Atlas F1 News Service

Raikkonen Confident for Malaysia

Wednesday March 14th, 2001

Sauber's young star Kimi Raikkonen believes he will have no trouble learning the Sepang circuit before Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

The 21-year-old scored a point on his Grand Prix debut in Australia and hopes he can continue to build his early success.

"Sepang is another new circuit for me," said Raikkonen, but continued: "To be honest I have never had much trouble learning tracks.

"In Melbourne I really enjoyed my first race in F1," he added, "and it felt wonderful to score my first World Championship point at the first attempt. Now, I just want to go racing again - this is just another race for me."

Concerns that the 21-year-old would not cope in Formula One were blown away in Australia by his sixth place finish, but he is still racing under probation.

His performance will be assessed after the first four races, and the FIA will then decide whether he can continue in Formula One.

Raikkonen's teammate Nick Heidfeld is himself a veteran of only one Grand Prix season, and on the back of his first points scoring finish he understands how important the results will be this weekend.

Success in Malaysia is important for Sauber, who are sponsored by the country's oil company Petronas.

"Sepang is a really good track, and a very important one," he said referring to his team's association with Petronas.

"I am really looking forward to racing there again," he continued. "I feel more confident after scoring my first World Championship points in Melbourne.

"Our car proved very quick and reliable, and I hope that we can secure a similar result."

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