Oct.4 (GMM) After Kimi Raikkonen admitted his 2008 title defence is now over, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has declared extreme "disappointment" with the current form of the reigning world champion.
"With Kimi I am extremely disappointed," the 77-year-old billionaire admitted in interview with Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper, to be published on Sunday.28-year-old Raikkonen, despite his sensational late dash to the drivers' crown a year ago, has struggled this season and is now a near-insurmountable 27 points behind the title lead with just three races to run.Ecclestone said: "Kimi is such a fantastic driver. I thought he had lost his motivation, but then he signed for two more years with Ferrari. It is a mystery to me."Last year, Bernie tipped Raikkonen's Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa to take out the crown, praising the Brazilian as "stronger, faster and better than a lot of people think".In 2008, with the 27-year-old now a true contender, the F1 supremo adds: "I have to admit that I have supported Felipe for a long time and helped him wherever I can."For so long he has been underestimated. Only recently was he in a position to show his true potential. He now has Kimi firmly within his grasp," Ecclestone said.