Monday, March 12, 2012

Räikkönen: Melbourne will suit the E20

Kimi Räikkönen is expecting a "reasonably strong" start to the season for Lotus as the Melbourne circuit should suit the characteristics of his E20

Räikkönen, who is making a comeback after two seasons away from Formula One, was one of the front runners in pre-season testing, posting the fastest time on the final day at Barcelona.

But with everyone conceding that testing times count for very little when it comes down to it, the Finn is remaining cautious about his chances at this weekend's Australian GP.

"You need a car with good traction and everything from testing says that the E20 has good traction so that will help us," Räikkönen said.

"Strong turn-in and stable braking help too, and those areas also feel good with the car so we are well placed.

"The track can be a bit slippery at the beginning of the weekend and the Melbourne weather is not always very warm; the Melbourne weather can definitely be a bit tricky.

"This will be the first race so I don't know how we'll compare to the other teams. My engineers have been running simulations and looking at the test data so we have an idea of how the car should work at Albert Park, but we won't know for sure until we get out on track.

"It's very difficult to say before we've been out on track, but I think and hope we'll be reasonably strong."

Pressed as to what objectives he has set for his first race back in F1, the 32-year-old said: "I will try to do as well as I can and see where we end up. For the first race in Australia we want to have a good weekend without any major issues or mistakes.

"I don't know where we're going to be on the grid - nobody knows. If you look at the lap times from testing everybody is very close to each other. We don't know what everyone was doing with fuel load and that makes a massive difference.

"We'll have some idea after practice in Melbourne, then after qualifying everyone will know exactly where we are."

Source: Planet-F1

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