Kimi Raikkonen begins his second stint as a Ferrari driver at this weekend’s season opening Australian Grand Prix, and admits that although the outfit he left in 2009 is different in some ways, it still remains a great team.
Speaking ahead of the Melbourne opener Raikkonen said, “Some faces have changed but even if the atmosphere seems a bit different to me it’s still the same great team and I believe it has worked very well on this year’s car.”
The Iceman, as he is popularly known, is relishing the challenges of the all new V6 turbo era and everything that comes with it.
“The [Australian GP] is an excellent test bench for the new Formula 1 format because Albert Park is a very demanding circuit when it comes to fuel consumption. Due to the characteristics of the circuit, we have always used a lot of fuel here so to manage to be sparing with it will be a demanding challenge.”
Like most of his rivals Raikkonen laments the lack of testing, especially ahead of the new era which features highly sophisticated technology and has had very little time to run in real world conditions as opposed to simulated environments.
“We’ve only had a few days of testing available. In an ideal world we would have arrived with many days on the track behind us, with more experience of the characteristics of the car and race strategies. That’s not how it [has happened] but it’s the same for everyone, so all we can do is go on the track and try to get the best result possible.”
“As for the others? I don’t fear them and even if anyone’s quicker than us we are only at the first race. More than the result we know that we have a lot to come on the F14 T so we are not worried. The car seems to have a good potential but we will have work to do to get the most out of it.”
On Sunday, 34 year old, Raikkonen will be starting his 194th grand prix and looking to add to his tally of 20 Formula 1 victories. (GP247)
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