F1 »

Raikkonen has `learnt a useful lesson` for 2009.

Kimi Raikkonen has hinted that he will return to form with a vengeance in Formula 1 in 2009, after the reigning world champion revealed he had 'learnt a lesson' in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend that will be 'useful' in the future.

The 17-time grand prix winner has struggled in qualifying for the majority of the current campaign, making him look like little more than a shadow of the man who pinched the laurels at the last in 2007, as he has invariably trailed team-mate Felipe Massa on Saturday afternoons and consequently given himself too much ground to make up come race day.

After lining up on the front row on the grid around the Shanghai International Circuit – the second outing in succession in which he has out-qualified Massa – Raikkonen admitted that whilst his turnaround has come too late to save his hopes of defending his hard-fought crown, it has come just in time for him to launch his preparations to regain the trophy next season.

“Finally, things seemed to go right for me in qualifying,” stated the Finn, who yesterday turned 29 and is tomorrow bidding to record his first grand prix victory since Barcelona all the way back in April. “It's too late for the title, but we definitely learnt a lesson which will be useful for next year.

“All weekend we've struggled to find the right settings on the car, but then all the work we put in finally came good in Q3, when the car was pretty good. Certainly, even putting aside what the choices have been in terms of fuel loads, today it would have been difficult to beat the McLaren, but I am happy with the overall result for the team.

“We can count as usual on being more competitive in the race than in qualifying, so we can look to tomorrow with confidence, as we try to get the best possible result for both championships. The weather could be very changeable, so we have to be ready to deal with every eventuality.”

“A very tough qualifying,” concurred the Scuderia's technical director Luca Baldisserri, “up against a very strong rival. I would say the main problem we have at this track is the inconsistency of our car performance.

“We worked hard to get around it, but so far we have not managed to resolve the problem completely. We must try and do that for tomorrow's race, but we can take heart from the fact that, usually, over a long run we have always gone better than in qualifying.”

Raikkonen was certainly far more encouraged at the end of the session than was his fellow Finn, McLaren-Mercedes' Heikki Kovalainen, with whom he traded fastest times in both Q2 and Q3.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008, Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai, 17th-19th October 2008
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

billy bull**** - Unregistered

October 18, 2008 3:36 PM

is it just me or does anyone else think kimi looks like he has spent the last 12 months out on the pi$$... definately above fighting weight and looking tired and bored whenever featured on camera. imo the best championss have been the ones who grind out the results when everything isnt going there way.... see FA´s recent performances, MS proved capable on many occasions and AS´s vinatage late Mclaren performances epitomise this spirit. getting the word ´ just ger on wi it lad´....

McLeod - Unregistered

October 18, 2008 3:28 PM

Reading Haug''s comments about the timing margins between grid positions :rolleyes: ... I''ve figured out what I''ll watch if F1 finally implodes under the weight of Bernie and Max''s meddling: drag racing. Three tenths and half a tenth of a second equates to supremely boring racing if the cars and drivers can''t take the fight to each other due to technical and judiciary reasons.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.