Kimi Raikkonen is confident that Ferrari can get on top of the problems that hampered him in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix after he struggled to eighth place on the road.
Although his finishing position was upgraded by one spot following Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion, the Finn was not happy after his first race back with the Scuderia, admitting that there were myriad problems afflicting his F14-T – although a previous lack of confidence with the brakes was not one of them.
“The brakes were fine,” he confirmed, “We had a little issue at the beginning of the race, but then we grained the front tyres and, when you do that, you have no grip on the front and you go very easily to understeer. So that was the main issue.
“It's a combination of things. Sometimes it gets a bit tricky and, unfortunately, right now it's not the easiest thing, but I'm sure we will be able to find a solution for it at some point. It's not the first time we've been in this situation and we'll work until we fix this thing if it takes a week, a month….”
Admitting that the team knew the direction it needed to work in, Raikkonen acknowledged that a fix was unlikely to happen immediately.
“We know, more or less, what we want to do but, obviously, some things are not happening overnight,” he noted, “It takes time to produce certain parts, and we cannot promise that it is going to fix the issue when we get something that we want, but we can hope they will work. Like I said, I've been in these situations before and sometimes it can take a while. Unfortunately, it's not the easiest position right now, and it's not what we wanted to see, but it could have been a lot worse and I'm sure we can only get better from here.
“It hurts a lot, but we've got a clearer picture now and, if we can run the weekend without issues and race without problems, I think we can be much stronger. But this is how it was here and, hopefully, we can sort out most of the things for the next race.”
Admitting that the latest Ferrari, complete with its all-new turbocharged V6 power unit, revised aerodynamics and assorted hybrid energy technologies, was not the trickiest car he had ever driven in an F1 season-opener, Raikkonen tried to remain upbeat with the Malaysian Grand Prix still two weeks away.
“It wasn't a very enjoyable race and not as strong as we wanted but, from the weekend overall, I think we will learn a lot and cut down the problems and mistakes,” he insisted, “Sometimes, things aren't exactly as you want – it's not often that they are exactly like you want and you are happy with everything, so I knew already before the weekend that it would be difficult. We know what we are planning to do, but it takes some races.
“We improved the car already [on Saturday], but then got stuck in traffic and could have qualified much better otherwise. [In the race], the car felt okay but, once we grained the front tyre, it changed the behaviour a lot and that cost us quite a bit [of performance].
“It's too early to say [where Ferrari stands] but we had a pretty good idea before and we're not where we want to be. I think [improvements are needed] everywhere really, plus putting things right through the race weekend and not making mistakes. I think that will already make a big difference.”