Kimi Raikkonen says he is not surprised at the high attrition rate that blighted the first Formula 1 pre-season test day.
The Finn managed to top the time sheets after completing 31 laps in his new Ferrari, on a day when many of his potential title rivals hit trouble. McLaren failed to run at all, Red Bull only managed three laps at the end of the day and Mercedes had to cut short its running after Lewis Hamilton crashed.
But rather than view the difficult first day of the new turbo cars as something to be worried about, Raikkonen thinks it was to be expected.
“For sure, everybody wants to see more laps and we want to do more laps, but it is pretty normal with such a big change,” said Raikkonen. “It will take a little bit of time before we can run 100 percent all the time and not have issues. I think we have started pretty OK.”
Raikkonen reckons his day had been more normal than it appeared from the outside, and did not think the new cars were particularly different to drive compared to last year’s V8-powered machines.
“I think the biggest challenge is getting all the new stuff working as we want, and working together,” he explained. “It is much trickier than what we are used to, but from the driving side I don’t think it is an awful lot different.
“It is just the first day with all new stuff so it takes time to get things up to speed. One day to go, a lot of work to do, we know that. But we expected these first test days to learn things, so I really don’t feel like it is such a big difference to this year or any previous one.”