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Italian GP - "Monza, my painful race"

11th September 2007
The weekend in Monza was definitely not the one Kimi had dreamt of for his debut at the Italian GP as a driver for Ferrari. For a start there was the accident during the free practice on Saturday morning, which cancelled out Kimi's chances fighting for a win. "I still don't know what exactly happened. I arrived at the Ascari and I braked, when I was just below 300 km/h: the wheels blocked right on a kerb and the back of he car suddenly lost all its downforce, so that the car had a very hard swerve and I ended up against the wall to my right. There was absolutely nothing I could have done but waiting for the impact to happen. The telemetry didn't give any hint on an error or damage, just like the analysis of the car in Maranello, as the technicians told me. The impact was very hard, but the consequences, as often happens in these kind of accidents, I could only feel the next day; and unfortunately it was the day of the race. My neck really hurt: we did everything we could to put me back in shape, but there was not enough time left. This was undeniably the most painful race I've ever had. It's really difficult to drive when you can't hold your head up: when I was breaking I had trouble to see the corners correctly. After a couple of days everything would have been fine." For Kimi Saturday's accident was not the only explanation as to why this was not the best race Ferrari ever had: "We knew that it was going be a hard race, because McLaren has always been very strong at Monza. Last year, with a not really perfect car, I could manage to get the pole. During the tests over the last week we could see that our competitors would have been really strong, but we were not quick enough to win at the weekend. It's true, I could have managed to gain the second place, but I could not hold the position I gained thanks to our strategy. I could see Hamilton coming closer on the main straight, but I couldn't break any closer to the corner, while he had the advantage of fresh tyres, which were even the softer ones." Despite being behind in the championship Kimi does not want to give up: "We will fight as long asarithmetic allows us to. We can't leave anything undone. We had a good test at Spa-Francorchamps last July and I'm 100 percent fit in terms of physical fitness: after the race I took some painkillers and I relaxed a bit. The next one is my preferred circuit. It's a wonderful place I always l loved to race there and I like the latest modifications of the track. There are some very fast and challenging corners, where we could exploit some of the qualities of the F2007. We'll give it everything to win: I've been twice on the central step of the podium here at the last two races and I want to get back there next Sunday!"