Raikkonen ready to go on the attack
Wednesday, 22, August, 2007, 10:34
Kimi Raikkonen admits he is now in a position where he has to take more risks in the remaining races of the season to give himself a chance of world title glory.
The Ferrari driver returns from a holiday in his native Finland 20 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton with just six races left, starting at Istanbul Park in Turkey this weekend.
The 27-year-old says that although his mindset for the remaining races will be the same as it was for the preceding rounds, his points deficit to the McLaren drivers means he is under less pressure and can throw caution to the wind.
“I will confront these last races in the same spirit I confronted the ones before: I'll try to win and collect as many points as possible and then we will do the maths in the classification,” he said in his race preview.
“We have to give our best and hope that those who are ahead of us have slight problems.
“I don't have much to lose so I can risk more than my colleagues at McLaren.
“Six races can seem to be only a few, but for the ones who are leading it's a lot.
“We were able to see that over the last weekend at the Rally of Germany, where [Marcus] Gronholm paid a high price for a bad day.”
Raikkonen predicted after his second place to Hamilton three weeks ago in Hungary that the remaining lower downforce configuration tracks on the calendar should play to the F2007’s strengths.
He therefore heads in to the final third of the season confident that Ferrari has the speed to gatecrash the McLaren duo’s drivers’ title battle.
“We have to confront the last part of the season, the one in which everything will be decided,” the Finn said.
“There are three races in four weeks, plus a test: this is certain to be a very busy period, but we are racing on tracks, which are amongst my favourites - Istanbul, Monza and Spa-Francorchamps.
“I think that these are tracks where Ferrari should be very competitive: there are no characteristics that are against us.
“The whole team is working together, to try to recuperate the gap in the points: in Maranello they didn't stop working over the last days! I spoke to the technicians and they told me that we have a couple of new developments in the car.
“We are optimistic for Turkey: I won the first race ever held here, which gave me a very special feeling.”