Kimi Raikkonen says he feels in a good position heading into the new F1 season following an encouraging performance from the Lotus team in pre-season testing.
Despite issues that forced the team to miss the second test of the off-season, Lotus bounced back in fine style with Raikkonen topping the times during the final session of the winter in Barcelona – where the E20 was fastest on three of the four days.
This weekend's race in Australia will mark Raikkonen's first F1 race since the 2009 season finale and his last outing for Ferrari, with the Finn saying he was happy about where he stands going into the Albert Park race.
"I feel very happy with the team," he was quoted by Sporting Life
. "We're still learning things, but everything is going smoothly and there are no problems at all, so it's a good position to start the season. Of course, you always wish you had more days to prepare but it's the situation we have, and you just have to deal with it.
"In the first week in Jerez we had pretty good running and no major reliability issues with the car, which is a good thing. We only had one problem at the second test in Barcelona and we fixed that, and it won't be an issue again. Now we just have to get everything at a level where we are happy and make sure I press the right buttons at the right times.
"Maybe a few more days would have done no harm, but I'm very confident we'll get it right when the time comes."
However, despite the encouraging pace shown by Lotus in the off-season, Raikkonen admitted he didn't know exactly where the team stands heading into the opening race given the fact that testing times can be notoriously deceptive as teams run differing programmes.
"I don't know where we're going to be on the grid,” he said. “Nobody knows. We might be last, we might be first. Let's see when we get there.
"If you look at the lap times from testing everybody was very close to each other. We don't know what everyone was doing with fuel load and that makes a massive difference.
"We'll have some idea after practice in Melbourne, then after qualifying everyone will know exactly where we are. As this is the first race I don't know how we'll compare to the other teams, but I think and hope we'll be reasonably strong."