Championship leader Kimi Raikkonen believes a trouble-free first day
of practice in Monaco will be key to his hopes of a strong showing at
The Ferrari driver has been hit by problems during most Fridays this
year, with him well aware that his car was only perfectly dialled in at
the Spanish Grand Prix – which he duly dominated.
In Turkey, Raikkonen hit trouble again during Friday practice with a
gearbox problem, and the Finn was then unable to match the pace of
teammate Felipe Massa in qualifying or the race.
With qualifying so important to have a good race in Monaco, Raikkonen is hoping he can stay out of trouble next week.
"No," he said when asked if the team had special plans for
qualifying. "If we get everything working during the weekend, then we
usually get the car right, but so far we’ve only had one weekend
without problems on Friday.
"And every time you don’t run on Fridays it hurts you, so hopefully
we’ll have a good first day at Monaco, get the car sorted, and it
should be okay."
Ferrari failed to match the form of rivals McLaren last year at
Monte Carlo, and the British squad are generally considered favourites
to win there again.
But Raikkonen says his team have taken a step forward and he is
hopeful the Italian squad will be strong on the streets of Monte Carlo.
"For sure we have improved from last year, so we’ll see in Monaco
where we are exactly," he said. "But I think it was not too bad. The
feeling is pretty good with the car. We need to work more and then
we’ll see if we are in the same position as last year."
It’s pretty straightforward then – no hiccups in practise at Monaco and Kimi should have a good weekend. Last year it was wet during Monaco practise, but Kimi was looking quite competitive, being faster than Massa, right up until qualifying . He’ll have to be cautious during qualifying too. Without traction control, it’s going to be one hell of a weekend!
Here’s a video from the test yesterday, of an interview with Kimi on Italian television (thanks to TaniaS!)
Size – 11.8MB
Duration – 1.28mins