Kimi Raikkonen
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Sunday, 18 February 2018
Kimi determined to fight back in 2009
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Kimi Raikkonen has told Ferrari that he is 'determined' to make amends for his disappointing 2008 campaign as he eyes a second world title next year.

The Finn endured a difficult season - primarily frustrated by his inability to get the best out of the F2008 in qualifying – and was forced to play a supporting role to teammate Felipe Massa in the closing stages of the year.

But despite the troubles, Ferrari kept their faith in Raikkonen and team president Luca di Montezemolo has no doubt that the 2007 world champion will be on top form again.

"I joke that we had Kimi until Magny Cours, then he was busy and he asked a friend of his to drive," di Montezemolo told selected media including at Maranello.

"This friend was a very good driver. He put on Kimi's helmet, but now we finally have the proper Kimi back again.

"For a while he looked like a centre forward who wasn't scoring goals, but as soon as he did you knew he will be okay again. We have spoken recently and I think he is very, very determined and in good form.

"Let's not forget that in his first year at Ferrari he was world champion. He will be back for sure."

Di Montezemolo has also heaped praise on Massa, who earned widespread respect at the end of the season for the way he drove in Brazil and behaved following the title defeat.

"I was very proud of how he reacted to the situation," he said. "Proud, calm, sporting, gracious, loyal. I like him very much. It's a Ferrari face I very much like. He did the maximum.

"We didn't lose the championship in Brazil but at places like Hungary and Singapore. They were not his mistakes, they were ours. I remember Michael telling me in 2006 that this guy is bloody quick."

And although Ferrari dashed Fernando Alonso's hopes of securing a drive there when the extension option in Kimi Raikkonen's contract was taken up at Monza, di Montezemolo has not totally ruled out a tie-up in the future.

"He's a fantastic driver, no question. I like him. Particularly in Japan he drove a great race. He's a champion and a team leader, but for the moment we don't have any problem with our current drivers.

"That is why we confirmed officially Massa and Kimi until the end of 2010. Life is long and in the future we will see. But for the moment we don't have any grey areas regarding drivers for the next two years."

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