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Raikkonen endures sad end to Ferrari spell

'Extraordinary' Kimi Raikkonen endures a frustrating end to the 2009 F1 season and his three-year spell as a Ferrari driver.
'We did the most we could with the package we had', that was Kimi Raikkonen's assessment following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, the final round in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship and the Finn's last event with the Scuderia.

Raikkonen, who only qualified eleventh, slipped back a place in the race, eventually bringing his Ferrari F60 home in twelfth, one spot behind Heikki Kovalainen, who he is tipped to replace at McLaren-Mercedes in 2010.

The 'ice-man' thus ends a tough year - in which Ferrari were never really on the pace - sixth in the drivers' championship, having notched up 48 points in total, the one highlight, his win at the Belgian Grand Prix.

"We knew we did not have a car that was competitive here. It was definitely not a good weekend, but I don't think any of us have anything to reproach ourselves for," reflected the 2007 F1 world champion. "We did the most we could with the package we had.

"At the start, the track was a bit slippery and that cost me a place to [Kamui] Kobayashi, who was very quick today. Then, when the two Brawns were back ahead of me, after their first pit stop, our race was definitely compromised and a points' finish became impossible.

"It's a shame to end my time with Ferrari with this result, but this year we have never been in a position to fight for the win at every race, as I would have wished."

Meanwhile Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali praised Raikkonen and apologised for the squad's failure to give him a truly competitive car in '09.

"This was Kimi's last race with us and again today he gave it his all," Domenicali continued. "We are very disappointed that this year, we did not give him a competitive car and I thank him for never having thrown in the towel, in fact, fighting even harder when the situation was at its trickiest."

Chief engineer, Chris Dyer echoed those sentiments and added that the Finn is an 'extraordinary' driver: "It was a very disappointing day. We knew after the qualifying result that it would be very tough and so it turned out.

"It's an unpleasant way to end our relationship with Kimi and we are very disappointed about it. It would have been nice to have given him a good result as a send off to thank him for everything we have done together over the past three years.

"We wish him all the best for the future, whatever he decides to do. He is an extraordinary driver and we will always have fond memories of him," Dyer summed-up.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kimi Raikkonen [Pic credit: Shell/Ferrari]
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60 German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60, German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60, British F1, Silverstone, 19th-21st, June, 2009
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60, British F1, Silverstone, 19th-21st, June, 2009
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60, Monaco F1 Grand Prix, 21st-24th, May 2009
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60, British F1, Silverstone, 19th-21st, June, 2009

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Ebbie

November 03, 2009 10:52 AM

Kimi, Don't be sad you have a years salary in your back pocket, Ferrari stopped developing the car too early and you did win in Spa with a great drive. Go rallying for a year maybe. Then again maybe McLaren will pay you what you are asking for, I hope so I would love to see your no nonsense attitude up against Lewis in a McLaren.

blzbub

November 03, 2009 12:42 PM

Kimi won the 07 title by winning more races than anybody else. He then actually did everything he could to back Massa's championship push in 08, the problem was that Massa was no match for Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari heirachy decided that after the French GP last year, that Massa was to be the main contender, in two previouse championship campains the only contender Massa beat was Fisichella, and we all know Fisi was never really in the hunt, and that was where Kimi knew his time was coming to an end. Schumacher and co were often accused of arrogance, but it was usually after they had won everything, some at Ferrari now though are living of past glories, they may find themselves getting a kick up the rear when Team Alonso rolls into town. Ferrari should pay Kimi's wages next year and thank him for making sure they actually managed to beat Toyota, Williams et al, because that is how bad the F60 was!



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