Andrea Stella, Fernando Alonso’s race engineer at Ferrari, has singled out Kimi Raikkonen as a challenger for the 2012 championship.
The buzz in the sodden Spa paddock is that four-time Belgian grand prix winner Raikkonen is a true contender for Sunday’s victory at the wheel of a Lotus. And the Finn, who in 2007 won the title for Ferrari, is still within shouting distance in the drivers’ standings, just a point shy of Lewis Hamilton’s fourth place.
“Of course Kimi can challenge Fernando in the championship,” Stella told Finland’s Turun Sanomat. “He has a good car. I remember 2007 very well, when we came from far behind with him right to the top.”
Raikkonen, 32, agrees that his 48-point deficit does not mean he cannot win in 2012.
“I have almost as good a chance as anybody else,” he said in Belgium.
But Raikkonen also admitted he is not desperate to add a second title to his tally.
“I’ve always said I am happy that I won one championship,” he said. “It’s good if there are more, but whether I win more championships or not would not change my life. When I have the opportunity, I will try my best.”