Raikkonen: My championship challenge seems to be over

Kimi Raikkonen during a sponsor function in Norway

Kimi Raikkonen during a sponsor function in Norway

Kimi Raikkonen has ruled adding the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship title to the one he bagged back in 2007.

Detailing a meeting with journalists this week, Raikkonen said, “I think it is very difficult for anyone to battle with the Mercedes drivers but you never know. I would like it to be us even – if that will be hard, especially for me personally, given the position in the championship.

“But I have always been used to fighting and together with the team, which is still hard at work on the development of the F14 T, I hope to be able to get some good results,” was the Finn’s official line on the situation in the Ferrari press release sent after a sponsor event in Norway.

However what Raikkonen told the major Aftenposten newspaper was slightly less optimistic, when asked about the 2014 title, the 34-year-old answered: “It seems to be over. The Mercedes cars are too fast. We [at Ferrari] want to be ahead, but my challenge on the championship seems to be over for the season.”

He declined to talk about the high-profile spat between Mercedes’ duelling title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, “I’m not interested in that. I’m only interested in our own success and getting back to the top.”

But he did comment on the new direction Formula 1 has moved in, having switched from loud V8 engines to turbo and hybrid-powered V6s.

“From the driver’s point of view, we want better grip and faster cars,” said Raikkonen. “More horse power. Increasing the speed is difficult, but I think it would make the races more interesting and exciting.”

“But we don’t make up the rules ourselves, so we need to do the best we can with these cars,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Ferrari website quoted Raikkonen as saying that although he would like to do some more rallying, but admitted “for now I’m completely focused on Formula 1″.

Speaking to reporters in Monaco about rallying, he said, “The problem is obviously that people are more scared that you get hurt so they try to limit everything that you do. It’s a shame because I think it would be more fun for everybody and all sports would also benefit from it, and Formula 1.” (GMM)