Kimi Raikkonen believes Ferrari’s troubled start to the Formula 1 season has been far from a disaster, and that it is closer to Mercedes than the results suggest.
Ferrari entered the new F1 season expected to mount a serious challenge to Mercedes, but has had just one car in the podium in each grand prix, with China the only time both its drivers have finished.
In the constructors’ championship, Mercedes’ tally of 157 points after four races is more than double Ferrari’s 76.
“If you look at how many points are left, it’s nowhere near too far [from the top],” Raikkonen said. “We do our best every single race weekend and it’s always easy to say afterwards ‘if,’ but this is what we have achieved so far. Sure, we can do a better job, we want to achieve better results. The aim is to be in front with two cars and we have done a good job with this car over the winter again.
“Obviously it’s not yet where we want to be, and challenge Mercedes every weekend in races. I don’t think we are as far as some results [indicate], if you purely looked at some results it’s not always truthful. There’s work to be done, but it’s far away from disaster.”
Raikkonen and Vettel have shared reliability woes and damage from first-lap incidents this year, and the Finn says Ferrari is “aiming to clean up things.”
Mercedes has been far from bulletproof itself, with Toto Wolff suggesting the threat from Ferrari was causing it to push the boundaries.
When asked by Autosport about Wolff’s comments, Raikkonen said he wasn’t sure if it was the reality.
“Every team has some pressure from themselves to try to improve and from the outside also,” he said. “I’m sure that none of the teams are just standing still and not doing anything, you try to make the best choices when you introduce new stuff, and minimise the risk in some ways. In any area, things can go wrong and we’ve seen with them and with us and some other teams.
“We’re pushing the limits always and sometimes things go wrong.”