Kimi Raikkonen denies struggling with Ferrari's brake-by-wire system
But Finn reveals Ferrari are preparing new parts to improve his set-up
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 30/03/14 12:41pm
Kimi Raikkonen is uncertain whether his Ferrari car will perform better in Malaysia after an underwhelming race in Melbourne two weeks ago.
Kimi Raikkonen has denied his problems with the Ferrari F14 T stem from his reputed struggle to master the car's brake-by-wire system.
Both throughout winter testing and during the opening weekend of the new season in Australia, Raikkonen has been unable to match the pace of team-mate Fernando Alonso with the Finn repeatedly alluding to his car's 'aggressive' handling in the wake of several high-profile crashes.
After an underwhelming race in Melbourne two weeks ago, when he finished in seventh, two places and twenty seconds behind Alonso, Raikkonen was quoted as saying: "We identified some general problems which we have to tackle in Maranello and there are other aspects linked to the set-up on my car to do with the brake-by-wire system. Getting this device working correctly is definitely something that contributes to the general feeling from the car, because it has a great effect on corner entry."
However, speaking during Thursday's press conference for the Malaysia GP, Raikkonen was adamant that he had been misquoted and his early-season travails couldn't be attributed to the F14 T's brake-by-wire component.
"I don't know where that came from, it's not the issue and there is nothing wrong with the system," the 2007 World Champion retorted. "Somebody asked me about it after the race and I said 'it's not that', so it's not true. It is mainly just set-up and getting the car as I like.
"We are making some new stuff for me and hopefully when we get those it will be easier and I'll get some more feeling in the front end. Obviously, it's not been the ideal start, but it's going to be a long year and I'm sure we can keep progressing."
Raikkonen crashed out in qualifying at Melbourne two weeks ago
According to Raikkonen, Ferrari's modest result in the Australian GP provided an accurate representation of the team's current position in the nascent pecking order, with the F14 T appearing to be the fourth or fifth-fastest car on the grid.
Asked if he had considered spending some extra time in the team's simulator in-between races both in a bid to improve the car and find a more suitable set-up, Raikkonen's famously taciturn nature came to the fore - albeit suitably briefly.
"No," he replied flatly.