Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Ferrari has turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments of the 2014 Formula 1 season thus far, as four rounds into the championship, the experienced Finn is being thoroughly trounced by his Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso. The Finn admits that he is struggling to adapt to the style required to drive the torquey new generation Vi6 turbo cars.
Raikkonen told reporters after finishing eighth in the Chinese Grand Prix, while Alonso finished on the podium, “A difficult weekend overall. For what reasons I don’t know yet. But hopefully we find some reason or at least some cure for it to fix it, whatever it is. In the race I was just was slow. It was the grip overall, front and rear end, not really any major things I could say ‘this is it’. In the last stint when it was new tyres it felt pretty OK for a few laps, but then it got difficult again.”
“I don’t know if it’s the temperature of the tyres that I cannot get working because obviously with the new tyres it seems to be OK and then once they get older it seems to be very difficult. So a lot of things to see and fix and hopefully we find some cure because obviously it was pretty difficult overall the whole weekend.”
Looking for reasons for his lacklustre performance Raikkonen conceded, “It’s probably more to do with my driving style plus the weather.”
“I don’t think I work the tyres very hard. So obviously when it’s cool conditions and wet conditions it’s been many years that it’s been hard to get the tyres working. Today it just feels that when you have a new tyre it works well until the grip from the new tyres goes away and obviously you have to go slower and then you start cooling down the tyres more. Everything goes round and round and you cannot fix that. I reckon it’s more to do with that.”
“It’s the thing that everybody hates but there’s not a magic thing … and I can change everything in my driving and suddenly fix,” mused the 2007 world champion.
Raikkonen is 30 points adrift of Alonso with four races run, but Raikkonen believes he can return to form and overturn the deficit, “We don’t want to finish in these kind of positions, but I’d take this rather than nothing. Obviously there’s a lot of work to do. We haven’t had a single race where we have been happy with the things all the time – one day has been good and one day another race [not].
“Things have been pretty difficult overall but I’m sure once we get a bit more knowledge we can work things out. Right now it’s not the easiest thing, the easiest races but that’s how it goes.”
The 34 year old popularly known as the Iceman looked at the bright side of the result for the team in Shanghai, “We know that we improved things, we improved things for every race. If you would take from Australia to here we made a lot of improvements. Obviously it’s hard to see it outside, but we know ourselves, and it seems to work.”
“I was pretty happy with the car last race – the race didn’t go to plan – but here overall to start with I had some issue which meant I couldn’t run and that didn’t really help. But it’s just been a difficult weekend. At least I got a few points but for the team it was an overall better weekend and for sure it gives some good feeling because they are working hard to improve things,” concluded Raikkonen. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.