Raikkonen Confident for Malaysia

Kimi Raikkonen believes his McLaren car is as quick as rivals Renault and has tipped the Woking-based team to fight for victory in this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix

Raikkonen Confident for Malaysia

Renault took first blood this season when Italian Giancarlo Fisichella won the season-opening race in Australia two weeks ago but Raikkonen believes his team failed to show their true form. The Finn was forced to start from the pitlane at Albert Park after stalling on the grid but fought his way back into eighth place by the end of the race.

"It (Renault) looked pretty strong in the race, but Fisichella had an easy race because he started in first place and there were a few slower cars in the middle," said Raikkonen. "I think [Fernando] Alonso was quick during the race, but if you look at our race pace where we were in clear air I don't think we were that much behind and the car was missing a few parts, which didn't help.

"So I think race-wise we should be there, maybe not exactly as good as they are but it depends a lot from circuit to circuit. I think our car is pretty good."

McLaren were pre-season favourites to take the fight to Ferrari, who have won the last six Constructors' Championships in a complete domination of the sport this decade.

But after winning at Sepang in 2003 Raikkonen is confident that the circuit will suit his car and he added: "Our cars are usually strong here and we have a very good package so we should be quite strong.

"I think we were unlucky with qualifying and with the weather (in Australia). Quite a lot of people were stopped. Then I stalled the car on the start and that didn't help.

"But I think the race pace was pretty good so, looking at how the car usually runs here, better on this circuit than Melbourne, I think we should have a pretty good package."

The weather is sure to play a part in the race itself with temperatures rising beyond 30 degrees Celsius in the build-up to the race weekend.

But all drivers have been working hard to combat the heat and humidity and Raikkonen added: "It is much hotter here than it was at the last race and so will harder for the cars and the tyres.

"It is good for us that the car is very good for tyres, usually, so I don't see any problems. But it is going to be a bigger challenge here than it was in the first race."

shares
comments
Williams: BMW Alliance is Long Term

Previous article

Williams: BMW Alliance is Long Term

Next article

Schumacher: Season Not a Sprint

Schumacher: Season Not a Sprint
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Author Will Gray
The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke Plus

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke

Pierre Gasly has driven superbly since demotion from Red Bull in 2019, but the team formerly known as Toro Rosso has come on strong too – building a car that can often challenge Ferrari and McLaren. Here Gasly reveals to ALEX KALINAUCKAS how AlphaTauri has given him the tools needed to rebuild his reputation

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Plus

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to STUART CODLING, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
May 14, 2021
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021