Kimi Raikkonen said he is happy with the new Lotus E21 despite enduring a troubled end to his pre-season testing programme in Barcelona.
The Finn, who has endured his fair share of issues in the three Spanish tests, was forced to sit out the penultimate day of running at Catalunya after falling ill, and then missed much of the final morning when a gearbox issue sidelined his car.
Despite that, Raikkonen was able to set the fifth quickest time and although he admitted that the lack of laps wasn't ideal, he said he was confident that Lotus had a car with which to challenge.
“I was sick yesterday and the car was sick this morning,” he said. “It's not what you want, but you go testing to find out if there are any problems with the car. For sure, we haven't completed all the laps we wanted during pre-season, but that is often the case. We've found a few issues and we have solutions for them, which is positive.
“Personally, I felt much better today and I was fine driving. We ran through a lot of assessments this afternoon and the feeling in the team is that we have a strong basis to start the season; even if we haven't shown that every day. I'm happy with the car and looking forward to going racing.”
Technical director James Allison agreed that, despite the lack of track time, the team was in good shape in terms of its pace,
“Today was something like this entire test in microcosm; we spent too much of the day in the garage, but when we did get out on track we made good progress,” he said. “A definite positive is that we are not finding it difficult to be on the pace. Today's gearbox problem was the same as we experienced previously but we're confident we have a solution and are not concerned about it causing us any issues in Melbourne.
“We were able to confirm some aspects of the Melbourne aero package this afternoon and have some more new parts to be run in Australia. Overall we would have been happy with far more pre-season running, but we have not had any difficulties getting a good lap time out of the car without resorting to low fuel runs at any of the tests.”