Kimi Raikkonen has called his final day of pre-season testing “not easy” after a minor problem with the Ferrari F14 T limited his running on Saturday morning.
The Finnish driver finished in third place on the timesheets with a fastest lap of 1:35.426 (over two seconds down on pace-setter Felipe Massa) as he focused on a race simulation in the afternoon. However, due to a problem with a connector, the team had to partially dismantle the car to resolve the issue after Raikkonen had completed only a handful of laps.
“I’d hoped to do more laps, but this wasn’t an easy day,” Raikkonen explained. “We lost some time this morning when we had to fix something on the car, but then we managed to make up for some of it in the afternoon.
“Running a race distance, we continued to get more data relating to fuel consumption strategies and tire degradation, even though the strong wind upset the driving a lot.
“I’d like to be able to say we did better, but there’s still one more day with Fernando to continue our preparation for Melbourne.”
Raikkonen’s next chance to get behind the wheel of the F14 T will come during practice for the Australian Grand Prix in twelve days’ time. The Finn will be hoping to repeat his feat of winning on debut for Ferrari at the 2007 race in Melbourne, but with Mercedes appearing to be the pace-setters so far this season, he may face more of a challenge than he did seven years ago.
Teammate Fernando Alonso will return to the car for the final day of winter testing tomorrow in Bahrain.
The problem with high gusts of wind and sand was noted by many drivers, with Nico Rosberg saying: “The only problem was the conditions, with a lot of wind and blowing sand at some corners meaning that suddenly you could have almost no grip which was a bit difficult to manage.”