Kimi Raikkonen: Ferrari F1 test running ‘much smoother’ in 2017

© Getty Images
0 Comments

Kimi Raikkonen says that Ferrari’s Formula 1 pre-season running has been “much smoother going” in 2017 compared to recent years after an impressive run in Barcelona this week.

Raikkonen topped the timesheets on both Tuesday and Thursday as Ferrari shared P1 with defending champion team Mercedes, who led through Lewis Hamilton on Monday and Valtteri Bottas on Wednesday.

Ferrari ended the first test with the second-highest number of laps completed (468, second only to Mercedes on 558) and showed an impressive pace that surprised many in the paddock.

Following a difficult 2016 season that saw Ferrari go without a race win and fall to third in the constructors’ championship, Raikkonen was pleased with how the first collective 2017 test went.

“It feels a lot better, but that’s what you expect with the rule changes. We’re going to be optimistic every year, but where we’ll be at the end of the year is hard to say,” Raikkonen said.

“We’ve learned our lesson from the past years and the team has made a good jump over the winter, but is that going to be good enough? We will see during the year.

“But so far it’s a good feeling. We can’t complain too much. I think it went pretty OK, considering what we had planned.

“You always wish to do more here and there, but this is what we did in four days and if we compare it to one year ago, I think it’s been much smoother going, so it’s a good start.”

Raikkonen and teammate Sebastian Vettel will return to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya next Tuesday for the start of the second four-day test.