Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen believes that his team have made a big step forward compared to the end of last season. The Finn, who was forced to retire from the opening race of the season in Australia two weeks ago was speaking at the FIA Driver Press Conference on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, round two of the 2015 season.
Raikkonen had been well inside the top ten when he retired while team mate Sebastian Vettel went on to finish the race in third place behind the two Mercedes drivers. Speaking at the press conference, Raikkonen began by saying:
‘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.’
The Finn went on to say:
‘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.’
Raikkonen went on to talk about the new car saying:
It’s the whole package. 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.’
© Ben Johnston 2015