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DATE News (chronologically)
06/07/07
f1
No pleasure in Kimi's 'pain' - Dennis
(GMM) Ron Dennis insists he finds no pleasure in seeing former McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen "in pain" after the Finn switched this year to Ferrari.

Raikkonen, 27, had been expected to take off where predecessor 'number one' Michael Schumacher departed at the wheel of the Maranello team's cars in 2007, after failing to win the title during a five year stint at McLaren.

But he has struggled to match the pace of his formerly lesser-rated teammate Felipe Massa since winning the Australian grand prix in March, and is now the lowest placed of the four Ferrari and McLaren drivers in the drivers' championship tables.

"In the end Kimi is a friend, and I've seen him struggle with his problems," McLaren chairman and principal Dennis told the website of the British newspaper The Times.

McLaren's 2006 lineup of Raikkonen alongside - initially - Juan Pablo Montoya was succeeded by world champion Fernando Alonso and super-rookie Lewis Hamilton for this year, and the latter duo now jointly head the points standings.

But even despite his historically prickly relationship with Ferrari, Dennis said of Raikkonen: "I see him as a friend and not a competitor, and I don't spend any time thinking about 'what ifs'.

"The reality is I don't spend any time thinking about it, other than seeing a friend in pain gives me no pleasure at all."
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