Raikkonen: Ferrari F60 is a pleasure to drive 23 Mar 2009
Despite his difficult relationship with its 2008 predecessor, Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen cant wait to drive the F60 under race conditions when the 09 championship gets underway in Australia this weekend, hinting that it's far better suited to his driving style.
"Putting on the helmet and racing is something worth living for," said Raikkonen. "The number of tests has been limited, but I had fun anyway to work on a completely new car. I can confirm that I like the F60 more than last year's car. It's much more fun to drive and it reminds me more of the cars I was used to some year ago.
After winning the title in 2007, Raikkonen struggled to match team mate Felipe Massa in the F2008 last season and finished the title race third, behind the Brazilian and world champion Lewis Hamilton. But the 29 year-old Finn has put his disappointment behind him over the winter and is looking forward to seeing how this years new regulations, particularly KERS, affect the field.
It seems that a really long time has passed since the last race in Brazil, also considering all the changes of the car: it will be really interesting to see how its development will evolve, he explained. There's a lot less aerodynamic downforce than last year, so we'll be slower in the fast corners, but the car will have much more grip in the slow ones, due to the slicks.
The KERS is something very interesting and easy to use: I hope that it will make overtaking easier. From the first test the whole team was positively surprised by how well the KERS works. Everybody is expecting more overtaking now, but I think it's still a bit too early to say what will happen and if the lower downforce will help when you're in a slipstream.
Raikkonen, however, was unwilling to be drawn on whether his delight in Ferrari's new car will pay off in terms of results, refusing to forecast where the team will stand compared to their rivals in Melbourne.
It's difficult making predictions, considering the many rule changes this year, he added. Ferrari was very competitive during the tests; but we'll do the F60's countercheck at Melbourne, when we'll all meet in the race with the same fuel at the same time. Only then we'll see how strong we are and maybe we've got to wait for a couple of races to have a clearer situation.