Kimi confident - Emirates24|7

Kimi confident

 

Defending drivers' world champion Finn Kimi Raikkonen is confident he and Ferrari will be competitive again in this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix despite not having tested at the circuit.

His compatriot, McLaren-Mercedes new boy Heikki Kovalainen, appears set to return to action just two weeks after his high-speed accident at the Circuit de Catalunya during the Spanish Grand Prix.

But there will be no place in Sunday's race for Super Aguri. The Japanese outfit went out of business on Monday and has withdrawn from the championship.

Unlike Super Aguri, a relaxed Raikkonen is firing on all cylinders and believes he can stretch his early advantage in this year's title race.

Both he and his Ferrari team-mate Brazilian Felipe Massa have good feelings about the Istanbul circuit, set 30 minutes' drive from the city centre on the Asian side of the Bosphorous.

"It is a great track and although we have not been there to do any testing, I am sure we can be competitive again. At this time of the year, it is important to keep scoring points and build up consistency and a decent total of points," said Raikkonen. "That way we can stay ahead of our rivals. When you have a look at this year's tracks so far, the one at Istanbul is very similar to the one at Sepang and Sakhir, where we could win. That makes us think that we'll be competitive over the weekend."

Kovalainen left hospital after spending only one night under close observation where he was diagnosed with mild concussion. But he passed a mandatory medical test yesterday, and will be back to race again in his McLaren in Turkey.

He said: "I can't wait to get back in the car and race with the team next weekend, but at the end of the day that decision is out of my hands. The FIA will make it based on safety grounds only."

That would mean him lining up again with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who believes he can improve on last year's result which saw him finish fifth after qualifying in second place. Hamilton has said that stability is vital for success in Istanbul.

"The balance of the car felt good in Spain – which is key at Istanbul because of the high-speed corners," he said. "You need to have a stable car through the corners to ensure you conserve your tyres and that you are able to carry speed through there. This section of the track is key as you can gain a lot of time," added the Briton.

 

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