GP Cina, intervista giovedì–09/04/2015
Kimi Raikkonen: Ferrari F1 team won’t slump in Chinese Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen sees no reason why his Ferrari Formula 1 team cannot continue to threaten Mercedes at the Chinese Grand Prix.
After Sebastian Vettel’s shock Malaysian GP win, there has been more scepticism about Ferrari’s chances at Shanghai because of the cooler conditions.
But Raikkonen is not so downbeat, and reckons that the team should have confidence that its early season promise will continue.
"We have been with the car in Jerez [testing], in Barcelona and the first two races," said the Finn.
"The car is working well in all conditions and circuits, so I don’t see any reason why it should be something else here.
"It might be a bit different because it is cold, but the layout is probably closer to Barcelona than any race so far, and conditions are pretty similar.
"We will go out tomorrow, see how it is and try to work things out if we are not happy. But I don’t expect any surprises."
As well as Vettel’s Malaysia win, Ferrari showed flashes of speed in Australia too – something Raikkonen thinks bodes well for its prospects this time out.
"I said after Australia that if we would have been behind them in the race then I don’t see that they would pull away, at least not as far as people think," he explained.
"All circuits are slightly different and all conditions are different.
"One car works a bit better in one place and then the other is better on that [particular] circuit.
"Maybe we are not where we want to be exactly right now, but if we compare where we were last year I am sure we will be more than happy.
"There is still a lot of work to do to be happy with all the things, but that is why we are here.
"We’ll see how it goes but I don’t expect things to change. I think Mercedes can be very fast in qualifying but in race pace conditions, it seems to be a bit closer."
Chinese GP – Kimi: “Not quite like last year”
Shanghai, 9 April – On Thursday before the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, Kimi Raikkonen addressed questions from the media. Many of them focused on his predictions for the week end. “Obviously we have to put in a clean weekend with no issues, then I’ m sure we could be pretty happy with the result. This is a different track but so far the car has been working well in all kind of conditions on every place and I don’t see reasons why it should be different here. Here it can be a little bit different because it’s cold and the track is challenging, but of course if you have a good car it helps. Tomorrow we’ll go out and see but I don’t expect big surprises.”
Can you say you can challenge Mercedes even if, unlike Sepang, the weather here is not so hot and this one is not a rear tyre limited track? “All track are different and every condition too, and one car can behave better in a place that in another one. Maybe we are not where we would like to be, but compared to last year things have changed a lot even if we still have a lot to do.”
The win in Malaysia is a very good result for the team and for Sebastian. “We knew from testing we have a good package but the two first races for me have been pretty difficult , although I could take some good points in Malaysia. We keep pushing as hard as we can trying to do things right knowing that every race can be different, but generally I think we can be quite strong everywhere. In general we know we have the speed but we have to get rid of all the issues even if they are not our fault like the puncture”.