For the first time during pre-season testing, Scuderia Ferrari were able to complete a full race simulation in the hands of Kimi Raikkonen, with the Finn finishing third fastest after an early Supersoft run.
Raikkonen ran 136 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday, with the Finn running with various Pirelli tyres in the morning, including the Supersoft for his quickest time, before concentrating on that race simulation in the afternoon.
Ferrari Technical Director James Allison was happy to be able to get the race simulation under their belts with the first race of the season quickly approaching, especially without any reliability issues.
“We’ve got a lot of laps under our belt in this winter testing,” said Allison. “But until you actually go out and do the laps for a race, one after the other, and not stopping except to change tyres, you really can’t claim that you’re ready to go to Melbourne and do it for real. So we’re happy to get our first race distance of the winter done, happy to have achieved at the first attempt, and with the reliability that we showed.
“I’m pleased with the testing we did over the last two days, which shows clearly that the car works as we expected. Winter testing in Europe always asks slightly different questions from the car than you get when you’re in Bahrain: but it doesn’t turn night into day.
“Most of what the car really is revealed here as much as on the other Grand Prix circuits during the year. And I think what we see is a well-mannered car, so we expect these characteristics to be broadly carried over to the other races”.
Raikkonen has now completed his pre-season testing, and will hand over to team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the final day on Sunday, but believes that the teams true position in the pecking order will only be revealed in Australia in a fortnights time.
“Overall it hasn’t been a bad test since we covered a race distance today,” said Raikkonen. “Now we wait to go to Melbourne to see how we stand compared to the others. I wish to thank the Team for the work it has done during the winter”.