GP Belgio, conferenza stampa giovedì–24/08/2017
Ferrari’s Raikkonen insists he can still win F1 races and titles
Kimi Raikkonen says he would not have committed to a fresh Formula 1 deal with Ferrari if he did not believe he could still win races and championships.
Ferrari confirmed earlier this week that it had extended Raikkonen’s contract for a further season.
Raikkonen, who has not won a race since returning to the outfit in 2014, says he is still capable of being competitive and that he would walk away from F1 the moment he felt he could no longer race hard.
When asked what aspect of F1 convinced him most to stay, the Finn said: "It’s purely the racing.
"I enjoy the racing, and obviously I want to do well.
"If I didn’t feel that I can go fast, and I wouldn’t be happy in myself, I wouldn’t be here.
"As long as I feel myself that I can win races and fight for championships then that is why. If I didn’t feel that, I will be the first guy to do something else."
Raikkonen said he was not aware of the specific reasons behind Ferrari’s decision to award him another contract.
"You have to ask them," he said.
"Honestly, the only thing I was interested in was to be here next year.
"I don’t really care what the rest is thinking. The team feels the same way.
"What are the reasons? You have to go and ask them. What else can I say?"
Raikkonen said he hoped his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, whose contract with Ferrari comes to an end later this year, would also commit to a fresh deal with the outfit.
"We work very well together, as does the whole team," he said.
"It’s a good way of working but obviously I am not the one who decides.
"I have no idea what will happen in this case. Hopefully it will stay as it is now."
Q: Kimi, congratulations on your new Ferrari deal. Why is it the right thing for you and your career?
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Well, I wouldn’t do it if I wouldn’t want to, and be happy with it and obviously the team feels the same way so, y’know…
Q: You’ve qualified third or higher on the grid at the last four races and you’re tied three-all with Vettel in the last six qualifying sessions and obviously we all saw you had the pace to win in Hungary. Are we seeing the highest level of challenge from your since your return to Ferrari, do you think?
KR: I don’t know. It’s so difficult to… everybody has their own view of things and obviously we want to do well, we want to improve and I guess you always find things to do better and, that way, find more speed. Lately it’s been a bit better, we’ve been feeling a bit more comfortable and been able to drive as want and obviously the result suddenly looks a bit better. I’m confident we are doing the right things and getting where we want to be.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) To Valtteri and Kimi: two Finns on the podium in two successive races for the first time ever. Would it mean anything to you to make a new kind of history with a hat trick?
KR: Obviously we must try to win races. If you don’t get that then you get the next positions and would it really make us happier? I don’t think I know. I think you’re happy if you win but less if you come second or third but obviously it’s been great for Finns, for us, but I don’t think it’s something that you aim to purposely do or you get more satisfaction from that I think is purely if you do better than worse.
Q: (Marco Privitera – LiveGP.it) Kimi, in Austria Sebastian said that Kimi is my favourite teammate for the next season. Do you have the same opinion? Do you think that Sebastian is your favourite teammate for the future?
KR: Yeah, I’m sure he is. I think we work very well together, as the whole team, a good way of working, but obviously I’m not the guy who decides who does what and obviously I have no idea what will happen in his case but hopefully all that stays how it is now and it would be perfect.
Q: (Graham Harris – Motorsport Monday, Motorsport Weekly) Kimi and Valtteri, one of you has been confirmed for next year, one of you is still waiting to be confirmed. You are both at the sharp end of the grid. Do you think, Kimi, the fact that you’ve got next year out of the way and we won’t be asking you these questions any more eases the pressure on you? And Valtteri, do you think that because you haven’t been confirmed and you don’t know what is actually happening next year this puts added pressure on you in addition to winning races?
KR: I don’t think it’s serious, you know. Maybe this weekend again you guys will not ask at the next race but start again, so that wouldn’t be a big surprise for me. Obviously it’s more easy to deal with that side of the stuff and we can put all our effort into pure racing. It just doesn’t change the end result, it doesn’t guarantee better results or worse results. It doesn’t work like that but it’s a good thing to be done.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) To all drivers: how do you imagine will be your flying lap on Saturday with cars that have a minimum 30 percent more downforce, tyres 25 percent wider and ultrasoft tyres?
KR: We’ve driven these cars all year so far; some circuits you feel that for sure you will go faster everywhere and obviously it’s quite a high speed circuit so we expect to be feeling a bit faster but I think it’s good for this place to have the grip and the speed through the corners and it makes it more exciting so I would guess that it’s quite a nice feeling.
Q: (Luigi Perna – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, what is making you carry on racing, considering that you said that you would retire at the end of your contract with Ferrari 2015? It’s because you have the same excitement as you had at the beginning or just because you have the right car to compete?
KR: It’s purely the racing. The rest not but I enjoy racing and obviously I want to do well. If I did not feel that I can go fast I wouldn’t be happy in myself. If I wasn’t driving, I wouldn’t be here. I have zero interest to waste my time or the team’s time to be a part of it, it’s not the most nicest place to just hang around. So the racing is the main thing. Yes, there’s a lot of other sides of F1 but as long as the racing is the biggest part, then that’s it and as long as I feel myself that I can win races and fight for championships then that’s fine. When I don’t feel like that I will be the first guy to do something else.