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"Iconic" Raikkonen still has "fire in his belly" - Brawn

"Iconic" Raikkonen still has "fire in his belly" - Brawn

F1 News

"Iconic" Raikkonen still has "fire in his belly" - Brawn

"Iconic" Raikkonen still has "fire in his belly" - Brawn

Ross Brawn believes Kimi Raikkonen still has "fire in his belly" after the Alfa Romeo driver's incredible opening to the Portuguese Grand Prix.

The 2007 world champion started down in 16th and initially lost out to team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi off the line, yet an unbelievable lap saw Raikkonen challenging Max Verstappen for fifth position into turn one on lap two.

F1 managing director motorsports Brawn has declared his belief that the start at Portimão is proof the 41-year-old Finn has more to give in the sport.

"We never doubted that Kimi still had that Finnish fire in his belly and when he was given a chance in Portugal, he demonstrated it," said Brawn, writing in his column for F1.

"His first lap was remarkable, and an example of a savvy driver making the most of an opportunity, in very tricky conditions, with a package that is on the weaker side right now.

"I’m sure that first lap got his adrenaline and blood pressure going. It was wonderful to see. He’s such an iconic driver, a world champion, and at 41, it’s clear there’s still lots of petrol in the tank."

Raikkonen, who is expected to be retained by Alfa Romeo for the 2021 season, surprised even himself with his lap-one performance in Portugal as he had to ask himself as to what his rivals were doing.

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