GP Malesya, commenti del giovedì–26/03/2015
Raikkonen: “Working as one team”
Sepang, 26 March – Kimi Raikkonen didn’t have much to say in the press conference that marked the official start of the weekend in Sepang, home to the second Grand Prix of the season. But what he did say was packed with confidence.
“We are in a much better position than we were, say even at the end of last season, so in that way it’s a nice place to be but obviously we still have to improve quite a bit,” said the Finn when asked to assess the situation after the opening race. “We want to be in front and we still don’t have the speed exactly, at least in qualifying, to be there. However, in the race I think we are a bit stronger when compared to Mercedes. I think it will be a fun year, obviously not an ideal start of the year for me in Melbourne, after we got some damage from the start and had those issues in the pit stops, but these things can happen sometimes but at least we had pretty good speed. I’m sure we’re going to have strong races and good battles, but like I said we still have some work to do to be absolutely where we want to be but we have done a good job so far.”
Even if Kimi’s Melbourne race didn’t live up to expectations, the Finn felt very comfortable with the SF15-T and he explained this was down to a combination of two factors: the new car suits his driving style better and it is a big step forward in general compared to last year’s car. “It’s the whole package,” he maintained. “We improved the engine a lot but we improved the chassis itself a lot as well. You cannot just point to one area that has been improved from last year. Everybody is working as one team and things are going in the right direction and people are pushing and doing a good job. Like I said, it’s still early days. We still have to work hard and improve things but, from where we started, so far we have done a good job.”
Ferrari F1 boss says no need to panic over Mercedes’ advantage
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says there is no need to panic about the advantage Mercedes currently has in Formula 1.
Sebastian Vettel scored a podium on his Ferrari debut in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, while Kimi Raikkonen was on-course for at least fifth before a wheelnut problem.
It was a much improved performance from a team that was the fourth best on merit in 2014 and it led Arrivabene to suggest Ferrari should focus on Mercedes rather than looking over its shoulder to Williams and Red Bull.
However, the team made mistakes during qualifying, having believed it had a car capable of at P3 on the grid, while Raikkonen encountered problems during both his stops in the race.
And Vettel finished the Australian Grand Prix more than 30 seconds adrift of pace-setter Mercedes, which took a comfortable one-two with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
"It’s just a question of continuing like this with our technology, working and respecting our programme without panicking," said Arrivabene.
"We need to also keep the spirit of the team up.
"For the team I was happy, but as a team principal only half of me was happy because one car was stopped on the track and the other guys were on the podium.
"So for me we have done half the job."
Raikkonen said after the Australian GP that he believes Ferrari is much closer to Mercedes in race trim than it is on one-lap pace.
"The car is obviously not fast enough yet but I think the gap is much smaller in the race than qualifying," said the Finn.
"I believe in the race we can be up there and fight at the front."