Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen believes Ferrari's pace problems are centred around downforce

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    Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen believes Ferrari's pace problems are centred around downforce

    Post by Ross on 8th April 2009, 15:00

    Kimi admits Ferrari struggling with downforce

    Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari’s current problems stem from a lack of downforce, while admitting the team also has to iron out issues with its KERS device.

    The reigning world champion team has failed to score a point in the season’s opening two races, with its current inability to challenge the early front runners compounded by reliability problems and strategy blunders.

    Ferrari is one of four teams to have challenged the legality of the controversial ‘double decker’ diffusers currently featuring on the cars of Brawn, Toyota and Williams – the protesting squads convinced the designs offer a big downforce benefit and therefore have helped the trio dominate the opening races.

    Raikkonen believes the outcome of FIA hearing will have an “enormous impact” on the title race, but says that while the team awaits the outcome it is nevertheless working on other ways to address the F60’s downforce deficit.

    “The next race is in China, but a couple of days before FIA’s Court of Appeal will decide about the diffuser,” he said on Ferrari’s website.

    “This decision will have an enormous impact on the championship.
    “We need more downforce and we’re working very hard on it.

    “There are some new features coming up and I know that the team is working very hard to anticipate the whole development.”

    The former world champion believes the F60’s performance in the middle sector at Sepang, which features several long high-speed corners, highlighted the car’s current flaws.

    “You just need to analyse the performance in the three sectors at Malaysia to understand that we’re loosing a lot compared to the best cars,” he said.

    “You can see that especially in the middle section, where downforce is really crucial.”

    Despite vowing to cut out the reliability mistakes that cost Felipe Massa the drivers’ title last year, Ferrari has already experienced a number of technical problems with its car this season.

    Both drivers dropped out in Melbourne before Raikkonen’s Sepang weekend was hampered by several problems with his kinetic energy recovery system – an overheating battery in Friday practice causing the Finn’s cockpit to fill with smoke and then the raceday rain storm destroying the device’s insulation.

    With the next race in China offering the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the KERS power-boost function given the circuit featuring the longest straight in the sport, Raikkonen says it is imperative the team gets its system 100% reliable.

    “There are many things we’ve got to get used to,” he said.

    “For example the KERS can give much more on this track.

    “At the moment we’ve still got some teething problems, I could see that by myself in Malaysia.

    “On Friday the cockpit was filled with smoke at the end of P1, while on Sunday water infiltrated the KERS, which lead to the destruction of its insulation and I had to stop.

    “At the start the KERS works really well, as we could see last Sunday.”

    However, despite its disastrous start to the season Raikkonen remains confident that Ferrari can bounce back quickly.

    “We still don’t have any points after two races and this is a very difficult moment,” he added.

    “We’ve seen other moments like this, but we know how to react and we’ll do it already at Shanghai.”


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