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Q&A with Kimi Raikkonen at Madonna di Campiglio

NEWS STORY
10/01/2007

Today, high in the Italian Alps, Kimi Raikkonen made his debut appearance in Ferrari red, when he attended the first day of the Italian team's annual press get together at Madonna di Campiglio.

Sporting the legendary Cavallino Rampante on his bright red jacket, the Finn was asked how he felt.

Clearly eager to get off on the best possible footing with his new team, the Finn did something that it took his predecessor (Michael Schumacher) several years to do…

"First I say some Italian maybe…" he began, "bon giorno a tutti," he continued, much to the delight of the Italians present. "It's a nice feeling. It's the first time as an official Ferrari driver. I've been at the factory but it's different here, very relaxed, and I think everything seems to be as I expected."

You've been to the factory, met the engineers, what were you impressions?
Kimi Raikkonen: "I was at the factory a few times at the end of the year, seeing the people, making a seat and meeting with the engineers and then I went to the test to see how the people worked, because every team works a slightly different way and I think it was very positive. It will be much more positive to go for my first test because I will have been there and seen how every one works and what they do. I was very happy that I went to the test to meet the people and see how things go because it's going to help me a lot and give me some idea how things go. It was just a good feeling in the team and easy people to work with.

What are your objectives for 2007?
KR: I guess it's the same every year: we try to win the races, the championship. It's too early to say yet how it's going to go. I haven't even driven a metre with the car, everything's going to be new but I think everything will be fine. We are going to work as a team and try to get a good result every weekend.

You look in good shape, have you worked out a lot over the winter; what have you been doing?
KR: I was at home at Christmas taking it easy at home. I haven't had much else to do most time that you have for those things and I don't know if I've done more or less, I don't count it, I do what I like to do and I think I'm in good shape and that's the only thing that matters.

How big is the pressure for you to replace Michael?
KR: I don't feel any pressure because when I went to McLaren it was a similar situation and it was early in my career. Of course, when you move teams people are always comparing you to the previous driver, who in this case was Michael, who was also the main guy in Formula One for many years. It's normal that people are expecting and comparing me but I don't feel it, I just do my own things and work on my own way. I think it's going to take a while to get used to how the team works and also how I work so I don't really feel pressure for that.

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