We cannot afford to drop further back - Raikkonen

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The first FIA press conference of the French Grand Prix weekend featured an unusual panel, as the organisers decided to have all four drivers who head the Drivers' classification at the moment: Kubica, Hamilton, Massa and Raikkonen. Interestingly enough, it just so happens these four finished in the top four places in the 2007 running of this race, in the order, Raikkonen, Massa, Hamilton and Kubica.

Talking about this track, Kimi Raikkonen admitted he enjoyed this venue where he has finished all his seven races at the Nevers circuit. "I enjoy driving here, as it is a technical track, although it is not that easy to pass another car. I hope I can get a good result this weekend." The last two races did not yield a single point for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver, but the Finn was not despondent about his chances of keeping the Drivers' crown for another year. "For sure the championship looked better before Monaco and Montreal," he admitted. "But the gaps between us at the top are all very small and there is still a long way to go. As long as we finish where we should in the coming races then we can fight back easily. However, we cannot afford to drop any further back. We have to get the best out of our package and this weekend we must score points although of course I will be going for the win."

Laughter went around the Media Centre when one journalists asked if the drivers thought they were underpaid compared to other sports athletes! "I don't do it for the money," said Kimi. "But I am happy with I get (paid) and I think we should get something in recognition for the fact we are doing a dangerous job. In the end, we get paid what people are prepared to pay." Still on financial matters, there is talk of the F1 drivers going on strike because of a large increase in the amount of money they pay for the FIA Superlicense and the sliding scale of monies paid depending on their points total. "I don't think a strike is a good idea, it is not the right way to go about it," commented the Ferrari man. "I hope we can reach a nice settlement instead."

Source Ferrari