Kimi Raikkonen has been given an early chance to assess Ferrari's 2015 F1 car, after visiting Maranello in the build-up to this weekend's British Grand Prix.
The Finn, who attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the weekend, flew to Ferrari's Italian HQ for a day of engineering meetings as he provided input for the development of the current F14 T, not just for the forthcoming races, but also longer term.
After speaking with president Luca di Montezemolo and team principal Marco Mattiacci, Raikkonen spent the bulk of the day in meetings with race engineer Antonio Spagnolo and technical director James Allison. As well as looking at the development programme to be followed race-by-race for the rest of the 2014 season, the Finn had time to acquaint himself with the Scuderia's 2015 car. Work on this project goes on in parallel to the 2014 campaign as Ferrari attempts to learn from the mistakes that have seen the current car struggle to match the likes of Mercedes following the wholesale regulation changes that took effect over the winter break.
“It's been useful coming here to Maranello to talk with my engineers,” Raikkonen told the official Ferrari website, “We know how much we need to improve and now we are looking ahead to the next race.
“Silverstone is a track with a great tradition. The track itself has changed a bit in recent years, but I like it a lot, as all the very fast corners make it very challenging. It often rains, which means it can all become a lottery, but it's the same for everyone. All I can say is that, as usual, we will be trying our best.”
Ferrari is adrift in third place in the latest constructors' standings, but is not yet giving up on the season, viewing the eleven remaining races as opportunities to learn things that can be applied both to the F14-T and next year's car. Both drivers remain hopeful of joining Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo in gracing the top step of the podium and, like Raikkonen, team-mate Fernando Alonso has tasted victory at Silverstone. The Spaniard, who always seems to go well in Britain, is unsurprisingly looking forward to returning there this weekend.
“There's a great sense of tradition, so all the drivers want to do well at this event in front of the English fans,” Alonso said of Silverstone, “Not only are they very passionate about the sport, they also know their F1.”