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Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Ferrari will be back - Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen is consoled by chief engineer Chris Dyer after retiring in Melbourne
Raikkonen is consoled after a bad start to his campaign in Melbourne

Kimi Raikkonen insists world champions Ferrari will get back to form at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix after a disastrous opening race in Australia.

Both Ferraris retired in Melbourne but the Finn is confident the team have the pace to match rivals McLaren in Sepang.

He said: "I'm not worried about the car's performance and we have the pace.

"Hopefully we'll get everything working well in Malaysia. This team will never lose its focus and commitment. Ferrari will be back."

After a strong pre-season, Raikkonen was expected to challenge for victory in Australia but a catalogue of technical and driver errors blighted his season opener.

First, his Ferrari broke down in qualifying because of a fuel pressure problem meaning he had to start 16th on the grid.


During the race, Raikkonen spun off into the gravel after an ambitious attempt to overtake McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen before the world champion retired with five laps to go because of engine failure.

His team-mate Felipe Massa also retired after a collision with David Coulthard's Red Bull on lap 26.

Raikkonen salvaged a point for the team only after Honda's Rubens Barrichello was disqualified from sixth place.

But the world champion is expecting a more fluid performance in Sepang.

"We just need to improve to get a clean weekend, and to get everything working properly in the car," the 28-year-old said.

"I know we have a good car and Malaysia has been quite a good race for me in the past as I won my first grand prix there five years ago.

"The best thing (about Australia) is that it is behind us, but there is no use in crying afterwards.

"But it is going to be a long season. Now all we have to do is win many more points. We will at least try our very best."

see also
Hamilton wins dramatic F1 opener
16 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton grabs Australian GP pole
15 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Todt steps down as Ferrari boss
18 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen targeting second title
10 Mar 08 |  Formula One

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