Thursday, July 5, 2007

Iceman needed time

Kimi race engineer Chris Dyer believes it was only natural that the Finn took time to hit form for Ferrari. Although Raikkonen won on his debut for the team in Australia, he then endured a long fallow period prior to his Magny-Cours victory รข€“ being outpaced by team-mate Felipe Massa and drifting back into a distant fourth in the standings. The Finn came under increasing pressure in the media, especially as he had replaced Michael Schumacher at Ferrari. There was speculation that the team was unhappy with his performance and even rumours that Ferrari wanted to replace him with Williams' Nico Rosberg next season. But Dyer said there had been no such dramas within the team, and that Ferrari had always expected Raikkonen to need time to acclimatise.

"To be honest, I don't think we've ever had any problems with Kimi fitting into the team and the way we've worked with Kimi or the way Kimi's worked with us," he said. "It's not something we had a problem with and we had to improve. "It takes time to understand him as a driver, for him to understand our car and the way our systems work. "I just think it's part of the natural process of a driver coming to a team and settling into that team, and the team settling into the driver. "It's just a constant process of trying to understand him better, trying to understand the car better and get the most out of both of them. "I don't think we've made any huge steps in any single area, it's just a little bit of improvement in all areas and we see the results." Dyer added that the press focus on Raikkonen's run of poor results made his Magny-Cours turnaround even more satisfying. "There's been a lot of pressure especially on Kimi, I think, about the fact that we weren't winning, so yeah, it's more satisfying to win here than it was in Melbourne and I hope we can continue with a few more before the end of the year," he said.

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