On Thursday before the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, Kimi Raikkonen addressed questions from the media. Many of them focused on his predictions for the week end. “Obviously we have to put in a clean weekend with no issues, then I’ m sure we could be pretty happy with the result. This is a different track but so far the car has been working well in all kind of conditions on every place and I don’t see reasons why it should be different here. Here it can be a little bit different because it’s cold and the track is challenging, but of course if you have a good car it helps. Tomorrow we’ll go out and see but I don’t expect big surprises.”
Can you say you can challenge Mercedes even if, unlike Sepang, the weather here is not so hot and this one is not a rear tyre limited track? “All tracks are different and every condition too, and one car can behave better in a place that in another one. Maybe we are not where we would like to be, but compared to last year things have changed a lot even if we still have a lot to do.”
The win in Malaysia is a very good result for the team and for Sebastian. “We knew from testing we have a good package but the two first races for me have been pretty difficult , although I could take some good points in Malaysia. We keep pushing as hard as we can trying to do things right knowing that every race can be different, but generally I think we can be quite strong everywhere. In general we know we have the speed but we have to get rid of all the issues even if they are not our fault like the puncture”. [Source: ferrari.com]
From espn.co.uk – Kimi: “I said after Australia that if we had been behind them in the race I didn’t think they would have pulled away. It’s not as far as people think. All the circuits are slightly different and all the conditions are slightly different and one car works a bit better in one place and another is better at another. Maybe we are not where we want to be exactly but if we compare where we were last year we can be really happy, at least right now, from where we finished the season. There’s still work to be done to be happy with all the things but that’s why we are here.
“The whole circuit [in China] is pretty challenging. We will see if the car works well, it doesn’t matter where you go, if the car is good it makes life much easier. Like I said, we’ve been in the car in Jerez, in Barcelona, in the first two races, it’s been working well in all kind of circuits and conditions and I don’t see why it should be different here. Yes, it might be a bit different because it’s cool but the layout is probably closer to Barcelona than any races so far and conditions are pretty similar and we will go out tomorrow and try to work things out if we are not happy – but I don’t expect any big surprises.”
Arriving at Shanghai Airport
It was relatively less chaotic compared to previous years. Kimi arrived in Shanghai as late as possible on Thursday directly from Helsinki, Finland.