Raikkonen: We will not give up


Despite the bitter disappointment of retiring from the European GP, when a podium finish was virtually assured, Kimi Raikkonen is confident that he can still fight for the title.

Looking back at a dramatic Sunday afternoon in the Eifel region, the Finn said: "From time to time it's really difficult to understand how hard motor sports can be. We had everything on our side for a perfect weekend, but we were unable to bring it to a conclusion.

"It was a real pity that I had to retire for the second time this year," he continued. "We are not on the floor, but this does not make it any easier. I don't know why, but it seems that the two German race tracks don't like me: although I must say that I really like to drive there, at the Nürburgring and also at Hockenheim!

"After the pole on Saturday I was in the position to reverse this negative tradition, but in the end it just didn't happen. You can't do anything to change things: let's see if we can make it next year. But I have to say that I was really happy about the pole, my second this year. The car was very fast over the whole weekend and in Q3 everything went well. On Saturday evening I had a really good feeling, and then, just a couple of minutes before the start of the race, we knew that it was going to rain about ten minutes after the start. But it started earlier and with an unexpected intensity. The start was fine but after the first half a lap the track was wet. We were called in for a pitstop, but when I was on the white line of the pitlane entrance, the car violently veered and went back on the track almost by itself. This lap under the heavy rain with the slicks was really very difficult: I tried to come back in as fast as possible and at the same time keep the car on the track. The red flag reset the situation and I was still confident of my possibilities to win.

"The rain did not play a part at all in my retirement," he added. "I started to have small problems when I was right behind Alonso, then I just lost the differential and the control of the accelerator, so I had to stop at the entrance of the pitlane. I'm really sorry about how the race ended, but that's how it is.

What's certain is that we will not give up," he continued, "the gap from the top in the Drivers' championship remains unaltered, although there is one race less. But we have a real competitive car.

"The next race is in Hungary, where I started from the pole last year and two years ago I won ahead of the Ferrari with Michael. As usual, there will be many Finnish tisofi: let's hope we can celebrate a good result together. Now I'll try to chill out and relax a bit before the upcoming race at the Hungaroring. I'll still have another cause for celebration these days: it's the third anniversary of my marriage with Jenni."

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Published: 24/07/2007
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