Championship leader Kimi Raikkonen has his sights set firmly on victory in Turkey following an auspicious run of form of late which has yielded two race triumphs and an early lead in the title race.
The Ferrari ace is confident that the Scuderia s updated 2008 challenger will once again be the car to beat this weekend as the F1 entourage prepares for combat at the demanding Istanbul Speed Circuit.
“I m convinced that Ferrari can be really strong,â€ declares the Finn on his official website. “When you have a look at this year s tracks so far, the one at Istanbul is very similar to the one at Sepang and Sakhir, where we could win. That makes us think that we ll be competitive over the weekend.â€
The Finnish ace trounced the opposition in Barcelona a week ago with ominous pace throughout the weekend, particularly in qualifying where he hustled his upgraded F2008 into the top spot despite carrying more fuel than his rivals.
“Barcelona was a perfect weekend for me and the Team. Now we want to keep that rhythm and we will push very hard,â€ asserts Raikkonen.
“The Pole Position helped a lot and it seems that starting ahead of everybody else is a necessary condition for winning the race at Istanbul, too. Last year I made a mistake in Q3 and I paid a very high price.â€
Ferrari s superior pace around the Circuit de Catalunya a track that traditionally unmasks good all-round car design suggests that the Italian squad have taken a step forward in performance since the opening fly-away races while rivals McLaren have struggled to unlock the potential of their upgraded MP4-23.
Raikkonen is hoping to consolidate his nine point lead over McLaren s Lewis Hamilton in Turkey.
“With my 29 points I m leading the Championship by 9. I m very happy how things have gone so far, but the situation can change in a second: we need to push 100% to stay ahead of our competitors. I won t change my approach.â€
â€It s too early to think about anything else than a victory. I want to bring home as many points as possible; I like to race with this aim in mind.â€