Raikkonen: "A bad season start”
Well, that was a really bad season start. It went wrong at Melbourne, it went wrong at Sepang and we left empty-handed. In Malaysia I could have gained some points on the dry track, but we knew that the rain was about to arrive at any moment. Friday’s lap times seemed quite good, but there’s always the unknown of the fuel loads the other teams have on board. And then we knew that the most difficult part was the qualifying, where we’re obviously suffering more than in the race. I was quite satisfied with my lap in Q3: that’s what we can accomplish at the moment. We’re missing grip and downforce and we’ve got to give it our all with what we have. There are some new features coming up and I know that the team is working very hard to anticipate the whole development.
The race was a lottery. We knew that the downpour would arrive sooner or later, but we never made the right choice as far as the changing weather conditions were concerned. During the first stop we decided to immediately put on wet tyres, because we expected some heavy rain in the next couple of minutes: it didn’t happen and the tyres were destroyed on the dry track. It really was a pity: obviously we didn’t have the best car, but it would have been enough for a good result.
There are many things we’ve got to get used to. For example the KERS can give much more on this track. At the moment we’ve still got some teething problems, I could see that by myself in Malaysia. On Friday the cockpit was filled with smoke at the end of P1, while on Sunday water infiltrated the KERS, which lead to the destruction of its insulation and I had to stop. At the start the KERS works really well, as we could see last Sunday. The next race is in China, but a couple of days before FIA’s Court of Appeal will decide about the diffuser. This decision will have an enormous impact on the Championship. We need more downforce and we’re working very hard on it. You just need to analyse the performance in the three sectors at Malaysia to understand that we’re loosing a lot compared to the best cars. You can see that especially in the middle section, where downforce is really crucial. We still don’t have any points after two races and this is a very difficult moment. We’ve seen other moments like this, but we know how to react and we’ll do it already at Shanghai.