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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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
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.
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
Well done Kimi, at the start of the season, could you have
imagined that, even this morning?
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.
What were your feelings this morning when you came in?
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.
I guess it was vital to overtake Lewis at the start.
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.
And really the pace of the Ferraris today was phenomenal.
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.
And of course your pace as well when Felipe went for the second
stop, you had a couple of laps extra.
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.
And what were you shouting on the radio on the slowing down lap?
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
Just one pointÖ
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
Do you think that after the Spy Story there is some kind of
justice in this final result?
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.
Kimi, tell us about your feelings as a champion? Are you going to
dance the samba tonight?
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.
Kimi, you have a reputation for being an unlucky driver, but today
a lot happened and you won the championship?
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.
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
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.
Kimi, how do you see yourself coping with the increased media
demands of being an ambassador for the sport and world champion?
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.
Kimi, what was the best of your six victories?
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.