BBC Home
Explore the BBC
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Monday, 10 March 2008, 06:35 GMT
Raikkonen targeting second title
Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen is determined to start this season better than last
World champion Kimi Raikkonen says he is as hungry as ever as he prepares to launch the defence of his world title.

A number of his fellow drivers have said they do not expect the Finn to stay much longer in Formula One.

But the Ferrari star, who mounted a stunning late comeback to win the crown last year, said: "Anyone who thinks I'm now happy and satisfied is mistaken.

"It has never been fun for me to drive for a fifth or sixth-place finish. I'm here to win."

Andrew Benson - BBC Sport
Raikkonen made up 18 points in the last two races on McLaren's Lewis Hamilton to win his maiden title in 2007.

The new season starts in Australia on Sunday, and the 28-year-old starts as hot favourite to win a second consecutive title in the wake of the impressive pace shown by his car in pre-season testing.

But Raikkonen is simply focusing on the start of the season, and aiming to have a better first few races than last year - although he was first and second in the first two races of 2007, his and Ferrari's form fell away, leaving him with a huge margin to make up.

I feel very positive about the new car. I think we have made some mega steps forward and the reliability is even better

Lewis Hamilton
"Coming into this new season, I just hope we have a slightly stronger start to the year and then we will go from there," Raikkonen said.

"We want to improve everywhere. We know where we have a difficult time in certain areas in races and on certain circuits.

"But I improve my driving every time I go in the car, so as a team we are pushing forward and hopefully we can improve in those areas where we want."

And the famously laid-back Raikkonen said winning the title after years of disappointments had not had an impact on his life.

"Sure, I have achieved what I wanted in my life, so it's a nice thing," he said, "but I wouldn't say that it has changed me as a person."

Raikkonen's main rival is expected to be Hamilton, who said he was determined to make amends for letting the title slip from his grasp last year.

Kimi Raikkonen leads Lewis Hamilton during pre-season testing at Valencia
Raikkonen's Ferrari has had the edge on McLaren in testing
"My motivation is even higher than last year, but in a slightly different way," Hamilton said.

"I would say last year was an uncontrollable determination and excitement, just not really knowing what was coming up, just going into the deep blue.

"Now I know what to expect, I know about my preparations so I am storing energy.

"To some people it might appear I am quieter or something along those lines, but I am saving all this energy for the first race, and I cannot wait to get out there.

"We need to get off to a really good start, it needs to be the best start possible.

"So I am going there with the aim of winning the race, and we will all work hard to try and achieve that.

"I feel very positive about the new car. I think we have made some mega steps forward and the reliability is even better.

"The car feels stronger than last year, and despite the removal of areas such as traction control, it is also very similar in certain ways.

"I think we have come a really long way already before the first Grand Prix, and I am confident we will be able to compete with the other teams."

F1 form guide
10 Mar 08 |  Formula One
F1 experts on 2008
10 Mar 08 |  Formula One
What will Hamilton do next?
10 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Keeping up with Hamilton
10 Mar 08 |  Formula One
F1 2008 - The British contenders
07 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Prost backs Hamilton to win title
03 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton could win title - Alonso
28 Feb 08 |  Formula One
Schumacher tips Ferrari to shine
11 Jan 08 |  Motorsport
Raikkonen aims to stay at Ferrari
06 Dec 07 |  Formula One
Raikkonen drives latest Ferrari
07 Jan 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen the playboy king
21 Oct 07 |  Formula One


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us