Kimi Raikkonen: “It was not too bad as a start”

Kimi Raikkonen ended fastest in FP1 - Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen had the better day of the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers as the Finn, fresh off the back of the announcement of his 2018 contract extension, ended up fastest in opening practice at Spa-Francorchamps.

Raikkonen finished 0.053 seconds clear of Lewis Hamilton during the morning session but fell behind the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver in the afternoon, although he again finished ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who languished down in fifth.

The Finn feels that qualifying will show the true pace of their rivals, but he feels confident that the weekend in Belgium can be a strong one for the Maranello-based squad.

“Today we somehow expected how practice was going to be and it was not too bad as a start,” admitted Raikkonen, who is a four-time winner at Spa-Francorchamps. “Obviously there are always things you want to try more and the rain in the end did not help, but it was a pretty normal Friday.

“It’s hard to compare driving here to a year ago, but it doesn’t feel very different, as we are now quite used to going a bit faster everywhere. We’ll keep working today, this evening and tomorrow morning, in order to be stronger for qualifying.

“There are things we have to go through to do better, as is the case with any Friday at any race circuit. There’s no point now to start guessing what the others are doing, we’ll see tomorrow in qualifying, but I’m sure we can be fast”.