Fastest time makes no difference - Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen said setting the fastest time in his first day back at an official Formula One test made absolutely no difference to him.
Raikkonen set a 1:19.670 in the new Lotus E20 and completed 75 laps over the course of the day. But despite catching the eye of Jenson Button, who said the time was "quick" even if he was running low fuel, Raikkonen was typically blasé about it.
"It makes no difference," he said, "It's the first day, it would make a difference on a race weekend but here it means nothing. "
He said the first impressions of the car compared well to those he has driven in the past.
"The feeling was pretty good with the car and it's handling quite nicely," he added. "So just going with feeling, I'm quite happy with the thing. There are areas that we can improve and have to improve but I've had much worse first impressions from other cars than I've had from this one. I'm quite positive."
To prepare for his comeback Raikkonen took part in a two-day test in a 2010 Renault last month and also completed some promotional filming mileage in the E20 on Monday. He said he felt perfectly happy with his personal performance so far.
"I'm happy how I'm driving and I was already happy with how I was driving three weeks ago, but for sure you can improve always and make it better. Like I said already before I'm not worried and three weeks ago once we did the test I wasn't worried about it. We still have plenty of testing before the season and hopefully we can improve the car and be up there when the season starts. We don't know yet [where we will be] so we will just try and do our own thing and get 100% ready."
Tuesday marked Raikkonen's first run on the proper 2012 Pirelli tyres and he reported no problems with the new rubber.
"They seem to be pretty OK," he added. "Every day it will be a little bit different as the conditions change and the tyre's behaviour changes, the circuit might change it a lot. It was definitely better than the tyres were used three weeks ago. They are what they are and you try to get the best out of it. But when they were new they seemed to be pretty nice tyres and of course they probably go away more than they did in the past. But it's the same for everybody and you try in the long run to get the best out of them."