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Barcelona F1 Pre-season Test [1]: Fastest Raikkonen plays down Ferrari's edge on Mercedes

Kimi Raikkonen says he is still unsure if the Ferrari SF16-H has enough potential to beat Mercedes consistently after finishing day four of testing on top.
Kimi Raikkonen says he is still unsure if the Ferrari SF16-H has enough potential to beat Mercedes consistently after finishing the final day of the first pre-season test fastest.

The Ferrari driver produced 80 laps on his second day of pre-season testing having taken over from Sebastian Vettel and ended the day quickest with a best lap of 1m 23.477s on the new ultra-soft Pirelli tyres – the third quickest lap of the test overall.

However, it was not all smooth testing for Raikkonen who having lost three hours on his opening test day to an engine issue lost another three hours this afternoon with a similar problem. The Finn has played down the significance of the problems but says Ferrari still has a lot to learn with its new challenger before it can consider itself quicker than Mercedes.

“I don't know if it is going to be good enough,” Raikkonen said. “The car feels nice, and we have a lot of things to still try and test and tune. It is definitely a step up from what we had last year. Is it going to be good enough? We will see at the end of this year.

“We did normal testing work, and we tried different tyres to get the first idea. It worked okay, obviously conditions are different than they are going to be in the race, but they were okay and as expected.”

Although slightly frustrated to lose almost half of his track action time in the pits, Raikkonen feels it isn't a major concern and it is better to happen in pre-season than further down the line when Ferrari has much less time to react.

“As always with a new car you have certain things you have to try, and test, and you have to be safe with a thing like that, and check everything very well,” he explained. “It takes time, it is painful, but it is better to check them well than have some big problems if you have not checked.

“It was a normal day. Obviously we would have liked to have run a bit more. We lost yesterday morning and this afternoon quite a bit of time, but that is part of a new car and testing, so it is getting there.

“It feels better than last year's package, and that was the aim. It is very early days, and we have not done a lot of set-up work with it. For sure we can improve it.”

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Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari SF16-H. 25.02.2016.
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February 26, 2016 9:44 AM

I am thrilled to see Kimi give an interview where he doesn't use his usual mannerism of saying "Obviously, it was not ideal". I am a huge fan of Kimi anyway but I think he's been pressed by the ever looming Ferrari media lady with the large-ish sunglasses to play it relatively more safe in his statements, though he's still on another level from the niceties-sprouting talking heads that certain other drivers are.


February 27, 2016 1:11 PM

Looking at the gaps on like tires and times on longer runs, the Ferrari may very well be much closer to the Mercedes than some might think. The next test will almost certainly see Mercedes use the softer compounds for multi lap runs and then we will know more.

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