I was really excited to see this issue arrive. It has two articles on Kimi, one written by James Roberts during the pre-season testing and the other by Andrew Benson ‘investigating’ whether ‘Kimi is a true great’. Needless to say, the latter is no question for me. He is an F1 great because at the end of the day, he is the fastest of them all in my humble opinion. For me, it’s as simple as this – Pinnacle of motorsport; Formula 1. Pinnacle of speed?; Kimi Raikkonen.
Roberts’ feature was enjoyable as it interviews Kimi and reveals some funny things like new Ferrari team principle Arrivabene finding Kimi on the floor and not sure why! But there was a point to it and no alcohol was involved; Kimi was watching the SF15T being worked on. A happy sounding Kimi made this interview a pleasure to read.
The second feature by Benson was poorly written for an F1 magazine charging £5 per issue. Disappointed in F1 Racing for not having another writer to do this feature such as Peter Windsor (who knows what he’s talking about and hasn’t got his head up Alonso’s butt!). But if you want to waste 10 minutes reading it as I wasted scanning it, go ahead.
F1 Mastermind: Quiz yourself on Kimi’s career
I haven’t actually quizzed myself in a long time regarding Kimi’s career, so I gave it go on the camera :) No cheating either! How did you do?
Kimi Raikkonen says the SF15-T already feels “pretty nice” compared to last year’s car and gives Ferrari a good base to work with for the 2015 season.
Raikkonen rounded off the Jerez test by topping the time sheets, the fourth day a Ferrari-powered car has gone fastest at the Spanish circuit. It’s been an encouraging start for Ferrari and Raikkonen, who accumulated 197 laps in two days, is pleased with the team’s new car compared to the uncompetitive F14-T.
“For sure it’s much better than what we had last year,” Raikkonen said. “I think the whole package is better all-round; the engine and the car itself, everything has improved. Obviously we still have a lot of hard work to try and improve things but it’s a good starting point.”
The morning started off wet before the track dried off later in the day, and Raikkonen was happy with how the car handled both conditions.
“We didn’t do so many laps but it felt pretty nice compared to last year, and it’s the same for the dry, the car is behaving well.”
The Ferrari team has topped three of the four days in Jerez, with Mercedes not finishing as high as third, but Raikkonen does not think headline times are significant.
“It doesn’t mean much. The lap time can be anything but we’ve got a good amount of laps and things are working, we’re not really having many issues. That’s the main thing plus the feeling is pretty fine, so that’s good. We do our own stuff, we don’t know what the others are doing. Yesterday I said we had a good starting point and the team has done a good job over the winter to prepare this car. We have something to work with now.”
Asked to assess his first two days in the car, a contented Raikkonen said: “No problems really. We got through a lot of laps and obviously the weather yesterday and today has been a bit tricky, so not ideal, but we performed pretty okay for the first test. So not a bad start.
“Compared to last year, it’s definitely much better but obviously we still have a lot to work on and improve. We have something we can work with, so we can be happy about that.”
Former world champion says new SF15-T is better in all areas and a big step forward on 2014.
Kimi Raikkonen says that the new Ferrari is a big step forward from the car with which the team finished last season.
The Finn, taking over from teammate Sebastian Vettel, was second fastest today in testing at Jerez after running 92 laps, only behind the soft tyred-shod Sauber of Felipe Nasr.
“It was a positive first day, a lot of improvements in areas where we had difficulties,” Raikkonen said.
“And obviously it’s just a first day, and unfortunately the weather was pretty bad today. Somehow the circuit stayed damp for most of the day, but I think we had good running and we got some mileage.
“The whole package is quite a bit better than how we finished last year. Now we’ve improved in all areas.
“It’s just the first day, the first day, and there are a lot of things to do, and a lot of things to try and improve, but it’s definitely a positive start and we have something to work with.”
Raikkonen warned however that it was still very early to get carried away.
“It’s too early to speak about results. Like I said we had a good, positive first day, and Sebastian had a good couple of days,” he said.
“We’ll try to do our best, and I’m sure if we keep doing our work as a team we’ll push forward as a team with two cars, improving things, we can get some good results.
“What it will be, time will tell. We definitely going in the right direction, for sure, that’s the good thing. We’ll have to wait and see in the races.”
Asked about having his friend Vettel as a teammate, he said: “We have a good relationship and I think we can push the team forward, and obviously try to beat each other on the circuit.
“I’m sure we’ll have some fun. The atmosphere in the team is already very good, and hopefully we’ll get some good results this year that will help the situation. So far, so good, but it’s early days.”
Raikkonen, who struggled with the handling of last year’s F14-T, said its replacement was “a lot different – it’s a new car”.
“You usually know if the car is good or not good and obviously this year is a completely different story than last year. It’s a positive start and a nice, good day.”
“The whole team has done a good job over the winter after last year and the difficult times,” he said. “It was a positive first day, lot of improvements in areas that we have difficulties.”
“Obviously it’s just the first day and unfortunate that it was wet, the circuit stayed damp most of the day. But I think we had good running and got some mileage and as I said big thanks to the team to build us a reasonable, good starting point.”
Underneath Arrivabene in the Ferrari hierarchy there have been further changes to the management which Raikkonen has welcomed.
“The atmosphere is very good within the team,” he said. “There have been a lot of changes, but for the right reasons. Like I’ve said, hopefully we can have a good year and good results which will only make things better for everybody.
“Right now everybody is pushing, working together hard, the feeling is good within the team. It’s early days, but it’s great to see how good it is, how well people are working together.”
“But it’s pointless talking about wins, in the end we’ll try to do our best and I’m sure if we keep working as a team push forward as a team improving things we can get some good results, but we’re definitely going in the right direction.”
Track: Jerez Circuit – 4.428 km
Driver: Kimi Raikkonen
Car: Ferrari SF15-T – Chassis 309
Weather: Air temperature 12/14 °C, track temperature 11/15. Overcast, with a damp track in the morning.
Laps/Km completed: 92/407
Fastest time: 1’21”750 (Pirelli Medium tyres)
Tyres: Intermediate, Medium Hard
Programme: Aero test and set-up work.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It’s too early to talk about results, but we are going in the right direction. There is still a great deal to do, however this has been a positive start, very different to a year ago. A good job has been done on the car with a lot of improvements. Even though these are only early days for testing, we have done plenty of laps, after Sebastian got through two good days of work.”
James Allison: “We had a better day in terms of reliability and with Kimi we managed a good number of tests. It was interesting to get his feedback on the handling characteristics of the SF15-T, when compared to last year’s car.”
|6||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m23.187s||1.642s||137|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m23.901s||2.356s||49|
Scuderia Ferrari’s third day of testing featured a changing of the guard on the driver front, as Kimi Raikkonen got behind the wheel. Today, the team’s attention has been focused on set-up work on the SF15-T: during the morning, the Finn completed 44 laps, setting the fastest time in 1.24.074. The track was damp in the early morning, which naturally affected the programmes of the various teams running today, but it looks like being a more straightforward afternoon. (ferrari.com)
|1||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||1m 24.357s||-||39|
|2||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||1m 24.770s||0.413s||93|
|3||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m 25.352s||0.995s||56|
|4||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus/Mercedes||1m 26.824s||2.467s||18|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m 34.776s||10.419s||5|
|6||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||1m 35.127s||10.770s||30|
|7||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||1m 35.553s||11.196s||32|
|8||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||1m 45.928s||21.571s||15|