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Last Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008, 13:59 GMT
Raikkonen drives latest Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen tests the Ferrari F2008.
Raikkonen put the Ferrari F2008 through its paces
F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen tested Ferrari's F2008 car for the first time on Monday after its weekend unveiling.

The Finnish driver completed around 20 laps in damp conditions at the Italian team's home track in Fiorano.

"The fact that I won the world title last year gives me the confidence that I can do it again," he said at the new car's low-key launch on Sunday.

Team-mate Felipe Massa agreed: "My expectations are very high. When you first look at the car it is special."

The new Ferrari has had to adhere to F1 rule changes banning traction control and the electronically-assisted starting system, while the gearbox must now last four races.

We're ready and are going to try and maintain both titles

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari's technical team have also altered the weight distribution and wheelbase as well as introducing a completely new aerodynamic design.

All these modifications mean the F2008 is heavier than last season's car, weighing in at 605kg, including water, oil and the driver.

Raikkonen, 28, also said the cockpit was tighter but was looking forward to embracing the challenge of driving the new car.

"The cockpit is a bit straighter, there's lots of innovations," he said.

"Most of all the loss of traction control is gone, which will make it a little difficult to drive in the wet.

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"But it will also be a lot more fun. I think there will be an easier chance to overtake as people will make more mistakes.

"We'll have to change our style of driving, but that happens with every new car."

Ferrari boss Jean Todt claimed on Monday that rivals McLaren will have an early advantage because they built the electronic system which all F1 teams must now use.

The SECU (Standard Electronic Control Unit) produced by McLaren Electronic Systems is a major development for the new season, which starts on 16 March 16 in Melbourne.

"We would have preferred that the single control unit for all F1 teams was built by another company, but we must accept that McLaren with Microsoft put forward the most economic proposal," said Todt.

After last season's spy scandal which saw McLaren lose all their constructor points and fined for possessing Ferrari technical information, Sunday's unveiling at Maranello was more cautious.

Photographers were not invited, and specifications in the brochure were minimal.

SEE ALSO
F1 launches in photos
08 Jan 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen aims to stay at Ferrari
06 Dec 07 |  Formula One
McLaren admission ends F1 spy row
18 Dec 07 |  Formula One
Raikkonen the playboy king
21 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Raikkonen pips Hamilton to title
21 Oct 07 |  Formula One


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