Raikkonen wants to defend third place in Constructors' Championship

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Japan, Circuit Suzukajp

After an extremely difficult weekend at the Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit, Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen is looking forward to mingle himself among the frontrunners at Suzuka, the venue for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. The Finn hopes that he and Giancarlo Fisichella will be able to defend the team's third place in the Championship.

Kimi Raikkonen: "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."