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Ice cool Raikkonen breezes through red return
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Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  28 Jan 2014   |  8:49 pm GMT  |  125 comments

Rewind back to January 2007: Kimi Raikkonen’s first ever pre-season test in Ferrari-red overalls was taking place. It was also in Spain and he went on to win the world championship. Seven years later he has not only chosen to race with the same number, but he is back testing with the Italian team, once again in Spain.

Kimi’s start to the season at Ferrari today was a totally different story to back in 2007, however, a story of new challenges, a new car, a new engine… and patience. A lot of it. “We’ve been working very hard to get the car ready; we expect to learn many things,” he said with typical understatement.

As is his wont, Kimi ambled from the team motorhome across into the garage with sunglasses firmly fixed in place, even though the sun still hadn’t broken through the early morning clouds. He looked calm, he looked untroubled, he looked… well, he looked Kimi. Another day at another office, same Raikkonen.

After a slow start to the morning, Kimi finally drove out of the garage at 09:40, with the Ferrari V6 engine breaking the silence. Pit-limiter off, up the hill to Turn 1, and rosso corsa Kimi was back.

Unfortunately, his installation lap didn’t last long. Just as he was getting to the back straight, he was stopped by his engineers – just a precaution. Funnily enough, it was just before the back straight at Turn 5, which is named after double 250cc Motorcycle World Champion Sito Pons… Stating his intentions, perhaps?

To give an idea of what Kimi’s F14 T sounds like, when his car came to a halt on track, the sound of an engine revving could still be plainly heard. Two bright red Ferrari road cars roared past near the stricken F14 T, making such a similar sound that it was easily confused with the Finn’s engine. It made those who heard it smile when they realised the similarity.

“For sure we want to complete more laps”, Kimi shrugged afterwards. “but its pretty normal that things don’t work when there are so many changes.” You could tell he wanted more, much more. He didn’t take his helmet off when he was dropped off back in the garage, but his eyes said it all: determination to get back in the car again as soon as possible, despite it being a two-hour wait before he was finally in the cockpit again.

After another patient wait, in the afternoon Kimi seemed to be getting to grips with the car and going out for longer stints than just the one installation lap. Even though he was still way off last year’s fastest lap here in Jerez (a 1:18.148 set by himself), his times were improving rapidly and he appeared to be gaining in confidence. He finally eased past Lewis Hamilton’s fastest time and topped the time sheet with a 1:27.104. More importantly on this first day he also completed more laps than anyone (31).

“Lap times don’t mean anything right now, we just want to run as much as we can,” he said. “It will take a little bit of time before we can run at 100 per cent all the time and not have issues, but we have started pretty okay.”

By Tabatha Valls Halling in Jerez

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James, could you have a word on the battle that is taking place between constructors at the moment, regarding the engine safety cover to keep the pieces of the turbo inside the car in case the engine breaks down? As far as I know Renault and Mercedes have demanded Ferrari, as they believe this safety cover has to be part of the engine, while Ferrari has managed somehow to mach the safety regulations without this supposed cover. This supposed cover would weight 3 to 4 kilos, this is the reason why Renault and Mercedes are a bit nervous.

Am I right? Or is this far from accurate? What is going on here?


True, but it has already been resolved by FIA: The cover is not part of the engine, if constructors want to have it they can, but at its weight cost.


Thanks! Do you have a link?


Looks like Ferrari already have a redesign – albeit along the same lines.

Snapped before they could get it back behind the covers.


According to a article on Autosport yesterday Gary Anderson predicted that F1 cars might by 5 to 6 seconds slower then last year and he thinks they will only find another 2 to 3 seconds over yesterdays times given that the best time yesterday is 3 seconds slower then the best time a GP2 car managed around Jerez.

That means we will have F1 cars that are the same pace as GP2 cars but wait what about the fact that they still hav2 save fuel?

So during a GP we might end up with F1 cars running at GP3 pace?

F1 is dead its over! The sport may carry on but in spirit F1 is dead!

These turbo engines are a joke they nothing at all like the 1500HP engines of the past!

U get 4 door saloon cars that have more power!

its 1 thing if they overly complex but they produce mega power but they overly complex’d with poor performance!!

is that F1? really?


I completely agree and have been expressing this concern for the past 2 years, these ‘F1’ cars have been getting slower and slower especially in straight line performance and now even lap times have suffered big time, 10 secs slower than last year’s equivalent test? Pathetic and yeah it won’t be long before big heavy 4 door saloons like a E63 or a M5 being faster in a straight line than these F1 cars, and oh yeah these cars sound bloody awful.


Suggest we a lid on our emotions…frankly I think none of the “experts” know anything at this point, and are just talking to sound like experts.

Remember the speculations on engine noise? Lawnmower/leaf-blower etc? Now most people think it sounds just fine…different but fine! Let’s see how it pans out before we start lamenting F1’s demise!


oh ya right lets wait and see!

I’m sure these cars are going to smash lap records where ever they go aren’t they?

Lets conveniently forget Hi Deg tyres, Fuel restrictions. I’m sure thats not going to have any impact!

But lets wait and see!


Same guy concluded that since McLaren now have 5 flapped front wing instead of 3, they’re in for a good year.

Sounded pretty dumb to me. Like adding two flaps immediately eliminates the “fundamental problems of the 2013 car…”

Yes, if they got it right. No, if they didn’t.


Yes this same guy actually designed and engineered real racing cars! So I would assume he knows a fair bit more then any fan of us do!

And secondly what he said about Mclarens front wing last year makes sense!

Why would Ferrari, Red Bull, Merc & Lotus who were all faster then Mclaren last year have front wings with multiple flaps in some cases up2 7 flaps? clearly they were generating performance and not there for no reason hence they were all faster then Mclaren!

I havent heard these engines in real life but the fact that they only rev to 15000rpm already tells me they going to sound crap!

Most turbo charged road cars sound crap! Turbo’s kill the engine sound and thats a fact!

its why Ferrari and Lambo don’t make turbo charged road cars!


Yes, I know Gary, but he can’t possibly know if the McLaren has got past their front wing problems they supposedly had last year.

It’s not the flaps, it’s more does the front wing work like it supposed to (regardless of the flaps). Maybe that line is just poorly phrased.

My real point is, as professional Gary is, he’s making educated guesses too, so don’t jump into conclusions just yet.


It is me. or do the Ferrari and Caterham wings looks like they have very little holding them to the nose. One little nudge and they will be off ??


I’d be more worried about Mercedes in that area 😉


From certain Front-Side angles, the Ferrari nose looks similar to the old McLaren noses 😛 I might be wrong. Lets say the Mp4-21 if the tip of its nose was a little more straightened?


“……he looked Kimi.”

Hahaha that’s funny!

At least a positive start with 31 laps done by the Iceman, nevermind the time.


People moaning about the engine noise bugging me I agree its a different noise but no team was fully on it today and not the best track to judge so before we all start moaning lets see and give it a chance. But god the cars are ugly that caterham but you can say they have tried something new that no-one else has but don’t think will be fast! I hope the mclaren gets some laps looks a tidy by ugly car n think the regs will suit jenson driving style n like the look of the Ferrari as weird as it looks I think kimi maybe on it this year


Its great to hear the new powertrains- they really sound good- especially on the over-run. The whirring sound is like a supercharger – Im guessing thats the turbo being spun at 150000 rpm by the electric motors when off throttle.

Its fantastic to see Kimi get a decent few laps in when so many other didnt even get out on track – we can only hope they do Wed.!.

Does anyone have any idea what caused Lewis front wing failure ? ( I reckon hes clipped a kerb somehwere).


Max 125,000 rpm for the turbo.


Forget the laptimes! Considering World Champions Redbull had too much problems to not even go out on a proper run, it shows all the teams were on the programs to collect data and evaluate the complicated systems.

As Redbull said, we will have to wait to see the cars going for pure performance and speed in Bahrain. There we will see more competitive lap times for sure.

The 2 “Full Manufacturer teams” have proven they are better in dealing with stressful situations and their drivers have shown a calm head above the shoulders so far! Shows how much experience comes into play here! I am proud to say the least for Ferrari and Mercedes great start to a very long season. GO KIMI!


“As Redbull said, we will have to wait to see the cars going for pure performance and speed in Bahrain.”

Except Lotus. They’ll be doing this in Bahrain.




Judging from the odd YouTube videos:

1. The V6 engines sound fine.

2, Mercedes and Ferrari seem to be on top of their game early on (sans Hamilton accident)

3. Mercedes, Red Bull and to a lesser extent McLaren seem to have the best looking cars – everyone else has gone the lazy route with pointy appendages to comply with the regulations.

I was going to skip the Australian Grand Prix this year but hearing the Mercedes and Ferrari at speed have prompted me to make the pilgrimage and take my 5yo son to his first ever GP.

Let’s hope former world champions, and perhaps Rosberg and Ricciardo, can be some sort of competition for Vettel/Newey this year.


Rosberg? As good a journeyman he is I doubt he’s championship material, it’ll be Hamilton leading the challenge for Mercedes, I suspect judging by his skills and likely team choices Lewis will end his career probably a 3-4 time world champion and its likely Alonso will have his best chance for a 3rd this year, just on another note Renault seems to be in trouble I hope I’m wrong but if day 2 is as bad as day 1 then expect Renault’s flawed engine to have a redesign and at this stage they’d be out of the running, RBR must be anxious to say the least.


Geezus, you’re incredible! Now you’re ceding 2-3 titles to Lewis, based on two days of winter testing?!?! Screw your head on!! This is almost as ridiculous as when some posters on here were saying after last year’s Hungarian GP (which was a closer race than it looked) that Hamilton should easily go on to win the title! They were ludicrous comments, based on one race, even though they did serve to highlight the regard which avowed ABH (Anyone But Hamilton) supporters have for his driving abilities, even though they’ll then post to the contrary. I just don’t get the prism through which some view their F1.

Rosberg is no journeyman … he’s a very good driver, one of the better ones out there. I don’t think he’s top-tier, but he’s right there in the second-tier of drivers. And who knows, the new F1 might suit him better than Hamilton. I don’t think he can beat Hamilton over a season, but we just don’t know.


Nope, this will be the year when Nico completely outperforms Lewis.

Call it a hunch 😀


There is no doubt that Lewis is one of the best drivers out there, but consider this:

In seven years of competition he has won one championship. Extrapolate that to three or four championships and that means he’d have to stay in F1 for the next fourteen to twenty one years.

Still, I’ll be cheering on old man Lewis 🙂


Whats wrong with Renault Engine? Nothing on this that I picked up anywhere …


Really have a look at how testing is going at the end of Wednesday! No Renault powered car achieving any meaningful amount of laps or a time that would even get within a 5 seconds of Mercedes power, just look at Redbull in 2 days they’ve managed like 10 laps and a best time of 1:38, over 12secs off the pace, still nothing wrong with the Renault engine?


Ferarri went well today. looks like the running the La Ferrari with a..ahem..”prototype” engine in it helped. Maybe we will see a McLaren with a similar prototype engine from Honda during the year…


Yep Kimi’s F14-T sounded suspiciously similar to that La Ferrari Prototype when he did the installation laps 😛


Why are the Pirelli tyres all-black? Is this a different tyre compound? Or just good photoshop. Perhaps the teams don’t want to reveal which compound they selected.


This is apparently a winter compound, made especially for this test and the colder conditions 🙂


+1 Thanks! 😀


James, do you have any news on Renault engine woes? I’ve read they have problems with crankshaft. It can’t handle all the vibrations, or something…


Renault have been struggling, as you say. Yesterday evening Renault Sport F1 head of track operations, Remi Taffin, explained what the problem was: “You just have to bear in mind that the power unit is made up of a lot of subcomponents and its not a matter of saying that none of it is working, its just a problem of integration of all these systems. In particular for this problem, we have to fix it through the energy store. I’m not going to go into detail about the architecture of our system, but we have clearly identified something that we have to change”.

It seems like they have sorted it after working on it all night. This morning Vergne has already done 14 laps, and Caterham has also been out. Just waiting for Ricciardo to drive the Red Bull out for the first time now…


Never rated Kimi too highly before, but I’m looking forward to seeing him against Alonso.

Alonso’s credibility is on the line…


People who think kimi can outpace or match Alonso clearly need to have a reality check

The guy has not even managed to beat massa in 08 and 09. Despite the quick machinery which he had in 2008 (F2008). He was not even factor in the 08 WDC.

I am more the cent % sure Alonso will wipe the floor with kimi like he did against massa and no one will be able to save kimi. As LDM pointed out Kimi has been hired bcos they need consistent points for WCC and at best kimi can only help ferrari with WCC.

Forza Alonso


Ahhh – you bought into the hype that Kimi is ‘bored’ ‘unmotivated’ etc. I think he can beat Fernando. The Kimi of circa 2004-2006 WOULD have beaten Fernando.


Alonso’s hability is going to be tested, yes, but depending on how he passes it, he could end this year stronger that ever, inside and outside the track.


Not really. I do rate Kimi but recall that he won his championship by a point when there was civil was between Alonso and Hamilton in Mclaren.

On the other hand, Alonso won his 2 championships by larger margins. Also, just look at how Alonso has outperformed his car in the last 4 years and come second (in a car that was sometimes 3rd or 4th.) Having said this I just want Ferrari to win and if Kimi does this it’s better than nothing.


Talking about selective evidence, Alonso’s both titles were given to him on silver plate by mechanical failures of others. Hence his constant talk about bad luck and crashes. Sorry Fernando, karma.


Eh, maybe you should think back on what happened in 2005 and why exactly Alonso managed to get the championship that year by such high margin….

It wasnt because Alonso/Renault combo would have been the best that year, but because of Mclaren (or should I say Mercedes engine) failed Kimi countless times and cost him the points he would have otherwise easily gotten to beat Alonso….I mean despite Alonso winning the championship that year, quess who team-bosses voted as the best driver of the year?…Yeap, it was Kimi 😉


Was there a team-boss poll in 2005? Autosport’s team-boss survey only started in 2008.


Winning Margin != points.

Civil war = human problem.

Unreliable machine = machine problem.

Please decode this – if you have not watched 2005.

If you have, you get the drift….


You can count the laps by how many marbles are on the floor bib after being sucked up that nose. There won’t be a Ferrari ending underweight.


Love the picture with transparent paint on car that shows how nicely and evenly it stained both front wing and nose and it appears that vacuum cleaner nose might not look nice but from aerodynamic point of view it is definitely doing a job! Might be wrong but that is my first impression.


The pic you’re talking about is a shot of Kimi pulling out of the garage. The flo-vis is evenly applied all over the nose and wing to show the engineers the airflow patterns. In other words, this is the “before” picture. It would be nice if there was an “after” pic to see the streaks of flo-vis to see how the front aero is working.


Sorry I have seen an after picture prior to this article on Sky Sport site and that is the one I was referring to. Here is the link; http:

But I am not an engineer so like I sad I can’t be sure but it is just my impression!


“Seven years later he has not only chosen to race with the same number, but he is back testing with the Italian team, once again in Spain.”

I think Kimi won 2007 championship with no. 6 on his Ferrari. Right?


Yes, very true, he drove with number 6 in 2007 but i was playing with the fact that 7 years later he has chosen to drive with number 7. A few sevens there


Whatever his number was I have to say I wouldn’t mind if Raikkonen wins the title it’d be a nice way to end the Redbull show and the look on Alonso’s face if that happened would be priceless but in reality its hard not to see Alonso having a bit of an upperhand and also the real championship battle will be if RBR and Ferrari can chase down Hamilton, if Brackley does a 2009 again then even Vettel/Newey will not be able to beat them.


James do you write all of the articles on the site? this writing style seems a bit different from your usual self. Or is it just me lol


Most of them, but you can see the name of the writer at the bottom of the post. This was Tabitha Valles in Jerez


Oh yes. My mistake



I liked the build up…


Thank you


Expectations aside, i really enjoyed the atmosphere on the net today during the live Sky coverage of the test. Reading the tweets on one tab, then refreshing youtube with “Jerez 2014” in another. Overall i like the new noise and the look of the cars, well, maybe they’ll grow on us with time.

I am worried about the accidents this year and how the new “”ramps”” will launch cars over the tracks. If you know what i’m mean? 😉 Referencing Newey’s comments regarding the submarine effect of the new nose ofc.

Bring on day no.2!


F1 had most of history with low noses, it was not problem in history so i do not know why now it is? Maybe just Adrian doesnt like it for his car…

unF1nnished business

James, would you know if Kimi and Fernando have similar preferences with car handling / setup? I know Kimi prefers a sharp front end/oversteery. Not too sure what Alonso likes.


Gary Anderson once described Alonso as a man without a style or with all the styles you want. He is pretty good at changing his style to suit the car which is why he’s often called the complete driver. He’s probably not the best at any one area (as he himself says) but he’s pretty adaptable to any situation.


Alonso always liked a stable rear and doesn’t mind a unrrsponsive front as long as the front turns in when he can hard steer the car, quite different styles but ultimately its about overall grip so a neutral car is what Ferrari will aim for, but I suspect with the extra torque and small rear wing woth no blown diffusers a looser rear it’ll suit Raikkonen slightly more but will it be enough to dislodge Alonso? Probably not, it’ll come down to consistency and commitment again, areas where Alons thrive.

unF1nnished business

I think this year will be a very good measure of both drivers.


I heard Felipe and him were similar with the car handling they liked, but i don’t know Felipe’s style of drivig. In the Michelin era with Renault Alo always liked a strong rear he could rely on at turns (understeer), but with so many tyre and rules changes since then, who knows his (if he has) preferences when it comes to set up now…


Didn’t Kimi race #6 in 2007?


Yes, he drove with number 6 in 2007 but i was playing with the fact that 7 years later he has chosen to drive with number 7. A few sevens there 🙂


No 5 Massa, No 6 Kimi.


Obviously not


yeah, OBVIOUSLY! that’s why he took his nummer 7 comment away from the article.

I didn’t have to look it up, but I suggest you do!


Great to see Kimi back at ferrari! I hope it is going to be a great battle between him and Alonso (and may Kimi come out on top!)


@ Jeffrey

“(and may Kimi come out on top!)” – In your dreams mate

This guy have been ousted from the team after he was conquered by massa in 08 and 09 till hungary. Now he his going to race against the Golden driver of any generation in the history of F1 (Alonso). Nothing can save Kimi from a clear Chastening.

Our King Alonso for the 2014 WDC all the way…


raikkonen is far more naturally talented than alonso. alonso is good and one of the best, but not the same level of talent. sorry.

and for me talent should come first, not exercise, commitment, psichological games, twitter writers and so on.

how could you call king someone who won a wdc simply because of another driver’s car unrealiability(he was always second, but with little efforts won because of raikkonen’s many dnfs) and another one thanks to a car that had some irregular mass damper?

come on.

massa is definitely not the same driver he was till 2009 for four main reasons:

first–he signed and resigned to be alonso

slave. he went on loosing all the power he had during his first period at ferrari.

second–pischological issues related to his role.

third–do you guys think he drove the same car alonso drove? webber drove a dog(less reliable) if compared to vettel’s car…maybe, but maybe also massa was given a car which was weaker than alonso’s ferrari.

fourth–development made on one driving style.

rbr followed vettel driving style, and guess ferrari which driving style followed…

santander is the key to understand massa’s role from 2010 to 2013. only a person with no business knowledge would not get it.

f1 is a business after all.


“Raikkonen is far more naturally talented than alonso” how did you conclude this ? What evidence do you have to back up your notion ?

Kimi was soundly beaten by massa at ferrari. Even grosjean proved to be quicker than kimi. Boullier did cofess this fact as well roman is quick, however he is erratic and prone to errors. Kimi was not even a factor in 2008 WDC. Despite the edge ferrari had over in Mclaren in terms of car how lewis won the WDC ? Now that’s call talent. Heck even massa did well to take fight to lewis whereas kimi was erratic and reckless. The so called talented driver has not proved anything in his career.

If you term alonso as a lucky WDC winner in 05. Then what about kimi’s 07 WDC win ? Now that is the most luckiest WDC won in the history of F1. Heck the political unrest at mclaren and massa let kimi through and sacrificed his win for kimi to win WDC

You talk about reliability issue yes. Mclaren had the edge over renault on outright pace in 05. Whereas renault wad reliable and did not had the pace to compete with mclaren. Despite this fernando won WDC which makes his 05 title even special. One classic example is vettel suffered quite a lot of reliability issues in 2010 yes RBR had the pace edge over ferrari yet vettel overcame the reliability woes and won the WDC. Now that’ called talented

Finally RBR had so many illegal device on their car between 2010-2013. Like flexi wing, adjustable ride height. Engine throttle map and movable floor. Yet the won WDC four on the row and pundits / people agree it’s valid. Hence alonso 06 victory was vintage because he weathered the strom from ferrari in the second half.

As far as massa. It’s very tired topic. He is not quick enough to match alonso he knows that. Ferrari knows that and entire world know this. Andrew benson @ bbc done a analysis as well in the past. Massa himself tipped alonso will trump kimi on his head. This article is in JA page as well. Kudos to you for your honest opinion.

Finally your post is full of notion about kimi and you have blind hatred towards alonso.

Wake up and smell the coffee man kimi is the most over hyped driver of this generation. Whereas alonso is still and will be the king in F1 always


Kimi like he would´ve never left. So good to see him in red again



I like your writing, James.

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