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Jerez Day 1 leader Raikkonen: “Lap times don’t mean anything”

Jan 28, 2014, 1:36 PM EDT

Kimi Raikkonen AP

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen may have topped the charts in the opening day of Formula One preseason testing today at Jerez, but the former World Champion indicated that speed is not the top priority for the Scuderia.

The same could be said for the other teams in the paddock as well, considering the massive technical shift that has taken place ahead of the 2014 season.

Raikkonen logged a 1 minute, 27.104-second lap in the Ferrari F14 T, enough to out-hustle another ex-World Champion in Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:27.820) for P1 at the end of the day.

However, as you’d probably expect from Raikkonen, he promptly downplayed that aspect from an opening day that saw only 93 combined laps turned.

“The biggest challenge is just getting all the things working as we want,” he said according to Agence France-Presse. “Everyone wants to see more laps and obviously, we want to do more laps, but it is pretty normal with such a big change. It will take time before we can all go at 100 percent.”

“Lap times don’t mean anything right now. We are just trying to get the car working as well as we can.”

Sure enough, Ferrari noted in the team’s test report that “work centered exclusively on checking the functionality of the F14 T’s on-board systems and some aerodynamic mapping.”

Raikkonen, who is set to test the F14 T again tomorrow before handing it over to Fernando Alonso, wound up logging 31 laps today – a total of 13 more than Hamilton (2nd, 1:27.820) got in before he crashed in Turn 1 after a front wing failure on his team’s new W05. Third-fastest man Valtteri Bottas of Williams (1:30.082) only logged seven circuits in the FW36.

It should also be noted that Raikkonen’s quick time today was more than eight seconds slower than Jenson Button’s chart-topping time in the first day of Jerez testing last year, a lap of 1 minute, 18.861 seconds.

But as Raikkonen said, reliability is the most important thing for everybody right now.

  1. midtec2005 - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    I sincerely hope one of the split nosed cars wins the championship. The ant eaters are horrendous.

    • ditto65 - Jan 28, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      Because that is what is important in racing: the shape of the nose.

  2. Sonny - Jan 28, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Who r people liking this season? Everyone thinking another Vettlefest or Merc and Ferrari have a better shot with experience using a twin turbo v6? Plus Ferrari has some guys who can flat out fly! As with Merc. Then where’s Mclaren in all this, real wild card this year!

    • worknman24hours - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:27 AM

      I’m rooting for the first team to blow their engine into smoky sparky parts,

      Push the limit ,fellas.

      I want to hear some whining about an engine being illegal.

      And a screaming V-6 that sounds like paper tearing out of a jet engine.

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