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F1 Spanish GP: Raikkonen ‘close to 100 per cent happy’

Kimi Raikkonen says he is happier with his Ferrari around the Circuit de Catalunya, but plays down the suggestion it could prompt a Mercedes challenge
Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari is enjoying a stronger start to the Spanish Grand Prix weekend than it did last time out in Russia, adding there are improvements to be made but that he is close to '100 per cent happy'.

The Finn picked up his second podium finish of the 2016 Formula 1 season in Sochi, though Ferrari was judged to be comfortably off the pace compared with Mercedes all weekend.

Having predicted a more competitive weekend around the Circuit de Catalunya, Raikkonen – who ended the day second fastest behind Nico Rosberg – says he is benefitting from getting the tyres to work better on the SF16-H

“For me it feels like we started off the weekend a bit better,” he said. “£It's easier to make the tyres work than in Russia. But there's still work to be done before we are 100 per cent happy, but at least we're getting close to that. It's still not exactly where we want it to be but we're doing our normal work and we'll see what we can do.”

Despite this, Raikkonen insists he is not predicting Ferrari will be taking the fight to Mercedes this weekend.

“It's only Friday and if you only look at the other Fridays then maybe we are [closer]. But we don't know what the others are doing, we're doing our own stuff and, like I said, it's not bad but we can still improve here and there. It's just a normal weekend story. This is just one track, one day, so you cannot suddenly reach the conclusion we're close to them.”
by Ollie Barstow

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May 13, 2016 4:49 PM

Catalunya is an aero track and punishes tires. If the track gets hot at the race, Ferrari might have the upper hand in tire life. If they can manage to keep soft tires longer than Mercedes, they can have a chance. But I still wait for Ferrari to do less pit stops compared to Mercedes, like Lotus did in Allison years. That may be the strategy to force Mercedes into taking risks.

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