Kimi Raikkonen has confirmed that the Formula 1 Ferrari engine fitted to the back of his car this year is much more powerful than its predecessor, confirming paddock rumour that the all-new F1 engine is no longer handicapped by the FIA sanctions imposed for alleged cheating in 2019.
Earlier this year, TJ13 reported on rumours about Ferrari having to accept the punishment during last year’s F1 season – the FIA imposed fuel restrictions very late on before the start of the 2020 season, meaning Ferrari could only run on low fuel settings, a rumour denied by FIA employee and ex Ferrari driver Mika Salo. READ MORE ON THAT STORY
After a productive winter test for the Alfa Romeo team (it was the team that drove the most laps in three days with AlphaTauri: 422 laps), many in the paddock believe that the Swiss team will be a real challenger in the middle of the field this season.
The Finnish driver is cautious ahead of the first race of the year, not least because the other engine manufacturers have also improved their engines this winter.
When Kimi Raikkonen was asked if he could sense a clear difference with the 2021 Ferrari engine during the Bahrain test, the Finn confirmed that the Maranello power unit had taken a big step forward.
“Of course we have more power, it’s definitely a big step forward, but we also expect the other engine manufacturers to do the same. ” Raikkonen said in Bahrain on Thursday.
“We will have to see how much they have improved. But it’s certainly a step in the right direction. It’s the same with the car, you always want more, but I think everything is going in the right direction. ”
Asked again about his future in F1, Raikkonen – who has extended his contract for just one season – said the Alfa Romeo team’s performance this year would not influence his choice for 2022.
“I doubt it will make a difference to what happens next year. Obviously the better we perform the happier we are as a team but also as a driver. ”
“So I think the years when you’re not where you want to be, those are always long years. It’s not as much fun and you can see it on people’s faces. ”
“Where we will be this year after the first race, we will continue to work and improve to be where we want to be and hopefully we will manage to score points regularly. ”
“But of course it won’t be easy, everyone wants to be there, so we just keep working. ”