Kimi Räikkönen admits there is doubt to just where Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN are compared to their rivals heading into the new season, despite a strong-looking pre-season test for the team at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Räikkönen, the eldest driver on the Formula 1 grid at forty-one years of age, says the first race of any season is a special moment, with the Finn admitting that he has missed the feeling of racing.
Alfa Romeo appeared to be competitive during pre-season testing with its Ferrari-powered C41, with the team putting in a good number of laps with both Räikkönen and team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi, but only during Saturday’s Qualifying session in Bahrain will the team know where they sit compared to their rivals.
“The first race of the season is always a special moment, mostly because I have missed the racing,” said Räikkönen. “It’s nice to be back in the car for testing, but what makes this sport fun is driving wheel to wheel and you only get that in races, so there is something to look forward to.
“I am not looking at the times from the three days we spent here two weeks ago, because there is no point trying to get any idea about what to expect: soon enough, on Saturday, we will have an indication of where everyone is and what kind of battles we have this year.
“So far, we just have to focus on our work, on improving what we had in testing and on making the most of every opportunity.”