Australian GP - Kimi's debut win for Ferrari!
First round of the championship and first victory for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. On his debut in a Maranello car, Kimi Raikkonen secured the Scuderia's seventh win in this race, thus bringing the total number of victories to 193 in 742 Grand Prix participations. This was the tenth time from 106 starts that Kimi has been the first past the chequered flag.
"A fantastic victory!" said Kimi after the race. "It is great to be winning again with my new team whom I want to thank for giving me a great car. The race was not as easy as it might have looked from the outside, partly because shortly after the start, the radio failed so it was almost impossible to talk to the pit wall. Fortunately we had prepared well for the race and I knew what I had to do, but there were a few difficult moments. I was not flat out all the time, adapting my pace to the way the race was going. It was nice to hear my national anthem again on the podium as it had been a while. I have to say that last year it seemed to be the Italian one I was hearing usually. This is a great way to start the championship. We know we have a very competitive package but we still have to work to make it even better and above all, reliable."
Jean Todt said, "That was an exciting Grand Prix! We started with our drivers at opposite ends of the grid, with Kimi on pole and Felipe in last place because of an electrical problem in the gearbox management that had hampered his qualifying yesterday. Both of them put on a great performance. Kimi maintained his first place after the start and then did a very good job of managing the race, while Felipe staged a great climb through the field to take him up to sixth place. A new chapter in Ferrari's history has got off to a very good start. The chassis-engine package proved to be competitive, the team worked with dedicated professionalism and the drivers were impeccable. This all means that we can look forward to the rest of the championship with prudent optimism, even if we have seen there is some very strong and well prepared opposition and some very talented young drivers. We have not yet reached the desired level of reliability and we have to do a lot of work on this as well as on improving our performance. I was very happy to get two telephone calls, the first from Michael as I was going up to the podium, which I handed to Kimi and the other from Luca di Montezemolo who was jumping for joy as if this was our first win in a decade. And indeed that is the feeling for us all!"
Luca Baldisserri commented, "This is a very important result for the whole team, as it is the result of the hard work from everyone in the Gestione Sportiva throughout the winter. We took on a significant reorganisation and seeing its efforts rewarded like this is further motivation for pushing on even further. We picked up thirteen points thanks to extraordinary performances from our two drivers. Starting from pole, Kimi was able to control the race right from the start, while Felipe, hampered by yesterday's gearbox failure in qualifying, started last and put on a really impressive climb up the order to finish sixth. The F2007s were competitive and the only problem was a radio malfunction on Kimi's car, which happened soon after the start. Now we must carry on working to improve still further our competitiveness and to get the overall reliability that is still eluding us."