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Brazil GP: Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
22/10/2007

It wasn't so long ago this season that you were saying really the chance has gone to win this championship and today, magically perhaps, it's all come right.
Kimi Raikkonen: I don't remember that I was saying that. I think maybe somebody else was saying it, but for sure we were not in the strongest position at some points of the season, but we always believed that we can recover, we can do a better job than the others and even in the hard times everybody was sticking together and we didn't give up. It was good because as we saw in the end, even from a long way behind, we could reduce the gap and go ahead and win the championship, not just Constructors but also Drivers and I need to thank the team, they did a great job not just today but all year. Like I said, we had some hard time with some problems but we always work hard and improve the situation and I think we had a perfect teamwork, Felipe helping all the time also. We had a hard fight with him all year but then he unfortunately didn't score and he couldn't be in the fight any more, so he's been a big help also, and also the sponsors have been a big bonus for us. The team is very close, they've been doing a great job for us, improving the fuel and everything to help us with the new regulations, so for sure I'm going to enjoy today and probably the next month, but I'm very happy.

But it was a beautifully clean race for you, a great race for the team as well, following Felipe, passing Lewis Hamilton into the first corner and then taking the lead in the second phase of pit stops.
KR: I got a very good start actually, side-by-side with Felipe but we didn't really want to race against each other too hard and the main thing was to get past Hamilton and then I saw his in the mirrors in the corner and I think he went off and I thought that maybe we had some chance now. We had very good speed in both cars. We were just taking it easy, saving the tyres and the cars. We could have gone much faster if we wanted to. It was perfect teamwork from the team and it paid off very well. It's not only been in this race but the whole year, so thanks to everybody.

You're known as the Iceman but what was it like in the closing stages of the race, presumably your team saying ‘Kimi, stay where you are, you're going to be World Champion.' What was going through your mind?
KR: Not much really, I wasn't really 100 percent sure because we weren't sure if somebody needed to stop in front of Lewis. He was seventh then even he had finished and I finished the race but there were people who needed to finish and we didn't know 100 percent, so I was just really waiting and it took a long time to hear that we finally won it and it's amazing, after the last few races, being up and down and we scored good points even in difficult situations, so it's been a good finish of the season and great work from everybody and I'm very happy, it was an amazing day.

Felipe, well done to you, a brilliant team performance by Ferrari, you could have won that race, you had the pace to do it, a great pole position; your thoughts at this moment.
Felipe Massa: For sure, I'm very happy with the team. Unfortunately, I didn't come here fighting for the championship for so many reasons, especially because of some difficult times I've had this year but I'm very happy for the team. It's good to see the Ferrari team who trusted me winning the championship and I'm very glad to help the team to win the championship. One day I hope it can be with me but I'm happy for Kimi. For sure I need to say thanks to the whole team who worked very hard, even during the difficult times when we were criticised because the reliability was not good enough, but in the end, it was good to see the team champions. Also with all the problems we had this year with the spy story, so I think it's a good way to show and to do a good job and win the championship. I also need to thank, as Kimi did, the sponsors who worked very hard, like Shell, like all the sponsors we have, so it was a fantastic day for them. For sure, I feel very happy for the team, for Kimi. Unfortunately, I wanted to win the race in Brazil but I'm happy to help the team to win the championships.

In fact there were some question marks before the race about the track surface, about the super soft tyres; in the closing stages, what were the conditions like?
FM: I think the track improved a lot from yesterday to today, so the track made a big improvement. In the end the super soft worked very well at the end of the race. Everybody expected to be in trouble with the super soft but in the end it was working very well. I also need to say that Bridgestone did a good job because everybody was saying that it was too risky to bring the super soft, but in the end it worked, so it was also good for them.

Fernando, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes led the Drivers' Championship from the second race until the last race, but it wasn't to be. A good start, you passed your team-mate Lewis Hamilton out of the first corner and then couldn't keep the pace with the Ferraris.
Fernando Alonso: Yeah, first of all congratulations to Kimi. I said many times, the man who has more points at the last race deserves the championship, so in this case, I think Kimi did a great championship, as he said, up and down for everybody but now, on the last day, he deserves it, so congratulations to him. The race itself, I knew it was going to be very difficult and not only because I had to take four or five points to Lewis but also because with the problem for Lewis in the race, I knew that Ferrari could finish one and two and that was not enough for me. So I tried at the start, I had a good start and I managed to be third and then, as you said, it was impossible to keep the pace with the Ferraris, so I was waiting for something to happen to them.

Where were they quicker than you?
FA: I don't know. I think the first two or three laps I was keeping the pace with them, so I was extremely optimistic at that point on lap three, because I was hoping that the pace was just that. Obviously, they were probably taking care of their tyres in the first couple of laps, and then when they pushed, I was not able to keep the pace, but you never know, it was the same in the China, and anything can happen, so I was keeping the pace there, the third position with fingers crossed that maybe one of the Ferraris has a problem or something and I can take second place but it didn't happen at the end, so nothing I could do.

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