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Raikkonen P2 but says Alfa aren’t pushing yet

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen may have been the quickest man on track for most of Wednesday’s track time, but says the team haven’t begun to concentrate on unlocking the outright speed of the car.

Raikkonen spent most of Wednesday’s test right at the top of the timesheets after putting in a time of 1:17.762 during the morning session. This, at the time, was the fastest of the day and of the week overall so far and was 0.3 seconds clear of the quickest time set by either Ferrari driver, although Kimi’s time was set on the softest C5 compound.

The time was eventually beaten by the end of the day, as Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat put on a set of the same tyre compound and powered around to marginally pip Raikkonen’s time with five minutes remaining but Kimi was still pleased with his day’s work as he put in a total of 137 laps: “[It was] pretty straightforward. It’s still pretty early so there’s plenty of setup work to do.”

“We did pretty decent amount of laps, of course we always want to do more but we were just trying different things. Normal stuff and then next week, we’ll try proper setup work and try the smaller details.”

Agreeing with his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi’s proclamation that the Alfa is a ‘good car’, Kimi said: “We spent today trying out different tyres but, overall, it’s a well balanced car with very good grip. We’ll see more when we start pushing it a bit next week.”

Asked whether his expectations for the upcoming season have shifted away from his initial expectations when he signed for the Alfa Romeo/Sauber team three months ago, he said: “I don’t have any expectations really, we can only do our best. The team has built a good car so it’s a good starting point. Lots still to work on but it’s been pretty good.”

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Thomas Maher

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