Raikkonen: F1 cars were much more challenging to drive in the past

Kimi Raikkonen prepares to drive one of the Shell Eco-Marathon cars at their unveiling on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

Kimi Raikkonen prepares to drive one of the Shell Eco-Marathon cars at their unveiling on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix at Francorchamps

The Spa circuit is famous for its high speed challenge and, at his usual Thursday meeting with the media in the Belgian paddock, Kimi Raikkonen was asked if he regretted the fact the current cars are a bit slower than in the past.

“In a way yes, if you think of F1, you’d think we would have everything possible in the car to make them go faster, as it was in the past,” mused the Scuderia Ferrari driver.

“But obviously, now the rules have changed aimed at making the cars slower, while improving the show. I think the cars looked nicer in the past and were much more challenging to drive and it was more fun in some ways.”

“On the other side, maybe we have more overtaking now, but sometimes I think it would be nice to go back and race with the cars from the past.”

When Kimi made his F1 debut there were concerns voiced about his lack of experience, so he is ideally placed to comment on the story of the day, next year’s arrival of the currently 16 year old Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso.

Kimi Raikkonen drives one of the Shell Eco-Marathon at Spa-Francorchamps

Kimi Raikkonen drives one of the Shell Eco-Marathon at Spa-Francorchamps

“I did one full year, 23 races in a car before coming to F1,” recalled the Finn. “He has probably done more. I did well; time will tell how he will do. The sport is more straightforward now than in the past, the points are given out to more finishers. So I don’t think he will have problems and I hope he does well.”

Kimi’s last win at Spa came at the wheel of a Ferrari in 2009, which at the time he described as “a miracle.”

He was asked what a victory would represent on Sunday. “It would be a similar story!” he said.

“That year, we were one of the few teams running KERS and that was a good help for us here. Hopefully we can have a good weekend overall and a good race, so that we start improving.”

“But here and Monza are probably not the easiest places for us as we are missing some straightline speed, which is very important at this circuit and the next one. I think that the final part of the season can only be better for us, especially as I’ve had a much better feeling from the car at the last two races.”(GP247-Ferrari)