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.”