Raikkonen cautiously optimistic after strong Friday

"It wasn’t a bad start today"

By Franck Drui

19 April 2013 - 17:30
Raikkonen cautiously optimistic (...)

Topping the times on day one here at Bahrain International Circuit, Kimi is pleased with his day’s work, but knows there is still plenty of work to do…

You’ve ended the day top of the times ; does that send out a message to the competition ?

It’s nice to be fastest but you never know what the others are doing ; we just stick to our programme and don’t take too much notice of what else is happening. I actually made a mistake through the final corners on my fastest lap, so there’s still more time to be found.

How are you feeling with the car so far this weekend ?

It wasn’t a bad start today ; things aren’t exactly where we want them and there’s always improvements you can make, but we’re reasonably fast. It’s tricky to get the setup right here and the wind can make a big difference ; it might work for you one way but make things more tricky the other. It’s all in the small details ; if you get it right or wrong you might see a second per lap difference either way and things can change very quickly. We tried a few new things and they seem to be working ok so we’ll see how that develops over the weekend.

You’ve had some great results from slightly more modest grid positions ; how important is qualifying here ?

It’s the same as always ; you want to be as close to the front as possible. The fewer cars there are in front of you the less chance you have of getting caught in traffic which helps you stay with the leaders and also save your tyres. Of course it’s possible to get good results from further back, but a strong qualifying and clean start make things a lot easier.

China produced your best qualifying result for the team ; can you match that here ?

You never know on Friday if you’ll be fast enough to fight for pole and there’s no point comparing one race to another ; it’s a different track and different conditions so we just have to take one weekend at a time. Tomorrow is a new day, we still have one more practice session before qualifying and things can change very quickly. We should be ok but you never know. Let’s see what we can do from here.


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