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JUNE 11, 2001

Raikkonen happy with equal best finish

KIMI RAIKKONEN was delighted to equal his best ever Grand Prix finish with fourth in Canada, despite an early clash with stand-in Jordan driver Ricardo Zonta.

Raikkonen said his Sauber was hit from behind by Zonta's Jordan and he was lucky to stay in the race. He proceeded to put in a solid performance and claim three more championship points.

"I'm really pleased to finish in fourth place again," said Raikkonen. "After Verstappen passed me on the opening lap I settled down to a good rhythm until my rear tires began to go off.

"Then (Ricardo) Zonta hit the back of my car on the straight and I was really lucky not to go off.

"Once we got a new set of tires on the car it began handling really well again and I was able to pace myself easily to keep Alesi behind me in the closing stages. I think we proved again today what a good car the C20 is."

Raikkonen's team-mate Nick Heidfeld was not as happy as he was forced out of the race on his second lap after being hit by the Jaguar of Eddie Irvine.

Heidfeld said: "Going into the third corner on the second lap Irvine hit my rear tire and spun me into the wall. He was far from being alongside me, but I guess he was pushing hard because he was on a two-stop strategy.

"It's a real shame because the car felt good on the formation lap and the first lap of the race, and I was really looking forward to the race.

"Looking at the result it should have been easy to score some more points today, so I'm hoping that my luck changes for the next race."