After two days in the new Lotus E21 to conclude the first pre-season test in Jerez, Kimi Raikkonen ended the four day top of the timing sheets, perhaps it means little at this stage but rather on top than at the bottom. The Iceman gives his initial impressions of the team’s 2013 challenger…
Are you happy with your new toy ffor the 2013 season?
Kimi Raikkonen: The car seems pretty good. We’ve made a lot of set-up changes and worked through a lot of things in Jerez but it all seems positive. My first feeling of the car is good, so that’s the main thing. For sure, there are some areas we have to work on, but I’m happy so far.
Your were fastest on the final day in Jerez…
KR: We were at the top of the timing monitors, but that means nothing in testing. Our focus has been testing parts on the car, but I’ve also been able to get the set-up more to my liking. For sure, there’s more work to be done in this area, but that’s what we go testing for. The car feels strong and we seem to have a good idea of where we’re going with improvements. Let’s see what happens in Barcelona.
Any particular areas where you want improvements?
KR: Just the pretty normal areas for a new car. We’ve worked on the seating position and the seat belts so I feel comfortable in the car when it’s going, then we’ve been working on the set-up and balance so I can push harder. This has all been done whilst we’ve been looking at new parts on the car, but progress has been okay.
Have there been any reliability concerns?
KR: We had some small issues over the last two days, but that’s what you expect in testing and it’s better to have the issues now rather than when you get to the Grands Prix. We’ve just done two days of testing so far and there’s plenty of work still to do before we head to Melbourne.
What are your feelings ahead of the forthcoming season?
KR: I’m pretty positive. I raced all of last year so it should be even better this season. I know the team and they know me so we can work together well. I know we had a good car last year and we won a race. I know that the E21 feels pretty good from what I’ve seen so far and we’ve got lots of things to come on the car for the next test. We want to do better than we did last year, that’s the aim. If we can achieve that, I don’t know, but we’re certainly going to be trying hard. (Lotus)