Kimi Raikkonen closed out the pre-season Formula 1 test for Ferrari today by turning in the fastest lap of the entire two-week test.
Raikkonen set a time of 1:18.634 during this morning’s test session on the red sidewall ‘Soft’ tire compound. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was second fastest with a lap of 1:19.438 on the ‘Soft’ tire, with Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz rounding out the top three with a lap of 1:19.837 on the ‘Ultrasoft’ compound.
Surprisingly, Raikkonen said he could have extracted even more performance out of the new SF70H, but setting quick lap times is not the purpose of the test. Similarly, reports surfaced from Spain on Thursday that Sebastian Vettel had run a 1:19.314, but coasted his car across the start-finish to hide the team’s true pace.
“If we want we can go faster but that’s not the purpose of the test,” Raikkonen told Motorsport.com. “Obviously you try to go as fast as you can whatever we decided to do.
“There’s a lot of things that we can improve and do better, but that’s a part of testing,” he added. “We can be quite pleased with how it felt this morning. It’s one of the better days that we’ve had these two weeks.”
More important than Ferrari’s pace during the pre-season test, however, is Raikkonen’s impression of the SF70H, which is extremely positive.
“There’s a good feeling with this car and that’s the most important thing,” he said. “We have been reliable for almost all of these days of testing and that is another good sign of the great work the team has done over the winter.”
The 2017 F1 season will kick off with the Australian Grand Prix from the Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne on March 25th, 2017.