Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen believes there is no added pressure on the Maranello team to win at the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix this weekend. Ferrari has not won its home grand prix at Monza since Fernando Alonso’s victory in 2010, but the Scuderia heads into this weekend as the pre-race favourites following Sebastian Vettel’s convincing win in the Belgian Grand Prix.
“I don’t think there’s any more pressure, the pressure is that we want to do well, ourselves, our team. It’s the normal pressure that we put in ourselves, something that we want to achieve.” – Kimi said earlier today – “It was best one week, it might not be in the next weekend, it’s that close that small differences that dictate who’s fastest that weekend, or in the race. If you don’t get everything right you night not win.
It’s very close and it changes from circuit to circuit, some suit a car better than the other. You’re talking small differences that change the end result. We can only do our best and see where we end up on Sunday.” – he added.
Ferrari is expected to perform strongly at the high-speed circuit given the similar characteristics it shares to Spa, as well as considering the success of the Italian squad’s latest engine upgrade, which once again appears to hold an edge over Mercedes. With Vettel reducing Hamilton’s championship lead to 17 points, team principal Maurizio Arrivabene called on the Scuderia to take advantage of Mercedes not being used to such an intense level of pressure in a title fight, after the German manufacturer has largely dominated the V6 hybrid era.
When asked how he would approach Turn 1 if he happened to be racing side-by-side with teammate Sebastian Vettel, Kimi replied: “I don’t know, we’ll see. Obviously our aim is to be with both cars at the front and then we’ll see how it plays out: ““We know what we can do when racing each other and we always try to beat each other but also to be fair with each other. I don’t see any difference here.”
The Finn, who is out of contract at the end of the year, admitted he had no further news regarding his future, despite reports an extension with Ferrari for 2019 could be announced as early as this weekend. Raikkonen said to “expect anything” considering the unpredictable nature of the driver market but insisted he is not ready to give up on F1 just yet: “I don’t feel that I drive any differently from ten years ago. I drive pretty well, at least in my own books and that’s enough for me. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel that I can drive as well as I feel that I should. That’s kind of my tool to decide when it’s enough. Who knows? Maybe I will wake up one morning and I don’t know how to drive fast anymore. I don’t think there is a time. It’s more feelings and how do you feel yourself, doing good or bad. People always said the speed would disappear but until this day it hasn’t disappeared for me. Maybe there’s one morning when I’ll wake up and it’s just not there, it could be like that but I don’t think you can just put a date [on it]. If you have it, you have it, if not – that’s it.” – Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen concluded.