Friday, November 21, 2008

Raikkonen's "confession" not so obvious

Over the years I have been very appreciative of Kimi Raikkonen's skill and talent. However, I have also been rather critical. The most recent criticism I had of Raikkonen was in regards to comments that were reported last week that in an interview with MTV3 he stated, "When there are no opportunities to overtake or to improve your position it is definitely not very interesting. But that is the way it is. When you know you're fighting for just P3 you simply don't always have the same speed for the whole race as you would normally have."

However, it has been brought to my attention that these comments are not in context. Thanks to a well respected individual that goes by the name 'Chilli', I got a full translation of the article and comments made to MTV3:

Räikkönen admits: I didn't do my best

Kimi Räikkönen's F1 season ended in disappointment when the 2007 champion was only third in the final standings. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton took the championship before Kimi's teammate Felipe Massa. Räikkönen admits that it was difficult to motivate himself for the final races when he couldn't drive at his fullest any more. His teammate Massa was fighting for the title until the last race. "You know it yourself, when you are driving third and can't really do anything, you are not driving the whole race at your fullest," Räikkönen admits to MTV3. "Of course, if you're fighting for position, you'll try as long as you can, as I did in last race (Brazil). Of course, if you are not really allowed to overtake or anything, that's a bit like that."

Räikkönen wants to forget this season. He is confident about the future and believes that the Italian team can make the car better next year. "Of course it's a different thing when you're in good position and driving for the championship." I think we should have a strong next season. "We'll try to improve," says Räikkönen.

Although I am a firm believer that Raikkonen was sorely lacking something that was not connected with his integration with the car and tires, it is difficult to condemn his motivation armed with this version of the article. There are other factors you can look at to make judgements about Raikkonen's motivation but these recent comments probably will not support such a thesis. These sorts of comments could be made by any driver that was playing a secondary role when they are used to being the one supported and not the supporter.

In any case, we will see how Raikkonen bounces back. It is reported he will be doing a lot of the testing in preparations for 2009. For your reference:

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