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FIA post-race press qualy - Italy

Q: Kimi, it looked to be a reasonable trouble-free qualifying for you. At Parabolica the car seemed to be a bit loose at the front end but you got the lap done in the end.
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: It is not perfect for sure but it shows us again that once we put the race fuel in the car it seems to be to always be stronger against the others. It is more difficult especially in the second qualifying than the first and last one to make sure that we get through. The car has been good all weekend. We had some issues with it but unfortunately we cannot fix them as well as we want. But, overall, on the race pace and with the race fuel the car is running nicely and I am pretty happy with it. I think it was one of our best qualifying and it was a good time in our home race to do it and hopefully tomorrow it is going to help us get into a stronger position for the race and try to fight for the first three places. But we will see. It is not going to be easy tomorrow but we will give it our best.

Q: Can you compare how you felt before the race at Spa to how you feel now in terms of how you think it will go on race day?
KR: In both races we knew that car was going to be stronger in the race than in qualifying. Of course if you start from sixth than third place it is a slightly different story. I think it gives us a better chance to have a strong finish. But it is going to be a long, hard race for the car. We give the best and hopefully we can give a good result for all the Italian fans and for ourselves. That’s our biggest aim.

Q: Kimi, tenth and eighth yesterday; you said there was room to improve. What changes did you make overnight?
KR: We made some changes to try to improve the issues that we had but even when yesterday I wasn’t a hundred percent happy, it was still pretty fast. I think it’s been a positive surprise how good the car has been all weekend. Today it was even better with high fuel.

Q: In comparison to Spa when you won but started further back, are you confident for tomorrow?
KR: Yeah, but OK, we are three places ahead of where we started in Spa, but now there is a McLaren with KERS in front of us. At the start, you cannot expect to jump them. We can jump the Force India but probably not the McLaren. So that’s a different story and then we see how the race goes. It’s definitely easier to overtake here than in Spa, so if they have the speed on the straight line, as it looks it will be difficult to keep people behind, it will be difficult to pass them. We will see what we can do.

Q: We’ve seen a lot of drivers weaving on the back straight; how much of an issue have tyre temperatures been here during qualifying and the race itself?
KR: For us it hasn’t been a big issue. It’s more or less the same as at any other circuit but maybe the first lap isn’t always the easiest one, not the fastest one. It takes a few laps but I think it’s the same for everybody. Some teams can use them on the first lap, straight away, very easily and some not. But they may pay the price later on in the race, the tyres would maybe not last, so it’s a bit of a difficult situation.

Q: (Ian Parkes – The Press Association) Lewis, gathering that both Brawns are on one-stop strategies tomorrow, presuming you guys are going to be running two, it looks like it could be close with those two cars as well if that’s going to be the case.
KR: It is what it is. We will see in a few hours how much fuel everybody has, then we can make our plans, but until then there’s not much point in thinking about it too much.

Q: (Will Buxton – Australasian Motor Sport News) Kimi, we’re moving into the last few races of the season, who do you think has got the best shot of winning the championship?
KR: I don’t know, there are a few people that can win. We still actually have a chance but it’s not very… I don’t think it’s going to happen for us, so after that it doesn’t really matter who wins. I think Brawn has picked up speed a little bit this weekend, so they are in the strongest position for sure.

Q: (Frederic Ferret – L’Equipe) Lewis and Kimi, how much time did it take you to get used to KERS at the beginning of the season? Was it easy?
KR: I had it the whole winter when we started to test, so it’s not difficult for the drivers to use, I think it’s more of a challenge for the engineers to get it working well.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, you talked about the new kerbs, how the last version was lower than these ones, but do you think that today it helped to get your position? And secondly, no Finn was ever able to win here. Are you superstitious?
KR: No. I will try tomorrow and we hope to have a good result. The kerbs are the same for all the teams and drivers, so it makes no difference. It was more fun with the old kerbs but this is probably a bit more similar for everybody. Nobody can really run over them anymore. It seems to be working OK for us, so no complaints really.


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