Kimi Raikkonen has fired a warning shot to Scuderia Ferrari‘s 2018 rivals, suggesting that the pre-season lap record-breaking team could have gone even faster.
Sebastian Vettel‘s 1:17.182 on the penultimate day of pre-season testing in Barcelona smashed the previous lap record while Raikkonen himself lapped less than a tenth slower on the final day.
Speaking after the final day of testing before the 2018 season opener in Australia next weekend, Raikkonen said Ferrari had more pace to unleash.
“I’m sure if we want to go faster, we can, but it doesn’t mean anything here,” he told Autosport.
“In two weeks everybody will know where everybody is.
“Until then, we are only guessing like we were before testing started.
“There’s always things to improve, and if we want to go faster we can.”
It wasn’t until that final day of testing that Raikkonen was able to experience the new Ferrari SF71H on a long race simulation run. An exercise in which “obviously we learned a lot”.
He added: “Overall it’s a strong package. Obviously, there are always things to improve, and that’s normal with any car, even if you win races.
“But it’s very reliable, it seems to work in a pretty easy way.”
Raikkonen didn’t have the smoothest of pre-seasons. Bad weather in Barcelona curtailed some running and a brief illness forced the 2007 world champion to share a day’s running with Vettel.
His final lap tally of 286 was aided by a mammoth 157 laps on his final and successful day’s running.
“I guess you always wish for a bit more here and there, doing laps and trying things, but it doesn’t matter how many laps you do, you always wonder,” Kimi said.
“It was far from perfect with the weather last week, then I was ill.
“But in the end we had a decent day and I had a pretty OK feeling.
“It was a positive day, a good amount of laps and time in the car to learn things and feel more comfortable.”