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"This is what I've always wanted"
22nd of October 2007

© FIA

Kimi RšikkŲnen spoke about his sixth season victory and his phenomenal triumph in the Formula One Championship in the FIA press conference after the Brazilian Grand Prix in Interlagos.

Question: It wasnít so long ago this season that you were saying really the chance has gone to win this championship and today, magically perhaps, itís all come right.

Kimi: I donít remember that I was saying that. I think maybe somebody else was saying it, but for sure we were not in the strongest position at some points of the season, but we always believed that we can recover, we can do a better job than the others and even in the hard times everybody was sticking together and we didnít give up. It was good because as we saw in the end, even from a long way behind, we could reduce the gap and go ahead and win the championship, not just Constructors but also Drivers and I need to thank the team, they did a great job not just today but all year. Like I said, we had some hard time with some problems but we always work hard and improve the situation and I think we had a perfect teamwork, Felipe helping all the time also. We had a hard fight with him all year but then he unfortunately didnít score and he couldnít be in the fight any more, so heís been a big help also, and also the sponsors have been a big bonus for us. The team is very close, theyíve been doing a great job for us, improving the fuel and everything to help us with the new regulations, so for sure Iím going to enjoy today and probably the next month, but Iím very happy.

Question: But it was a beautifully clean race for you, a great race for the team as well, following Felipe, passing Lewis Hamilton into the first corner and then taking the lead in the second phase of pit stops.

Kimi: I got a very good start actually, side-by-side with Felipe but we didnít really want to race against each other too hard and the main thing was to get past Hamilton and then I saw his in the mirrors in the corner and I think he went off and I thought that maybe we had some chance now. We had very good speed in both cars. We were just taking it easy, saving the tyres and the cars. We could have gone much faster if we wanted to. It was perfect teamwork from the team and it paid off very well. Itís not only been in this race but the whole year, so thanks to everybody.

Question: Youíre known as the Iceman but what was it like in the closing stages of the race, presumably your team saying ĎKimi, stay where you are, youíre going to be World Champion.í What was going through your mind?

Kimi: Not much really, I wasnít really 100 percent sure because we werenít sure if somebody needed to stop in front of Lewis. He was seventh then even he had finished and I finished the race but there were people who needed to finish and we didnít know 100 percent, so I was just really waiting and it took a long time to hear that we finally won it and itís amazing, after the last few races, being up and down and we scored good points even in difficult situations, so itís been a good finish of the season and great work from everybody and Iím very happy, it was an amazing day.

Question: Kimi, it is beginning to sink in now no doubt, your 15th win, perhaps you could reflect on your career a little bit, where youíve come from in Finland, the struggle to get here and what it means to win the World Championship.

Kimi: I think itís very difficult to put it into words, but for sure, it wasnít the best place to start in racing. I came from pretty much nothing, but the family put in a lot of effort always, our friends, our cousins and all the sponsors in the beginning helped us to get here but it was a long time ago. Iíve had great people behind me, great managers to help me here and the teams that Iíve driven for have got close to the championship a few times but I have never been able to really be there at the right moment. This year it looked like it was getting away again, but we have a great team, so we put everything together and just believed in ourselves and worked. Probably nobody else was thinking about us anymore but we knew that we still had a chance, so I need to give a bit of thanks to the team. I love the team, I have such a good time with the team, I enjoy Formula One much more now than last year. I have much better feelings from this year than any other year, so I must say to all the people who have been helping me: thanks to them. For sure, there have been hard times in the career, but thatís normal for everybody and this is what Iíve always wanted and Iíve got it now so anything that comes after this can only be a plus. Weíre just going to go next year and try to do it again. Itís going to be difficult but we will see what we can do.

Question: Well done Kimi, at the start of the season, could you have imagined that, even this morning?

Kimi: The start of the season was good! We were in the same position as we finished, so it was good, but for sure, we had some hard times, we had some reliability problems and we lost quite a lot of points. At one point, people were saying that we werenít in the championship anymore, but we showed them that they were wrong. We were able to come back and we came back strongly in the end, and it was great teamwork from all the people, from Felipe and the guys on the team, so it was a great season.

Question: What were your feelings this morning when you came in?

Kimi: For sure it was really like any other race for me. There were some people who said for sure I was going to win but I didnít take them too seriously really. There were so many things that needed to go our way today but it all really happened on the first lap. We made a good start and certain things went in our direction and then after that we had a very good car, we were able to keep the pace as we wanted and try to just make sure we were one and two and hope that the rest went right for us.

Question: I guess it was vital to overtake Lewis at the start.

Kimi: It was. I expected to get past him at the start. Weíve had a very good start system since maybe the third or fourth race this year. I almost got into first place but we didnít want to take too much risk between me and Felipe, so it was most important to get in front of Lewis and that worked out well, and then we just tried to do the best that we can.

Question: And really the pace of the Ferraris today was phenomenal.

Kimi: Yeah, but if we want to go faster we probably could have gone a second faster, so the pace was there all the time. The car was great, the tyres worked very well even though there were some question marks whether they were going to last but for us the car was very good.

Question: And of course your pace as well when Felipe went for the second stop, you had a couple of laps extra.

Kimi: Of course, yes, that was a crucial moment but like I said, we had it planned, we knew what we wanted to do as a team. We had a clear picture of that, so we were not really racing against each other, so a big thanks to the team, a big thanks to Felipe. Thatís what we needed and thatís what we got.

Question: And what were you shouting on the radio on the slowing down lap?

Kimi: Not really shouting too much, just thanking the team, waiting to get the confirmation whether we won or not. A really great feeling, itís been many yearsÖ two times quite close but it never really happened and this year was looking like it was going to be one of those again but it was a good job by us to come back and we did it in the end. For sure, I know that this hurts for Lewis, because youíve been working for a whole year and then when you lose it, itís not a nice feeling and itís a long time before you can try to win it again or even get close. You never know. You try to take it when it comes and it worked well for us this year. It was close but then thatís how it should be and we won in the end.

Question: Just one pointÖ

Kimi: Yeah, I lost it a couple of years ago by two points. Luckily we were on the right side this time, but itís a great year for everybody, I think. For sure there has been a lot of different talk about the whole situation between teams and drivers, but I think that has only made it more exciting for everybody, so sometimes itís good for the sport and for sure much more fun.

Question: Kimi, I feel great and I can see that you feel great, very great. Do you feel even greater if Marcus wins the world rally title?

Kimi: Good for him, good for Finland, yes, but nothing changes in my life, so I am happy for him if he wins and it will be hard for him. But I am going to enjoy my own victory now as the world champion, so we will see what happens in the other races. I am not too interested in that now.

Question: How much did the team tell you about the positions of Lewis and Fernando during the race and how much did you think about the points during the race?

Kimi: Actually, I saw it on the first lap when Lewis went off and I think at the third corner I saw that Fernando got past him and then in corner four Lewis went off. So I knew he had hurt his chances for a podium at that point, but they were telling me about his problem or something that had happened so, from that point, we knew we had a better chance now than we had had for many races. For sure, I knew what was happening behind me but I knew we needed just to make our own race and try to be one and two and then it was not up to us, just what was going to happen, so it was the main thing just to go the whole way.

Question:  Do you think that after the Spy Story there is some kind of justice in this final result?

Kimi: I think so, maybe, yes. It is so difficult to say. It is such a complicated situation. And I think that it has now been decided and we should put it behind us and there is no point in thinking about it anymore. Itís a different story from racing, so it is not a nice thing. Unfortunately it was a big thing this year and so letís hope it doesnít happen again in future.

Question: Kimi, tell us about your feelings as a champion? Are you going to dance the samba tonight?

Kimi: I donít know about dancing. I am not going to be in condition for dancing. We will just see what happens tonight Ė for sure we are going to have a big party, not just tonight but next week and I felt great after the race, a good feeling, but it has been a long season and it is hard to realise that we finally did it after many years and in my first year here at Ferrari and because it has been not in our minds to be a world champion because it seemed so far away, but we managed to come back and win it. So it is hard to believe that it happened. I feel great but it will take a little time to have the real feeling.

Question: Kimi, you have a reputation for being an unlucky driver, but today a lot happened and you won the championship?

Kimi: I donít know. I never said I am really unlucky. I donít believe in luck too much Ė it is down to hard work and sometimes you do things wrong and sometimes you have problems, but today we needed help from the others and it turned out to be good for us. Sometimes this year we have had hard times in the races when we have been leading and something has gone wrong. But today everything went right and worked out for us beautifully. I donít know if it is luck or whatever but I take it. It was good and that is the main thing.

Question: In your first season with Ferrari you have won the championship Ė only Fangio has done this before. How do you feel to be compared to this great champion? And how is your feeling to see McLaren beaten in the last race, the team you were with for five years?

Kimi: Like I said before, I enjoyed every moment with the team. I enjoy Formula One more this year than the last few years for many reasons, but not because of the driving Ė for other reasons. And I am more than happy to win the championship with Ferrari, especially the first year with the team has been a great year overcoming all difficulties and giving me such a nice big family and great people to work with Ė and I would rather win with them than with anybody else.

Question: Kimi, how do you see yourself coping with the increased media demands of being an ambassador for the sport and world champion?

Kimi: For sure, I will have more appearances and it is not going to really change my life too much and people will probably look differently at me and make more stories about me and my stuff, but I am not going to change myself. I never have before and I donít know what is going to happen in the future. So I will have to be more careful whatever I do. So we will see what happens. Maybe you should ask Fernando because he can tell Ė he won it before and he can say if he changed a lot or not. I am not going to worry about it and I am going to lead my life as I want and thatís it.

Question: Kimi, what was the best of your six victories?

Kimi: It is very difficult to say which is the best. For sure, this was the most important. We won the championship with this one-two for the team, so if you look at what is most important, ok, every race, every win is important, but this one when it decides everything is the best I would say. It is hard to compare wins, when you win it is nice but this brings more out of you because we won the championship and not just one race.

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