Kimis column

A fan of a new car

"I enjoyed the winter break even more than usual. I spent most of the time with my family and friends in Switzerland and in Finland. Most of all I have also been training very hard and keeping myself fit in a slightly different way for the start of the most challenging F1 season.

"This is a very difficult season to start making predictions, because of the massive change in rules this year. However,  Ferrari has been competitive in testing,  but the real test for new F60 will be in Melbourne, when we are all back on the track at the same time with the same fuel load.

"Only then we will truly find out just how competitive we are. More or less we need some more races to get a better picture. Albert Park is a special circuit and a special place, so, propably, it will take until Malaysia to find out which teams are really ahead of others in the beginning of this campaign.

"Like always it feels great to start a new season. To put my helmet on and to start to race is something we are here for. The amount of testing has been restricted, but it has been fun, as always, to work with a brand new car.

"I am really looking forward to the new season and to start racing again. It seems like a long time ago since the last race in Brazil. With the new cars it’s going to be very interesting with all that development and changes.

"When you're doing well it's even more fun. But so far we haven't done any races. It such a challenge to go to the first race and start the season properly. Hopefully things will go the way we hope for this year.

"The new car has much less downforce compared to last year so it is slower in the fast corners. But the car has more grip in the slower corners with the slick tyres. Overall the lap time is similar to last year. Honestly I can say that I like the new car more than the the car we had last year. This is more fun to drive. It’s more like the racing car used to be some years ago.

"The KERS systems is very interesting. It’s very easy for a driver to use. Hopefully it will help with the overtaking. The whole team were positively surprised that the KERS systems seemed to be working well from the first test.

"Everybody expects to see more overtaking. I think it’s too early to say, if the aerodynamic change will help, while following another car close behind. We have to wait and see what happens.

"For the driver and for the team it’s always nice to start well. Especially if you look, how close the drivers’ championship has been in the last two years. I won the 2007 championship by one point and the drivers championship was decided by one point last year, too.

"So every point counts. In 2007 I won in Melbourne, last year we had too many problems. The target is again to start to score good points since race one.

"During the winter break I competed in two rallies in Finland with Fiat Grande Punto S2000. It was also a great fun and good practise for racing. But now it’s time for the serious business of F1"

Click here for the Official Kimi Raikkonen web site - designed and built by Racecar