Raikkonen: Ferrari power unit upgrades ‘a small step’

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Kimi Raikkonen says that the power unit upgrades brought to Monza by Ferrari are “a small step” as the team looks to catch Mercedes at the head of the Formula 1 field.

Raikkonen and teammate Sebastian Vettel finished third and fourth in both Friday practice sessions ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, finishing well clear of nearest-rival Red Bull.

The FIA confirmed on Friday morning that Ferrari had spent the last of its remaining power unit development tokens ahead of the race at Monza, with both Raikkonen and Vettel also taking fresh components for the weekend.

“The morning ran smoothly and the first practice session was pretty good,” Raikkonen said, reflecting on his Friday running.

“The second one was a bit messy with the new tires and the yellow flags, but overall it was not too bad and the car was feeling OK. Obviously there are things to improve, but we started the weekend pretty OK.

“The new engine is a small step, it’s part of the normal progress, we would not put in the car anything that wouldn’t improve our performance.

“We try to improve in all areas and I think we are going in the right direction.”

Vettel echoed Raikkonen’s comments, saying there was more to come from Ferrari across the remainder of the race weekend.

“The car feels good, we just need to make it feel good in every corner and bring it together. But other than that the first impressions are positive,” Vettel said.

“It’s  doing what it’s supposed to do so that’s positive. Obviously on Friday you try a lot of different things. You need to wait a little bit more.

“It’s Friday after all so it’s not the most important part of the weekend, but it’s important that we ran and I think we got a decent speed.”