Monday, March 5, 2012

Räikkönen the star number one in winter testing

Kimi Räikkönen started and ended this year's F1 -winter tests the same way. On the first day in Jerez he whipped his Lotus to the top time and in the final testing in Barcelona he coughed out the fastest lap time of the whole testing season.

Usually a car that is fast in Barcelona is also fast everywhere else.

– That's how it has been. This is quite a challenging spot, Räikkönen admitted to Turun Sanomat.

Actually they followed the top teams' race simulations during the final day instead of qualification speed. Even there Lotus kept their ground well.

Räikkönen drove first 12 laps with a soft compound, then 24 laps with a harder and in the end 16 laps with a soft compound.

Out of those who drove the race lenght at the same time, Räikkönen could do better than Ferrar's Fernando Alonso. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was a couple of tenths ahead with softer compounds but with hard compounds Lotus was just as fast.

All and all Räikkönen worked almost two GP-lenghts on Sunday because he made 121 laps.

As ready as ready can be

Lotus had to leave one testing week unused. Hence Räikkönen lost two driving days. All and all he had time to drive 1598 km with the new E20-car or 1694 km if you also add the so called filming day.

How ready are you now for the opening race?

– It doesn't get any better no matter how much I would drive. The car gets new parts and of course we could have tried them out. However I don't believe that it would had changed how ready I am for Australia, Räikkönen thought.

Sunday was a really good day for Lotus and Räikkönen. Although the man was tired after the hard working the catch of the day gave him the best feelings.

Everyone in the Lotus-camp had a big contented smile when they shipped the machinery back home to Enstone and from there to the opening race next week.

– It was an all right day because there was no problems. We got everything in place right from the morning and the car is working just as it is supposed to work.

The mandatory visor-reinforcement that has a bit troubled Räikkönen, fell well in place with court painter Uffe Tägtström's new concept.

Turun Sanomat, Barcelona


Courtesy: Nicole

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