| Source: lotusf1team.com |
A pair of solid top ten placings and plenty of positives for Kimi during free practice here in Melbourne; the Iceman talks us through his day in the park…
Q: How was your day’s running?
KR: It all worked well. There were no problems and the car seems to be pretty okay so I’m quite happy. If we can keep it like it felt today for the whole weekend I think we could get a good result.
Q: What did you learn from today?
KR: Different things.
Q: Any reliability concerns?
KR: We had more or less one issue in testing and when it happened we lost a lot of time. We’re pretty confident it’s fixed; apart from that the car ran well over the winter and it did today. I don’t expect to have any problems, but you never know.
Q: How did the tyres work for you?
KR: The tyres were much better than in testing but you expect that as it was warmer here; so far they’ve been good. I had some front graining but the rears seemed to hold together pretty well. I thought that they were surprisingly good really.
Q: You were competitive from the off last year; can we expect more of the same this season?
KR: I certainly had a much better Friday here than last year. Everybody looked pretty close together today so we’ll have to see how it goes in the first qualifying of the season tomorrow.
“I think even compared to the last races [of 2012], it feels like we are a bit closer,” said Raikkonen, when asked if he felt Lotus was stronger than 12 months ago.
“We saw Vettel being fast today but all the rest, everybody else, it looks tight and they are close to each other.
“But it is only the first Friday. So let’s see how it goes in the first two races and we will go from there.”
The fact that Vettel’s pace-setting time came after his super soft tyres were past their best points to the German having a significant advantage.
However, Raikkonen does not think that Lotus has shown its best potential just yet either.
“For sure we can improve ourselves also quite a bit,” he explained. “They [Red Bull] were fast on the harder tyres, so you expect that they would have been a bit faster on the super soft. But you never know.
“Some other teams did not improve so much with the super soft. But it is what it is and the race is a different story. It is just the first Friday.”