Reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen reckons that his task will be more straightforward in 2008 - but stops short of predicting a repeat of his title triumph.

Speaking at Ferrari's annual pre-season media event in Italy, the Finn said that not having to get to grips with a new team would be a big advantage for his 2008 campaign, and admitted that he hoped to be more of a threat in the first half of the season than he was in 2007.

"Coming to this new season, it's hopefully going to be more easy-going, the first part of the season, than it was last year," he confirmed, "It's a new season, but it's with the same team, so it's going to be much easier for me and much easier for the team, so I hope we can have a slightly stronger start to the year and then we will go from there.

"We won two championships last year, so it's much nicer to come back here, one year later, than it was a year ago, when I didn't know the people [and] didn't know the team. Now it's much easier.

"I don't think I have changed, even though I have achieved what I wanted in my life. I think we want to improve everywhere, but I improve my driving every time I go in the car. As a team, we are pushing forward and, hopefully, we can improve in those areas where we had the most difficult time."

Despite being world champion, however, Raikkonen insists that he is not expecting any special treatment from Ferrari this season.

"I think that it's been the same for me as before," he said, "We drivers start the season at the same level, everybody, and we do the best that we can. We try to win races. There's a point in the season when the other guy's in a better position, so you need to make sure that he can get all the efforts from the team and all the chances [to win]. I don't really worry about whether I'm number one or number two, I always do my best [and] that's the main thing."

 

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