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Page last updated at 06:45 GMT, Thursday, 28 August 2008 07:45 UK

Raikkonen defiant over poor form

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen has been a shadow of his true self in the last three races

World champion Kimi Raikkonen has rejected claims he lacks motivation in the face of a run of poor form that is threatening his title challenge.

The Finn has not won since April and has been outpaced by Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa in the last three races.

"If anyone doubts my motivation they can be sure of this: I want to win, now more than ever," Raikkonen said.

And he played down his poor form, claiming it was caused by mistakes in qualifying rather than a lack of pace.

Raikkonen has been behind Massa on the grid for the last three races in Germany, Hungary and the European event in Valencia last Sunday, and has subsequently been unable to make up lost ground in the race.

But he said: "The truth is in a couple of races (Hungary and Germany) I made some mistakes that relegated me to sixth place while in Valencia I missed out on third place by a hair's breadth."


His performances in recent races have been a poor return for Ferrari on his reputed $50m (27.3m) salary, which is believed to be about five times more than Massa's.

And the poor results have come at a critical point in a season in which Raikkonen has been less than convincing on a number of occasions.

It has emerged that Ferrari have had talks with Raikkonen in an attempt to work out what is wrong.

There have even been rumours that the 28-year-old could leave the team at the end of the season and be replaced by Renault's double world champion Fernando Alonso, even though Raikkonen's contract runs to the end of 2009.

Ferrari drivers Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen (right) has been outpaced by the cheaper Massa in recent races

But Raikkonen is shrugging off the speculation and says he is looking forward to getting back to form at the next race, the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, his favourite circuit.

"What's happened has happened, there's no use crying about it," said Raikkonen, who dominated the Belgian race last year.

"We'll go there next weekend. I love that circuit, I'd love to race there all year long.

"It's the best of them all and I hope to have a good car there. I'll do my best to win there once again."

see also
Ferrari admit to engine concerns
26 Aug 08 |  Formula One
Massa closes on Hamilton with win
24 Aug 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen pips Hamilton to title
21 Oct 07 |  Formula One

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