Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen tackled his regular Thursday press session in his usual laid back way, refusing to comment on controversy or his future, playing his usual game of cat and mouse with the journalists.
Regarding the prospects for the weekend, he gave the only answer he could: “we will try and do the maximum we can and see what happens.” The Finn did seem to relish the prospect of a rainy weekend. “It should be a wet event and usually the Ferrari car has worked well here, so that is positive. But we are still not up to the level of the quickest- that has not changed for the last five races - but hopefully this circuit can get us closer to the front than in recent races. As usual, we must wait until Friday practice to get an idea what might happen.”
Technically, Raikkonen is currently unemployed for next year, after the news that Fernando Alonso would join the team in 2010. It did not seem to bother him. “For sure I can stay in Formula 1 if I want to, but there is no point in making a stupid contract so I will wait and see what is my best option. If I do stay in Formula 1 it has to be with a team that has the potential to win next season and there are not so many teams that can say that. Or at least, many teams can say it, but you need to be sure you can believe it! For sure the new teams are not going to be fighting for the championship. I will make my decision when I feel like it.”
Since Felipe Massa’s accident in Budapest, Kimi has had two new team-mates, but he did not feel this had much effect on his performance. “It’s always a bit different with new team-mates, but I just do my work in the same way and from that side, my work has not changed at all. Both my new team mates have been nice to work with.” Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’s stated aim is to keep third place in the Constructors’ classification, something Kimi hopes they can do. “Our closest rivals have a better car than us, but we have been able to score more points than them in some races. I don’t know what to expect, so let’s wait and see what happens on Sunday.”
When Kimi won at Interlagos, not only did he stand on the top step of the podium, he also clinched the Drivers’ World Championship title, so Brazil has a special place in his affections. “Of course it was something I always wanted to achieve, so in terms of Formula 1, that race was one of my best memories, maybe one of the best memories of my life,” he said in an uncharacteristic show of emotion. “It’s nice coming back here because you remember what you achieved here in the past.”