Raikkonen has third-best time in Barcelona but "it's still early days"

22-02-2020 17:19
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Raikkonen has third-best time in Barcelona but it's still early days

Alfa Romeo Racing had a promising first week of testing in Barcelona, setting the third-best time while also logging the third-most laps, but veteran Kimi Raikkonen knows "it's still early days" as most teams have not begun chasing lap times yet.

Raikkonen took two of the three days off in the first test, logging all 134 of his laps on Thursday. Reserve driver Robert Kubica chipped in with 59 laps on Wednesday as the Pole shared the C39 with Antonio Giovinazzi that day. The Italian rounded the Circuit de Catalunya a massive 231 times between Friday and Wednesday.

Between their three drivers, Alfa did 424 laps, well over six full race distances. Raikkonen's 1:17.091 on Thursday, the quickest time on the day, is also the third-best time on the entire grid, with only the two Mercedes cars ahead.

“For my first testing day, it was an ok one,” Raikkonen looked back in typical laid-back fashion. “The important thing is that everything seems to be working well, with no major issues.

“The immediate feeling is pretty positive, but it’s still early days. There is still a long way to go but I think we made a step forward compared to last year: who knows where this is going to take us, but so far so good.” 

Raikkonen's place on the grid should drop in the second week, when teams tend to dial it up and start chasing lap times, but it seems like Alfa Romeo have made some big gains over the winter. Can they battle at the front of the midfield in the upcoming season?

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