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Raikkonen rates Ferrari's 'strong package'

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari SF71H.
© XPB 

Kimi Raikkonen declared himself happy with Ferrari's new SF71H, after two weeks of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“Overall, I feel we have a good package,” the former world champion declared. "It is reasonably easy to drive, and it reacts to the various set-up changes

"The car gives me a good feeling," he said, adding: "Even if there are still a lot of things to improve.

"But that’s normal with any car. Even if you win races, there’s always things to improve."

Between Raikkonen and his team mate Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari chalked up 929 laps during the eight days of testing. That compares to 956 before the start of the 2017 season.

However, Raikkonen contributed less than a third of that tally - 286. Some of that was down to poor weather on days when Raikkonen was due in the car. He also missed out on a half day when he was forced to phone in sick.

Vettel took over on Wednesday morning at short notice until Raikkonen was better.

“I didn’t have a very good test due to the weather last week and being a bit ill," he agreed. "I lost a bit of time last week and this week with the issues.

"But we cannot change the weather," he pointed out. "And sometimes you get ill."

The Finn's best time in testing came on the final day. He posted a lap of 1:17.221s to finish the week just a fraction behind Vettel. Both times were set on Pirelli's new hypersoft compound, which will make its race début in Canada.

"I think we had a positive last day," said Raikkonen, sounding almost happy. "The feeling was okay.

He felt that the recent track resurfacing work at Barcelona made it difficult to analyse how things stood in detail.

“It’s very reliable and we will see from circuit to circuit," he said. "It changes here, new surface, it’s a bit hard to know to compare."

"We’ll have a better idea in a couple of weeks in Melbourne," he added. "And then in general after the first few races of the season.

"I like racing - and I can’t wait to start."

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