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DATE News (chronologically)
01/03/09
f1
Blundell tips Raikkonen to take '09 title
Can Kimi Raikkonen get his form back or is he washed up?
Mark Blundell takes an early gamble and says Kimi Raikkonen will be champion again in 2009.

Kimi Raikkonen will win the 2009 FIA Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship - that's the prediction of Crash.net columnist and former ITV-F1 pundit Mark Blundell.

Raikkonen endured a largely torrid season in 2008 and, while he definitely had the speed to set a record-equaling ten fastest laps, he was forced to play second fiddle to Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, who only lost out on the title by one point following a dramatic final round showdown in Brazil with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton. Despite all that, however, Blundell reckons the 'ice-man' could come good again this year.

"I might be completely wrong here but, for some reason, I think Kimi Raikkonen might turn things around and come back stronger than ever," MB told Crash.net Radio in his exclusive 2009 F1 season preview.

"I am going to put my money on him again for the title - like I did for 2007. Let's wait and see. I might change that prediction when it comes to the first race and when we see what goes on in winter testing!"

As for how Raikkonen performed in 2008, Blundell added that he was shocked by Kimi's form, or lack of it.

"I was very surprised in '08, because I felt Kimi would go on again after pulling the championship off," he admitted, "There was a lot more still to be done and there was no pressure on his shoulders because he had delivered. I thought he would be right there and in contention."

"At the beginning of the season, he was up there and all was going according to plan. But then, all of a sudden, things dropped out and he went below the radar.

"On many occasions, we saw Kimi struggle in qualifying trim, but then gradually, as the race went on, you would see him and the Ferrari getting it together and coming on strong and pulling off fastest lap after fastest lap.

"But it was all too late then - that was very costly. He never collected enough points when it mattered."

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