Friday, December 21, 2007

Raikkonen loses out to Pitkamaki & Kuitunen - Finland's top sportsman of the year

Despite winning his first world championship, Kimi Raikkonen missed out on being named Finland's top sportsman of the year.

According to the website of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Javelin world champion Tero Pitkamaki is a more worthy winner than the 28-year-old Ferrari driver.

The title is decided by members of the Finnish Sport Journalists Association, who awarded 4725 points to Pitkamaki, followed by women's triple World Cross Country Skiing champion Virpi Kuitunen, with 4089 points. Raikkonen attracted 4022 points for third place.

"This result clearly shows that the traditional sports are well respected in Finland. I prefer athletics and skiing when I turn on the TV, but I'd like to see Raikkonen's races, too," Pitkamaki said.

Source GMM

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Montezemolo happy with Raikkonen's style

Kimi Raikkonen can remain the quiet man of Formula One as long as he keeps winning, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has stated.

The new world champion is renowned for keeping to himself and speaking very little with the media. But di Montezemolo has made it clear he has no qualms about Raikkonen's personality, after praising the talents of both drivers.

"[Felipe] Massa was confirmed because of the great performances he's had since 2006, which have impressed [Michael] Schumacher too," di Montezemolo was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.

"As for Raikkonen, he won and that's enough. I like him because he doesn't whine. He doesn't speak much, but he can carry on that way if he then goes on winning."

Di Montezemolo thinks that Ferrari's rivals will be even stronger next year than they were this season, when both McLaren drivers finished just one point behind Raikkonen in the championship table.

"Obviously the objective is to win again, even though the competition will be extraordinary," he said.

"McLaren have young drivers, Renault are hedging their bets on Alonso, BMW are the ones who got closest last year, and Honda have made the right choice with Ross Brawn."

And di Montezemolo said he will likely put more focus back on Ferrari when his period as head of Italian industry body Confindustria comes to an end early next year.

"My experience with Confindustria will come to an end in March, and I'm proud that one of my vice-presidents will become my successor," he said.

"Until April 2009 I will be Fiat president and in the meantime I will get back to focus more on Ferrari. Me in politics? I'd say no."


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Brazil: Ferrari - Kimi finally found his family

Kimi Raikkonen won the Brazilian Grand Prix to take the Drivers' World Championship title, the first of his career and the fifteenth for Ferrari in Formula 1. This was win number 201 from 758 Grands Prix entered by Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the fifteenth from 122 race starts for Kimi. The Scuderia's number of wins in this race is now nine.

Brazilian GP - Race

Interlagos, 21st October 2007

Kimi Raikkonen: 1st 1:28.15.270 71 laps chassis 262
Felipe Massa: 2nd + 1.493 71 laps chassis 263

Jean Todt: "A dream that it seemed would be impossible to come true was transformed into reality at the end of a race which the drivers and the team managed superbly, which is self evident from looking at the details of the race. We had to get a one-two and then see what our main competitors could do. We needed a "helping hand" from others, both those in the running for the title as well as those out of the running to bring home both titles. And yes, because not only have we taken the Drivers' title with Kimi, but we also numerically confirmed the Constructors' title that we acquired after the decision of the FIA World Council back on 13 September. Two titles, nine wins, four one-two finishes, nine pole positions, twelve fastest race laps: these are exceptional figures in a season which included some difficult moments, but in which we never gave up the fight. Today was our reward for all this work. I wish to congratulate Kimi and thank Felipe, who again today demonstrated his loyalty to Ferrari: without his help, we would have not reached this result."

Kimi Raikkonen: "It is very difficult for me to explain in words what I am feeling at the moment: it is an incredible emotion. I want to thank the team for everything they have done this year. Even when we went through some difficult times and it looked as though there was no way to fight back, we never gave up and this work produced its reward today. Thanks also to my parents, to my wife Jenni and everyone who believed in me. I have achieved what I have been after for a long time. Now everything else will be an extra. Today, Felipe's help was vital and he was amazing. We had to get a one-two and then see what the others did. This time, things went our way and the unexpected did happen. This has been a very nice year for me during which I have enjoyed Formula 1 like never before. In Ferrari, I have found a great family and I am proud to have won the title with them."

Felipe Massa: "Today is a great day for the team and for Kimi, who has won the Drivers' title. Of course I would have liked to have won my home race again this year, but I am happy to have helped my team-mate, who was the only one of us still in with a chance of taking the title. I am proud to have done it for Ferrari who believed in me even when I was not in Formula 1. It is thanks to the people in Maranello that I am here and it is with them that I have grown as a driver and as a man. After everything that has happened this year, both on and off the track, today it is great to be able to celebrate two world titles. Today I had a fantastic car and I could have gone even quicker on track than I did. I also want to thank all our partners for all their support."

Luca Baldisserri: "We needed a perfect race and we produced one. However, even that on its own would not have been enough and we needed a little help from the others. Our two drivers were fantastic and the car was up to their level. This result is a dream and we were so keen to win it on the race track. It confirms we are a fantastic group."

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Brazilian GP race: Raikkonen World Champion!

It took Kimi Raikkonen 122 races and 15 wins to become FIA World Champion. In a thrilling season finale where it wasa a constant calculating situation, Raikkonen wins. Hamilton made an error while Alonso passed him in the first few corners. Ferrari dominated in Sao Paolo today.

FORMULA 1™ Grande Prêmio do Brasil 2007 - Race Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points

1 6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 10
2 5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 8
3 1 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Mercedes 6
4 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 5
5 10 Robert Kubica BMW 4
6 9 Nick Heidfeld BMW 3
7 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 2
8 12 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1
9 14 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault
10 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota
11 11 Ralf Schumacher Toyota
12 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda
13 18 Vitantonio Liuzzi STR-Ferrari
14 23 Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda
DNF 20 Adrian Sutil Spyker-Ferrari
DNF 8 Rubens Barrichello Honda
DNF 4 Heikki Kovalainen Renault
DNF 19 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari
DNF 7 Jenson Button Honda
DNF 15 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
DNF 21 Sakon Yamamoto Spyker-Ferrari
DNF 3 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault

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