Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that he is content to keep his name out of the newspapers following his world championship success and allow his rivals to steal the headlines.

The claim is more than slightly ironic given the Finn's penchant for behaviour that found favour with tabloids worldwide, but Raikkonen insists that his success hasn't changed him. Instead, he is just keeping his head down after a controversial season in which he came through to deprive warring McLaren team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso of the title.

"I wouldn't say winning has changed my life, but it is good to get what I have always dreamed of," he told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "If there is focus on Lewis Hamilton getting prizes, Michael Schumacher testing with us, or where Fernando Alonso is going, I'm happy. I have a nice quiet life. I've got the trophy they probably all wanted. I'd rather take the world title than any other prize."

Although his crown took some time to be confirmed, following the 'cool fuel' saga that dogged the season finale in Brazil, Raikkonen enjoyed his celebrations, but is now focused on winning another title - and doing so with Ferrari, despite rumours that Alonso may be on is way to Maranello in 2009.

"I think I was at home in Finland, or maybe in Switzerland," he said of hearing the result of McLaren's appeal, "I think I was sent a text message. I expected it to be a good result anyhow, so it didn't change much. I'm happy with this, but I want to win it again. I don't want to win it, say, ten times just because someone else has. I just want to win each race and each championship.

"For sure, Ferrari will be my last team. I'm not interested in going anywhere else. I'm happy here. The place suits me. It is more fun for me than any other team. I have two years to run on my contract and it may not be the last."

Raikkonen, who returned to testing at Jerez this week, admits that his success was made all the sweeter after being written off, both mid-season and with two races remaining when he was 17 points adrift of Hamilton, but insists that there was nothing awry with the situation that saw him clinch the crown at Interlagos.

"It was especially nice because it did not look like we could do it," he confirmed, "'Hamilton made a mistake in China and then had something wrong with the gearbox, or whatever, in Brazil. We won it fair and square. He would say it wasn't pressure that got to him, but it wasn't an easy thing for him to do. Everyone is under pressure."

 

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