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Page last updated at 19:22 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 20:22 UK

Ferrari shift focus to next year

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen celebrates victory in the Belgian Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari may struggle to win more races this season

Kimi Raikkonen admits it will be difficult to win another race this season in his "frozen" Ferrari F60 car.

The Finn won Ferrari's first race of the season at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, but the team have decided to shift their focus to the 2010 season.

"I will give my best to gain as many points as possible in the remaining GPs," Raikkonen told Ferrari's website.

"It will not be easy, other teams will show up with developments while we have frozen the F60 to concentrate on 2010."

Many observers put Ferrari's relative failure this season down to the last-gasp battle for the 2008 championship, which saw McLaren and Ferrari going toe-to-toe right up until the last race of the season in Brazil.

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Ultimately Lewis Hamilton pipped Ferrari's Felipe Massa to the drivers' championship by a single point but the Italian team prevailed in the constructors' championship to win their 16th title.

But both teams have struggled to adapt to a raft of rule changes at the start of 2009 after pouring so much time, effort and resources into the 2008 title fights.

"We have to try to give our best with what we have, trying to fight for a place on the podium. We're very happy for our fans, who finally had a reason to celebrate," added Raikkonen.

"There is no better way to arrive in Monza. I know that I am repeating myself, but I want to say it again: it will not be easy, but we will give our best to be on the podium again."

It has been a frustrating year for Ferrari who won back-to-back constructers' titles in 2007 and 2008 but started 2009 by going three races without scoring a point.

Kimi Raikkonen

Raikkonen stays cool after Spa win

Raikkonen secured the team's first podium finish in Monaco and the Finn earned the team their first race win of 2009 in the season's 12th race in Belgium.

Ferrari's season has also been affected by a serious accident involving their driver Felipe Massa during qualifying for the Hungary Grand Prix.

Massa's accident on 25 July happened after a spring from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP car hit his helmet.

He was travelling at more than 160mph when the object hit him, but pressure on the brakes reduced his speed to about 60mph when he hit the tyre wall.

At first the injuries were described as "life-threatening" and there were fears for his sight.

But the Brazilian driver has responded well to tests and could be fit to return to Formula 1 in 2010.

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali

Domenicali pleased to get first win

A Ferrari statement after positive news following Massa's latest medical tests this week said the team were looking forward to "being able to count on Felipe 100% for the start of the next racing season."

Former Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher was set to come out of retirement to deputise for his friend while he recovered, before a neck injury put paid to the German's comeback plan.

Instead, Massa's race seat has been occupied by veteran test driver Luca Badoer for the last two grands prix but the Italian has failed to impress and is widely expected to be replaced before the next race - the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on 13 September.



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see also
Raikkonen wins exciting Spa duel
30 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Highlights - Belgian Grand Prix
30 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Raikkonen stays cool after Spa win
30 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Domenicali pleased to get first win
30 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Massa targets return at home GP
18 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Schumacher sad at F1 abandonment
12 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Schumacher calls off F1 comeback
11 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Massa leaves Brazilian hospital
04 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Massa set to fly home to Brazil
31 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Three teams block Schumacher test
04 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Schumacher makes shock F1 return
29 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Felipe Massa
21 Jul 09 |  Drivers & Teams
F1 to investigate Massa accident
26 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
David Coulthard column
25 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Massa's crash explained
26 Jul 09 |  Formula 1


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