recorded his first win of the season on Sunday at the Belgian Grand Prix, his first since Barcelona last year, and with the ten points moves from seventh in the championship standings to fifth ahead of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. The 2007 champion admits that it
has not been an easy season, but his third straight podium and his first win should help the Italian team retain third in the constructorsí championship.
"We were behind straight away in the first race compared to the top teams and we made a big step in Barcelona but it still has not been enough and for sure we have not brought new parts to the car for a few races as we are really putting an effort into next year," Raikkonen said in the post race press conference. "I mean getting the win now; it's quite a long time since the last one, so it was perfect. My aim was to win at least one race and try to keep third place in the championship, so this is going to help us a lot but I needed a bit of effort today to get the win."
The key to Raikkonenís win was the use of KERS at the start to move from sixth to second and then at the restart following the safety car to move ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella
to take the lead.
"I knew that we needed to get past him as more or less we were on the same lap coming in and if I hadnít done after the safety car they had too much speed to get it after that," he said. "I just made sure I was close enough after the first corner and then went behind him as close as I could through Eau Rouge.
I got quite a lot of understeer and ran a bit wide on top of the hill but then once I used the KERS I was able to get next to him and just in front of him, so it was pretty easy in that way to get in front of him. I knew then as long as we donít make silly mistakes, we should be okay for the race."
Despite race long pressure, Raikkonen made no mistakes and duly took the chequered flag less than a second ahead of his Force India rival.
"I knew that he was faster," Raikkonen admitted. "Probably we did a little mistake to put on the harder tyres at the first pit stop and they just did not warm up and maybe like three laps before the stop they suddenly started to work much better. I was able to push harder. I knew that if I could keep him behind at the pit stop it is pretty difficult for him to get past. They were very fast in the middle sector, coming back to the last chicane. Sometimes they got very close but I just started to use the KERS in a slightly different way to make sure he was not going to get a run on me and it was not so difficult. I mean it is hard to overtake anyhow, so it was very easy.
"We won and we have KERS at every race and thatís a fact."