Kimi Raikkonen insists that he is taking short-term approach to achieving a long-term goal after a difficult start to the 2015 F1 season.
The Finn has shown improved form in the latest Ferrari, but already trails new team-mate Sebastian Vettel by 38 points after six rounds, with the two Mercedes drivers even further ahead as the season heads across the Atlantic to Canada.
While the Silver Arrows were early favourites for championship glory, Vettel’s performances in the SF15-T have given Maranello hope of success, with victory in Malaysia already in the German’s pocket. Raikkonen, however, has been steady rather than spectacular, with a lone podium – in Bahrain – to his credit, and admitted to sacrificing his own result for data as Ferrari tried updates in Barcelona. The Finn, naturally, insists that he is thinking of anything bigger than race wins – for now.
“I don’t think about the title,” he stressed, “We try to go race-by-race and do the maximum, then obviously we can see at the end where we are. We know we still have work to do to be where we want to be. We have improved a lot if you look at where we started at the end of last year, but there is still work to be done.
“There is a correct way of doing things and the direction is right, but we want better results as a team. It hasn’t been an easy start to the year, but we just have to find out some things and do better work overall and, from that, get better results.”
Raikkonen’s race performances have not been called into question, with the spotlight falling instead on his results on Saturday afternoon.
“We know what we are lacking and obviously we need to improve these areas, which will make the weekend a whole lot easier for the end result,” he acknowledged, “Obviously, I know where we have to improve, nobody has to tell me – it is an easy thing to know. We put ourselves in difficult positions on many Saturdays so, if we improve that… We have good speed in the race, but I am starting where I shouldn’t, so it makes it a difficult race for us.”
Asked if he had pin-pointed one specific element of qualifying where he might gain both time and grid positions, Raikkonen admitted that the problem was a little more wide-ranging than that.
“I don’t think there is one…,” he sighed, “Obviously, tyres is a big key to get them working a proper way and that makes a difference. We just have to make a better job, drive better and go for a good lap. I am sure we will get there.”
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve presents a much different challenge to Monaco, where Raikkonen started and finished sixth, and the Finn was reluctant to make any predictions.
“You have to have good power everywhere, so it helps if you are fast in a straight line to give you a good lap time,” he said, “The car has to behave well in every place. We can’t tell where we will be over the weekend, but I think we have understood many things from past difficult races. It is just a normal work in progress in other areas.”
“In every race we try to improve, it’s part of our program, bringing upgrades to make things better and do the maximum we can. For this race we have some ‘normal’ stuff, but obviously we have to wait and see how they work. Tomorrow, when we start, we’ll see where we are.Here it’s important to have a good car in every part of the track, the layout is very different from the last one or the others we’raced on so far this year, so it’s difficult to say where you are going to be.
The tire compound is the same we had in Monaco but the circuit is much different so it should be fine for us, a lot will depend on the weather. We know what we are lacking, we have to improve qualifying, our aim is to improve certain areas, because this will make our life easier on Sunday. We’ll do our best to build up the weekend and we’ll see what happens.”
RAI asked today what he thinks of @fosgoodwood: “What is it to do with this? Absolutely nothing. I answered those questions last year…”
— Adam Cooper (@adamcooperF1) June 4, 2015
— Tanja Bauer (@Sky_Tanja) June 4, 2015
— Tanja Bauer (@Sky_Tanja) June 4, 2015
Video of the game: