JEREZ, Spain - Ferrari has made improvements in all areas and its new Formula 1 car is “a completely different story" to the one that drew a dismal blank on the track in 2014.
SMOOTH OPERATOR: Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel talks to the media during the Formula 1 pre-season tests at Jerez. Image: AFP / Cristina Quicler.
That was the opinion of team driver Kimi Raikkonen on Tuesday (Feb 3) as Formula 1 team testing here continued.
The 2097 F1 champion said after the first day: “The whole package is quite a bit better than where we finished in 2014. We've improved in all areas.
"We have a lot of things to do and things to improve but it's definitely a positive start and we have something to work with."
Ferrari failed to win a GP in 2014 for the first time since 1993 and Raikkonen endured his worst season to finish 12th overall and without a single podium visit.
The team had three team principals after a major shake-up, with the most recent, Maurizio Arrivabene, joining the team in November.
He has set a minimum target of two wins in 2015.
Germany's four-times Drivers’ champion Sebastian Vettel has joined the team to replace departed Spaniard Fernando Alonso and lapped fastest in the first two days of testing, although times are less important at this stage than distance covered.
Raikkonen, who did 92 laps (407km) on Tuesday, ended the day second-fastest behind Brazilian rookie Felipe Nasr and his Ferrari-powered Sauber.
Raikkonen said: "You usually know if a car is good or not and this year is a completely different story than last year. I had a good feeling straight away when I went out on the first lap.”
While Mercedes again completed the most laps - Nico Rosberg doing 151 at the wheel on Tuesday - Ferrari's improved performance has been noted by rivals. Rosberg commented: "We’re keeping an eye on the opposition - especially Ferrari has been an eye-opener in the last couple of days.”
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, Vettel's team mate last year at Red Bull, agreed. “The time Seb did yesterday (on Tuesday) was quick," he told reporters. "I don't know about fuel and tyres or whatever, but it was a good time. Ferrari looks good for now."
The season will start in Melbourne, Australia.
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