Kimi Raikkonen scored his first Grand Prix victory last season and finished a mere two points behind Michael Schumacher in the championship standings. This year, naturally, the McLaren driver is aiming to do better and hopes to add to his tally of...
Kimi Raikkonen scored his first Grand Prix victory last season and finished a mere two points behind Michael Schumacher in the championship standings. This year, naturally, the McLaren driver is aiming to do better and hopes to add to his tally of race wins.
"Reliability will be the key element this year and I hope it will be a strong point for us. If you manage to finish all the races, usually you will pick up some points and just a couple of them could make a big difference at the end of the year. Of course, reliability alone is not enough and we need a car that is quick enough to win races."
Bahrain and Shanghai are new circuits to F1 this season and Raikkonen is looking forward to the challenge as well as visiting new places. "I find it interesting to go to new circuits and to have the opportunity of visiting cities I have not seen before," he said. "So far, I haven't even looked at drawings of the new tracks nor tried them out on the simulator at the factory."
"When I go to a new track, I generally walk or cycle around it first. I find that once you get tackle it in the race car at the start of practice, it doesn't take long to learn it. Then, it's a case of working on finding the right car set-up and build up speed as you get used to it."
While it's hard to draw conclusions from winter testing, when nobody is really certain what teams are up to, Raikkonen expects the usual front runners to be fighting for podiums.
"We will have to wait and see what happens in Melbourne at the first race," he commented. "But it's fair to say that apart from West McLaren Mercedes, we can expect Ferrari, Williams and Renault to be winning, while there might also be some other teams who are strong."