'We cannot be happy' says Kimi Raikkonen despite Ferrari's double-points finish
F14 T reckoned to be half a second slower than the Merc in race trim
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 16/03/14 1:45pm
Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso have admitted Ferrari can't be satisfied with their double-points scoring finish in the Australian GP after being comprehensively out-paced by Mercedes in the season opener.
While the fourth-placed Alonso finished over half a minute behind the victorious Nico Rosberg, Raikkonen crossed the line another 20 seconds later, with the F14 T appearing to only be the fifth-fastest car in the field behind Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams and McLaren.
"The plain truth of the situation is that, even when considering their problems today, Ferrari are nearly half a second per lap off the pace of the Mercedes - and that is huge," calculated Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz starkly.
Raikkonen's assessment of his new team's predicament wasn't quite so stark, but, having performed reasonably well in pre-season testing, the team's worst fears were realised in Melbourne as the F14 T proved to be reliable but not a match for the pace of the frontrunners.
"We cannot be happy with the positions we finished in. At least we got something out of the race, but it has been a very difficult week," the Finn told Sky Sports F1.
And that's putting it mildly.
Although both of the F14 T cars were hampered by battery and engine recovery issues during Sunday's race, Raikkonen's principal problem appears to be the aggressive handling of his new charger. After twice crashing out in winter testing, the Finn hit the barriers again during qualifying at Melbourne and his struggle to master the F14 T's power-delivery system is ongoing.
"The car felt good at some points and then at some points it was tricky. The biggest thing is that we ran our race and scored some points, but we'll see," added the Finn.
For Alonso, the situation must feel all-too familiar. While the Spaniard hasn't endured a race-ending mechanical failure on any of his Ferrari cars since since the Malaysian GP of 2010, a lack of pace once again left him unable to challenge for victory.
"Both cars crossed the line, which is a good achievement. On the other hand, we finished 35 seconds behind Rosberg and that is too much," said Alonso.
"We need to do better. We are Ferrari, we are a strong team, and after the first race you have a better picture of where we can improve. We need to analyse and be stronger in Malaysia."