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Raikkonen: Rule changes unlikely to change much for drivers

20 Jan 2014

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen is not expecting the raft of technical changes introduced ahead of the 2014 season to have as much of an effect on drivers as some are predicting.

Not only is Formula One racing switching from 2.4-litre normally aspirated engines to 1.6-litre V6 turbos this year, there’s also a greater reliance on energy recovery systems, heavily revised aerodynamics and restrictions on fuel, amongst other things.

There has been speculation that drivers will have to make significant adjustments behind the wheel, but Raikkonen, who has been using Ferrari’s simulator ahead of the first pre-season test in Spain on January 28-31, doesn’t think much will alter from a driving perspective.

“My feeling is that it’s not going to be as different as people think, but I might be wrong,” the Finn said in a video interview posted on Ferrari’s website.

"Hopefully we'll find out that it's pretty simple. For sure it is difficult for all the technical people to make a new engine, new gearbox, all this stuff, but as a driver it's not affecting the driving so much I don’t think.

"We have new buttons and new things to follow, but let's wait and see. It’ll be much easier to say after the first test."

Although he’s yet to turn a wheel in anger since re-joining the Scuderia over the winter, Raikkonen, who won the 2007 world championship in his first stint with Ferrari, is confident that the Italian team will challenge for both titles in 2014.

“It’s the only thing that you try to do - to win the championships,” he said. “Hopefully as a team we can do that.

“It’s going to be a long and difficult season, especially with the new rules. It’s hard to say who is where and how it’s going to be, but there are a lot of good people in the team, a lot of knowledge. We have to do the best (we can) and see where we end up. But there’s every chance that we can do very well.”