Kimi Räikkönen endured a relatively problem free opening day of pre-season testing on Monday, and felt the only issue he had was the weather being so cold, which left his true judgement on how the SF71H felt to drive to be delayed.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver completed eighty laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, setting a best time of 1:20.506s that was 0.327s seconds back on pacesetter Daniel Ricciardo, but the extremely cold conditions made the day extremely difficult, particularly as the tyres were not designed to work in such low temperatures.
“The real problem, the only one today, was the weather,” said Räikkönen. “My first impressions with the new car were OK, but it’s still too early to make any judgement, especially given today’s conditions.
“These tyres aren’t designed to work at 8 degrees and it was difficult for everyone. As for the rest, our work had nothing to do with lap times and we just ran and changed a few things, trying to understand the car, which doesn’t seem to have any faults. Now we must try and do more kilometres.”
Räikkönen also used the day to become more accustomed to the Halo, which has become a mandatory device in 2018, but the Finn said it did not feel any different driving than it did without it.
“Compared to the tests we did in previous years, this time the Halo had been conceived as an integral part of the car design, which had not been possible before,” said Räikkönen.
“I didn’t notice anything different to driving the car without the protection.”