Can't wait for the season to start - Raikkonen
World Champion Kimi Raikkonen is looking forward to his second season with the Scuderia Ferrari. After weeks and weeks of preparation work and pre-season testing, the 'Iceman' is eager to get back to racing.
"I'm a racing driver. And obviously all I want to do is to race. That is my job and I love it. I can't wait for the new season to start. It really seems that the time has flown since last October. I had a nice break and now everything is ready for the start of the season. I believe that we're going to Melbourne with a competitive car. The tests during the winter went very well and we did everything possible. The F2008 is a step forward from the car we had last year. The team has done a great job; especially in the areas where we weren't that strong, like the behaviour through slow corners and over the curbs. We should be strong in every situation, although you never know these things for sure.
"Usually I never like to look back, but for once I want to make an exception. Last season ended in a fantastic way that I will never ever forget. It feels great having finally won the Title and it feels even better, that I've done it in my first year with Ferrari. I've been quite close on a couple of occasions before, but like this it was really exceptional. I really enjoyed celebrating at the end of the season. I spent Christmas in Finland and then I went on holiday to Dubai to celebrate New Year with my wife Jenni and my friends. It's nice having a break and chilling out after such a tough season. The only thing, which was different this year was, that I had a test session in December. It was very important to try out the car without traction control. At the beginning of January I could immediately start testing with the new car, while two of them were ready. It was really important and together with Felipe we could collect many useful data for further development. I'm really satisfied with how the tests went. We have a strong, fast, competitive and reliable package. We should be there fighting for victories in every race and in the end for the two Championships.
"Personally I feel a huge difference to start this season compared to 2007. Now I know the team and the way they work and there won't be any surprises. I've built up a good relationship with my engineers and we understand each other: they know how I want my car to be set up.
"Again the first race is in Australia. I really like racing in Melbourne and it's nice having won there already before. The track is very slippery on the first day due to the fact that it's only used once per year. Braking without the engine brake will be a bit more difficult, but we've had already many tests and a driver adapts quickly. I have good memories from last year: we dominated the whole race weekend and in the end we gained the Pole Position and won the race. It's really nice to get off to a good start. We managed that last year, although afterwards we lost it a bit. I definitely want to win also this year, because it's always better to lead instead of having to catch up! At the beginning of the season it's always difficult to say what will happen, because during the tests you never know how much fuel the others have in their cars. As I've said, I think that Ferrari will be competitive, but we'll only find our for sure in Melbourne."