Kimi Raikkonen says he has enjoyed some benefit from brushing off the cobwebs ahead of the 2016 Formula 1 season as he, Daniel Riccardo and Stoffel Vandoorne put in the miles for Pirelli at its two-day wet tyre test at the Paul Ricard HTTT venue.
With the venue's sprinkler facilities making it the ideal test bed for Pirelli's wet weather tyres, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren were present to run the 2015 specification wet tyres as well as new unmarked rubber. Raikkonen, alongside Vandoorne and Ricciardo, completed 266 laps between them with the Finn explaining the 2015 compounds were performing better than the experimental compounds on his Ferrari.
“I think it is too early to say but we had the same as last year and we had some new ones, but I think we prefer last year's ones. It is a bit too early to tell,” Raikkonen said. “I think it was Okay. We haven't driven for a while, then last week in the older car for one day, so I think we can learn from this. We are not so happy usually in the wet conditions so it helps us to understand more.”
Raikkonen also felt it was a worthwhile effort to spend a day driving in the Pirelli wet tyres test rather than opting out.
Vettel is expected to take part in day two of the test while Red Bull will switch in Daniil Kvyat, but McLaren has selected reserve F1 driver Vandoorne for both test days rather than F1 drivers Fernando Alonso or Jensen Button.
“When everything works it is Okay, I think here it is as good wet tyre testing as you can get because it is similar conditions at one time,” he said. “If we can help Pirelli, I think it is useful for us.”
Asked whether this test can be used as any indicator for the 2016 F1 season Raikkonen has played down its significance as it is completed in last year's car.
“We all want to win, but time will tell if we can or not,” he said. “We haven't driven a single lap with the new car so we will see how we do in one month and go from there.”