Kimi Raikkonen has already ruled out any hope of winning Sunday's German Grand Prix, believing he will be lucky just to finish on the podium. Forget the fact Germany is far from a lucky venue for the Ferrari ace, who has qualified on pole four times ? including three of the last four years ? but never won. Quite simply Raikkonen knows that despite improvements of late, the scarlet machines still lack the speed of the front-running Brawn GPs and Red Bulls. The Finn might have taken third in Monaco, while teammate Felipe Massa has finished fourth in two of the last three races, but this is a year of collecting whatever scraps Ferrari can find. "Realistically, this year (in Germany) our objective can't be a win," assessed Raikkonen.
"We still have to make up ground compared to the leaders as far as the performance is concerned. "That's why the team continued to work very hard over the last few weeks to bring some new solutions for this race. "The (Nurburgring) track should be better for the characteristics of the car than Silverstone (British Grand Prix 17 days ago), but we'll get a clearer picture during tomorrow's free practice sessions. "It's always difficult making predictions and promising something to the fans, but for us today a place on the podium is already a good result, considering that we've been there just once this year. "There are still nine races until the end of this extremely difficult season for us.
"Our objective has to be to give it our all race after race, without thinking that the leaders are so many points ahead of us. "I really trust the team's work and its capacity to close the gap between us and the leaders." Raikkonen, who stands accused by many of not having had his eye on the ball since becoming world champion in 2007, will add further fuel to that fire later this month. Raikkonen is to compete in a round of the World Rally Championship in his home country of Finland. "As we don't have any tests during the season we've got plenty of spare time, and it's nice to participate in a race to keep busy," remarked a dismissive Raikkonen.
"My approach remains the same: it has nothing to do with Formula One ? it's pure pleasure." *PA Sport