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Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 13:22 UK

Raikkonen vows to continue fight

Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen aims to win a first Italian Grand Prix to reignite his season

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen is refusing to give up on defending his Formula One world title despite falling 19 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton.

With just five races left to go, the Finn is determined to turn it around at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

"My position is not ideal but that doesn't mean I'll give up," Raikkonen said on his website.

"I will fight until the very end. The points will be counted after the final race - nothing is certain before that."

Raikkonen was on course for victory at last weekend's Belgium Grand Prix before a dramatic penultimate lap in wet conditions saw him surrender the lead to Hamilton and eventually crash into a wall.

The Finn has not won a race since the Spanish Grand Prix in April and, after engine failure in Valencia, has failed to earn a point in the last two races.

But Raikkonen is confident Ferrari will be competitive at Monza, where he has set his sights on a first victory in front of the team's home fans.

"Before Spa we had a productive test in Monza and the car felt well suited there," Raikkonen said.

"It's the place where we go really, really quick. It's great to go there with everything working well in my car.

"Last year I had a big shunt before qualifying. I hit the wall in a big way; that hurt and made the whole weekend the toughest of all them all for me last season.

"But we come to Monza with a good feeling. I don't have anything to lose so will just go flat out.

"It would be almost out of this world to win the Italian Grand Prix for the first time. We'll give it all to win, for the team and for the fans."

The team will also expect another strong performance from Raikkonen's team-mate Felipe Massa in front of the Tifosi supporters.

The Brazilian inherited Hamilton's victory in Spa, after the Englishman received a 25-second penalty and was demoted to third place, to move within two points of Hamilton's championship lead.

Should Massa better Hamilton by just two points in Italy then he will move to the top of the championship based on race victories this season with a 5-4 advantage.

"I am really motivated to have a great race there, especially in front of all our home fans," added Massa.

see also
McLaren lodge Belgian GP appeal
10 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton stripped of Belgian win
07 Sep 08 |  Formula One
I need win in Belgium - Raikkonen
04 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen given Ferrari backing
29 Aug 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen defiant over poor form
28 Aug 08 |  Formula One

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