Q & A with Kimi Raikkonen

Following his dominant debut win for Ferrari in Australia, Kimi Raikkonen slipped from the headlines in Malaysia and Bahrain

Q & A with Kimi Raikkonen

But he still shares the championship lead with the McLaren duo, and on the opening day of this week's Barcelona test, the Finn reasserted himself with a dominant fastest time.

After Raikkonen's running was cut short by a minor brush with the Turn 3 barriers during today's wet session, autosport.com sat down with the Finn to hear his thoughts on progress so far.

Q: How has the test gone for you?

Kimi Raikkonen: Unfortunately the weather today was difficult but yesterday was a good day. For me we did what we were supposed to do and we found something which we like much more than before, so I am pretty happy with what we did yesterday. We learnt a lot. You never know what others are doing but for the race we are more confident. The car feels very good here. Wait and see what happens.

Q: What do you think of the improved package that Ferrari have introduced at this test?

KR: Yes, it was good. I found a better set-up for myself and the car seemed to be handling the way I wanted now. I think we are in a much stronger position now.

Q: This test is very important with the Spanish Grand Prix just a week away, isn't it?

KR: Yes, but in one and a half week the circuit can change a lot, so will the conditions, so we need to wait and see. We have all got good set-ups now, and the car seems to be very strong.It will be nice to see the same in the race weekend

Q: Do you feel the championship begins afresh in Europe?

KR: It started three races ago but the points are very close and nothing has (been) lost so far, so it is important to have good races now. So we have a good package now and I have got a better set-up now - much happier than the first three races. I think it is good.

Q: Are you particularly aiming to beat your teammate Felipe Massa?

KR: You have to beat everybody but of course you and your teammate have the same package, you have to make sure you beat that.

Q: You beat Massa's track record, was that down to the new package?

KR: The aero package is better for sure but I found a better set-up for myself, the car is better for me and the changes they have done improved the car, that is the main thing.

Q: What is your forecast for the race?

KR: I don't know, it is too early to say. So many things can happen in one and a half weeks. I am sure we have a good package for the race here.

Q: Are Ferrari ahead of McLaren again now?

KR: I don't know, if you tell me how much fuel they run, then I can tell you! I think we improved a lot since the last race, and we understand the car more, that is the main thing. Ssure we want to win the race, see what we can do, but I am now much happier going into the race than the last couple of races, because we found something which was definitely much better for me. I think we can use the full potential of the car.

Q: What was wrong with it in Bahrain?

KR: In the whole three races, I think it was good and getting better but it was never quite right. I was not happy after qualifying in Melbourne, and the same in Malaysia. We knew the problem but we could not anything between the races and finally we found something which is definitely better for me.

Q: So is the issue solved now?

KR: We knew what was wrong, but we did not have testing to do anything. We could not do changes and we had to live with it. I am definitely much happier with it now. The car feels like it should, and I'm happier going into the races.

Q: How do you find the new chicane here?

KR: I don't know, it may improve (passing) but it may be still difficult to get close to the people. Yesterday I got some people after the chicane but in a racing circumstance, it is a different story, so we need to wait and see... You can make mistakes in any corners not only those corners. Chances are like any others, you cannot see it until the race.

Q: What's your impression of the Ferrari after the first three races?

KR: We have the results not exactly as we wanted but we knew the problems we had and we improved the situation yesterday. I have been happy in the team. It has been working well, and now we solved the problem we are in a better position.

Q: The balance of the car is okay then?

KR: Better than it was, not sure (if it's) good enough. Interesting to see but it is a different story... I am confident.

Q: Has your relationship with Felipe Massa changed at all?

KR: It is the same, we have a good relationship.

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