Raikkonen warns competitors Ferrari can go faster
Was Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya quite as close as the result seemed to suggest, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing 3.2s ahead of his team-mate Felipe Massa, who in turn led Lewis Hamilton home by 0.9s as the Englishman beat Robert Kubica to the line by 1.5s? Not according to Raikkonen.
The Finn said he was in cruise mode as he headed for the checkered flag, and that he could have gone faster had he needed to. That news will not be welcomed by either McLaren Mercedes or BMW Sauber, neither of whom appear to have made quite the progress against Ferrari that they had hoped to after introducing new technical packages specifically for this race. Their fastest laps were still two-to-four-tenths of a second slower than Ferrari’s.
Hamilton sought to put the most positive spin on his third place. “The Ferraris were extremely quick and we had a feeling they were a little bit lighter,” he said. “They have a slight edge at the moment, and again looked after their rear tires a bit better than we did. But I’m really happy with the balance of our car and was able to maintain quite a good balance and pace.
“It’s amazing how close all the cars are, it’s impressive that all the teams are so close. Every time I looked in the mirrors, Robert (Kubica) was always in the same place, pushing hard after me.
“We did a good job today, but there are areas where we definitely need to improve, but it’s comforting to know that we are relatively close to Ferrari.”
Massa appeared to share Hamilton’s belief that the two teams are not that far apart.
“We did our homework and brought two Ferraris home in front and that’s very important for the championship,” the Brazilian said. “The car looks (to be going) more in the right direction, so let’s keep working and improving, as our competitors were close in qualifying and the race. We must work like crazy in the factory to improve the car in all areas.”
Raikkonen poured some cold water on his rivals’ optimism, however, when he said: “For sure we could have run a bit faster, but (there is) no point to push when you don't need to. It was closer than we expected, but we had the speed all weekend." The Independent