much we lost, but for sure it did not help. Probably the best thing for us was that the KERS system worked well at the start, but I did not get a clear path to take full advantage of making up positons. It was not enough go gain places, but the feeling to use KERS is great. Our speed was not as competitive as we expected beforehand. I was not so surprised to see the Brawn GP at the front. We already saw in testing that they have been very quick. Now there are new favourites at the top. Obviously it’s going to be very tight and very challenging fight for the championship and that’s very good for the sports.
Before going to the season I said, that we need to see how things are after the first two races. Malaysia is more of a normal circuit to judge how competitive we are. I think the championship is wide open. This was only the first race of the season and whilst it would have been nice to start the season well, there are many races remaining. It’s too early to start making predictions. The picture will become clearer only after the first 4 or 5 races.
Now we go to Malaysia, which has always been good place for me. It’s a proper circuit compared to Melbourne. Due to the cars being so different this year, it’s very hard to know just where we are compared to our competitors. I just love to race at Sepang. It’s a very challenging place, the weather is hot like in a Finnish Sauna and it really demands a lot to get good weekend there. We have a lot of work to be done after Melbourne, but we will do our very best to win the race again.

僕がF1で経験した中で最も厳しいレースウイークのひとつだった。プラクティスでは貴重な時間を失って、それはとても痛かったよ。テストが制限されている今となっては特に、あらゆる周回が大切なんだ。僕達が失ったものがどれほどであるのか言及するのは難しいけど、助けにならなかったことだけは確かだ。たぶん僕達にとって一番よかったことはKERSシステムがスタートでよく機能したということだ。だけどポジションを上げるために機能をフルに活用することはできなかった。順位を上げるには至らなかったけど、KERSを使う感触はよかったよ。僕達のスピードは、自分達が前もって期待していたほどコンペティティヴではなかった。Brawn GPが強かったことについては僕はそれほど驚いていない。僕達は既にテストで彼らがとても速かったのを見ているからね。今のトップは新しいチームになった。チャンピオンシップはとてもタイトでチャレンジングな戦いになりそうだけど、スポーツにとってはとてもいいことだ。

続きを読む Kimi Australian Review – Malaysian Preview

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Raikkonen:Countercheck at Melbourne


I enjoyed this winter break more than usual. I spent most of the time with my family and friends in Switzerland and Finland, but I mainly trained very hard and in a different way to be ready for a very demanding season. Amongst other things I’ve taken part in two rallies in Finland with Fiat’s Grande Punto S200: I really had a lot of fun, but it also was a good training for the upcoming races. And now it’s time to get serious.
It’s difficult making predictions, considering the many rule changes this year. Ferrari was very competitive during the tests; but we’ll do the F60’s countercheck at Melbourne, when we’ll all meet in the race with the same fuel at the same time. Only then we’ll see how strong we are and maybe we’ve got to wait for a couple of races to have a clearer situation. Albert Park is a very particular circuit, just like the city itself is very special: maybe we’ve got to wait until Malaysia to see which teams will be ahead.
As usual I can’t wait to start a new season. Putting on the helmet and racing is something worth living for. The number of tests has been limited, but I had fun anyway to work on a completely new car. It seems that a really long time has passed since the last race in Brazil, also considering all the changes of the car: it will be really interesting to see how its development will evolve. When things go well you’re having more fun, but we still haven’t raced this year, so it’s really a bit too early to say anything. We hope that everything will be the way we expect it to be. There’s a lot less of aerodynamic downforce than last year, so we’ll be slower in the fast corners, but the car will have much more grip in the slow ones, due to the slicks. Therefore the lap times haven’t changed a lot. I can confirm that I like the F60 more than last year’s car. It’s much more fun to drive and it reminds me more of the cars I was used to some year ago. The KERS is something very interesting and easy to use: I hope that it will make overtaking easier. From the first test the whole Team was positively surprised by how well the KERS works. Everybody is expecting more overtaking now, but I think it’s still a bit too early to say what will happen and if the lower downforce will help when you’re in a slipstream. It’s always a good thing for a driver and a team to have a good start into the season, especially when we remember how the last two seasons ended as far as the Drivers’ Championship is concerned: I won with one point in 2007 and my teammate was one point short in 2008. That means that every point counts. Two years ago I won in Australia, while we had several problems last year. Our goal is to immediately gain some good points.

いつもよりオフを楽しんだよ。ほとんどの時間をスイスとフィンランドで家族や友達と過ごしたけど、ハードなシーズンの準備のためのトレーニングがメインだった。その他に、FIATのGrande Punto S200でフィンランドの2つのラリーに参加した。すごく楽しかったし、シーズン中のレースに向けてのいいトレーニングになった。そして今、シリアスになるべき時がきた。
ガゼッタデロスポルトに載ったスーツ姿のキミたん←ここ最近で一番ハァハァした。RACING LINE#104を上回る萌え

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