Raikkonen in the Driving Seat; FORMULA ONE: GERMAN GRAND PRIX
Byline: By Ian Paerkes at Hockenheim
Kimi Raikkonen is currently enjoying a mental calmness that comes with being Formula One world champion.
Heading into the second half of the year, and embroiled in a three-way struggle for the lead with Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren, in one respect Raikkonen has an edge.
In comparison to his rivals, including BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica who is only two points behind, the Finn has been there, seen it, done it, and effectively wears the crown. For Raikkonen, there is less stress that comes with having a bad race because he can at least claim to have won one world title.
That far from means he is not hungry for another, but the pressure is arguably not so great on the 28-year-old as it is on Hamilton, Massa and Kubica.
"Whatever happens, if I do not win the title this year then it is probably not going to hurt as much if I had not won it at all," said Raikkonen.
"Last year, nobody really expected us to win, yet we still did, so even when we've had bad races this year I've not been too worried. because you can see how quickly the situation changes this year. Right now we are in a pretty good position, so it's up to us.."
Although calmer within himself, Raikkonen does not feel he has any psychological advantage over his other rivals because he is unaware of how mentally strong they are - or will be. "I think everybody has a pretty good idea of how they should go about trying to win the title," remarked Raikkonen.
"Some people are stronger in the head in many ways and some not. As for me, I know I am pretty relaxed. I don't really think about anything too much. If I have a bad race I'll worry about it for a while, but it's not going to end my life. There are far more serious things to worry about than just races."
Which is why Raikkonen is not too concerned that he has not won any of the last five races. …