Kimi's 'perfect' performance

World champion's reliability fears not realised at Sepang

The normally stoic Kimi Raikkonen managed to show a smile after leading a rejuvenated Ferrari to victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The world champion responded to a disastrous outing in last weekend's Australian Grand Prix with an imperious performance to cut Lewis Hamilton's lead in the drivers' championship to just three points.

Raikkonen notched up his 16th grand prix win, his maiden victory also coming in Malaysia back in 2003.

While explaining that Ferrari's F2008 has plenty of pace, Raikkonen said that he had nevertheless been concerned by the car's reliability during the weekend.

"For sure we had quite a difficult weekend in Australia but I didn't really expect to have such difficulties," he said.

"We were not 100 percent sure things would be different here. We knew speed wise we would be fine, even in Australia the speed should have been fine."


The 28-year-old said he enjoyed a perfect afternoon, but was disappointed that team-mate Felipe Massa failed to finish the grand prix.

The Brazilian looked set to seal a Ferrari one-two before spinning out of the race on lap 30.

Raikkonen continued: "Everything worked perfectly here and we took it easy to make sure nothing went wrong. We saved the engine. It was a perfect job by the team to come back.

"I would have been happier with Felipe in second but things go wrong."

Massa and Raikkonen secured the front row after qualifying at Sepang, but the Finn was quick to point out that Ferrari still have to improve - with tyres being a particular concern.

"I think we still have some difficulties to get the qualifying right," he said. "It was good in Q2 but in the last session we found no grip on the tyres.

"We knew we were running one lap longer so we were not panicking and knew as long as we kept close I knew a good chance to pass him.

"The car was good all weekend, but sometimes it was difficult to get the best out the tyres."