Following other F1 cars now easier - says Alfa Romeo's Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen reckons the rule changes brought in for 2019 have made it easier for Formula 1 cars to follow each other closely in race conditions

Following other F1 cars now easier - says Alfa Romeo's Raikkonen

Raikkonen followed up his eighth place in Australia by qualifying eighth and finishing seventh in Bahrain, right behind McLaren rookie Lando Norris.

Despite having a pace advantage over Norris on his final set of tyres, Raikkonen could not find a way past.

But despite that frustration he explained that the aerodynamic changes brought in for 2019 - including simpler front endplates and wider front wings - were helping the drivers.

"Yeah, I think it's more close," he said when asked by Autosport if it is now easier to follow.

"Exits are still tricky, but you can get more close on the end of the corners and stuff like that.

"Low speed corners we seem to still struggle, but maybe the conditions [in Bahrain] had an effect.

"We can get closer. Overtaking is still difficult, but I think it gives us a bit more chance."

F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn believes that the Bahrain action indicated that the aero changes have had a positive impact.

"The effect of the new aero rules began to be felt in Melbourne and it was even more apparent in Sakhir," he said in his regular F1 briefing.

"The changes were introduced to improve the drivers' ability to race closely and they seem to be working.

"I'd say that we are only seeing the first signs, encouraging ones at that, and they have made for interesting racing, especially in Bahrain.

"It's not just down to the new rules, but the show we have seen in the first two races makes me feel optimistic about the rest of the season. In Shanghai we'll see if the improvement is repeated."

But some F1 drivers are yet to be convinced that the changes have had any impact.

When asked for his view by Autosport, Lewis Hamilton said: "Following is no different. It's made zero difference, it's still terrible."

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