Kimi Raikkonen has said that there is a noticeable improvement in the Ferrari F14 T ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix after struggling to find pace last time out in Australia.
The Finnish driver spoke on Thursday about the need to make a big step forwards, and his words appeared to have had the required effect as he finished both practice sessions in second place on Friday at Sepang.
“This was definitely a positive day and I had a better feeling compared to Friday in Melbourne,” Raikkonen said after the session. “I was more comfortable with the F14 T today and even if we had no problems whatsoever, we know there’s still a long way to go and a lot to do.”
Raikkonen did express a concern about the high degradation of the Pirelli tires at Sepang, although this was a problem felt by all teams and drivers due to the extreme heat in Malaysia.
“Our programme concentrated on car set-up and on testing the compounds that Pirelli has brought here,” the Finn said. “The handling seemed to be good even if, as we found on the race simulation, we will have to pay very close attention to degradation, which is particularly high here.
“Now we will spend the evening carefully analysing all the data we gathered over the day, to try and work out how to improve.”
The Finn is chasing a third Malaysian Grand Prix victory this weekend, and if his practice pace is anything to go by, he may stand a good chance of stopping both Mercedes cars on Sunday.