Kimi Raikkonen is hoping his form will improve in warmer conditions, after difficult recent races with Ferrari in Formula 1.
Raikkonen finished second in May’s Spanish Grand Prix, but crashed out in Monaco and was a distant sixth in last Sunday’s Canadian GP, where teammate Sebastian Vettel finished second.
Ferrari struggled to get the Pirelli tires working properly through qualifying in Spain and Monaco, but Raikkonen was quicker than Vettel at Barcelona and only 0.180 seconds adrift in Monte Carlo.
In Canada he qualified 0.589s slower than Vettel and finished the race nearly a minute behind the sister Ferrari.
In the last two races he has also slipped from second to fifth in the drivers’ championship.
Raikkonen reckons the cold conditions in Montreal exacerbated difficulties in getting the tires to work properly on his car.
“It’s a lot of small things, and when you add them together with the conditions we had – it was very cold – it was just tricky to make the tires work as we want,” Raikkonen explained. “Probably the setup could have been better in certain places, but sometimes it’s very hard to make the right things with the setup if the tires don’t work in the first place. If you struggle to switch them on it dictates so much.
“This year has been quite cold most races and that hasn’t helped. We know we like it more when it’s warmer and it’s more easy to make the tires work, but it’s the same for everyone, we just need to make a better job out of it.”
Conditions in Azerbaijan for this weekend’s European GP are expected to be significantly warmer than those experienced in Canada.
“We know once we get the car where we want we can be fast, but it’s a very fine gap between making it work well and being a bit on the outside of the window,” Raikkonen added. “It makes a big difference in lap time. We struggled a bit the last few races, it’s not been easy, but it’s a new weekend again, a new place.
“We need to make sure we get the car where we want it to be, make the tires work as we want, and I’m sure we’ll be OK.”