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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 January, 2004, 14:50 GMT
Raikkonen targets F1 glory
Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen came close to winning the drivers' crown last year
McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen has vowed to push Michael Schumacher all the way in the 2004 drivers' championship.

Raikkonen only missed out by two points last season but has the benefit of the new MP4-19 this time around.

"To win the championship I need a very competitive car and also a bit of luck from time to time," the 24-year-old Finnish star said.

"Our results depend on how well we work as a team and how good a car we are able to develop for the season."

Raikkonen is confident his experiences last year will stand him in good stead to mount a successful assault on the title in 2004.

"I am learning in every test and every race. Last season's experience has brought more speed, more self-confidence and a more mature attitude," he said.

I do not want to speculate how good a chance we have to win the title - so much depends on this new car
Kimi Raikkonen
Last season, Raikkonen had to use a heavily-modified version of the 2002 model and although he finished regularly in the points, he only won one race.

Raikkonen tested the new car in Jerez earlier this month after returning to the cockpit for the first time since last October's decider in Japan.

"Like every other team, we still have a lot of work to do, but when we really went for it to get a quick lap time, it was there.

"Right now I do not want to speculate how good a chance we have to win enough races and clinch the title. So much depends on this new car. How good it is, we do not know before Melbourne," he added.

McLaren gear up for title assault
23 Dec 03  |  Formula One
Bold new dawn for McLaren
23 Dec 03  |  Formula One

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