Ferrari completed 80 laps with Kimi Räikkönen behind the wheel on the first day of the winter testing on the Catalunya Circuit in rather chilly conditions. The new car ran smoothly without any problems on its debut.
Scuderia Ferrari gave its 2018 challenger, the SF71-H its real track debut on Monday in Barcelona after the team completed its filming day on Sunday. During this filming day when only special tyres can be used the weather presented itself in much better conditions than today when the teams gathered together to kick off the winter test period.
Even if trees are in blossom in Spain, temperatures were unusually low in the Barcelona area today. The plunging temperatures and raindrops meant teams were restricted and hindered regarding their measurement of tyre temperatures and the new cars’ cooling needs and efficiency.
2007 champion Kimi Räikkönen completed 80 laps, the fastest of them in 1:20.506 on Soft tyres. The Finn’s work concentrated mainly on acquiring data and pit stop simulations.
“The real problem, the only one today, was the weather,” summarised Kimi on Ferrari’s official website.
“My first impressions with the new car were OK, but it’s still too early to make any judgement, especially given today’s conditions. These tyres aren’t designed to work at 8 degrees and it was difficult for everyone. As for the rest, our work had nothing to do with lap times and we just ran and changed a few things, trying to understand the car, which doesn’t seem to have any faults. Now we must try and do more kilometres.”
The first long run with the Halo protection fitted over the cockpit went off without any problems.
“Compared to the tests we did in previous years, this time the Halo had been conceived as an integral part of the car design, which had not been possible before. I didn’t notice anything different to driving the car without the protection.”
Kimi Räikkönen will sit out tomorrow’s test when quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel will take over the reign to gain his first real experience with the SF71-H.