3 February 2015
Jerez F1 Test: Raikkonen reading ‘completely different story’ on day one
Kimi Raikkonen claimed that his first day behind the wheel of Ferrari's new SF15-T had been a more positive epxerience that his return to fold at last year's opening F1 test.
Kimi Raikkonen may not have been able to emulate new Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel's table-topping performance on day three of the Jerez F1 group test, but the Finn was nevertheless enthused by the Scuderia's latest offering.
Speaking after completing 92 laps in the SF15-T, Raikkonen claimed that the car was already a step ahead of its predecessor, which left both the Finn and erstwhile colleague Fernando Alonso winless in 2014. He ended the day second overall, a couple of tenths shy of Sauber rookie Felipe Nasr, but was nevertheless content with what he found.
“The whole package is quite a bit better than where we finished last year, and we have improved in all areas,” he noted, “It is just the first day of the first test and we still have a lot of things to do, and things to try and improve, but it's definitely a positive start and we have something to work with.
“The whole team has done a very good job over the winter, especially after last year when there were difficult times, so this was a positive first day. There were problems and areas where we had difficulties but, obviously, it was just the first day.”
Asked how the day had compared to the dame point last season, Raikkonen was clearly more positive about the potential of the SF15-T.
“It's a lot different [to day one last year],” he confirmed, “You usually know if the car is good or not good and this year is a completely different story to last year. It was a positive start and a nice day. It's just the first day but, so far, so good.”
Vettel's pace-setting performance – albeit in the context of the usual mixed testing programmes – was also a positive for Ferrari, with Raikkonen happy to have his friend in the team, but the Finn stopped short of following his team principal in predicting wins for the Scuderia in 2015.
“I'm sure, if we keep doing work as a team and push forward as a team, with two cars, improving things, we can get good results,” he claimed, “We're definitely going in the right direction.
“The atmosphere is very good in the team - there have been a lot of changes, but they have been done for the right reasons so, hopefully, we can have a good year with good results. Right now, everybody is pushing hard and the feeling is good.”
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