Ferrari Technical Director James Allison has declared that Kimi Räikkönen is on track to achieve stronger results as the 2014 Formula 1 championship returns to Europe with this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The Finn has struggled with the F14T’s ‘brake-by-wire’ technology and has struggled for pace over a full race distance. He currently lies twelfth in the Drivers’ Championship standings with a best finish of seventh at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Contrastingly, teammate Fernando Alonso heads the ‘best of the rest’ chase behind the leading Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, claiming the team’s first podium finish last time out at the Chinese Grand Prix.
“With Fernando we’ve seen an extraordinary level of performance, scavenging every possible point at every possible opportunity,” Allison said ahead of this weekend’s race at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“Kimi is working extremely well with the team, collaborating with the engineers, helping us to drive this car forwards.
“He has class written all over him and in a very short space of time I’m sure we will see the results on track.”
While Räikkönen might be enjoying public support from within the Ferrari camp, others believe that the 2007 World Champion will need to lift his game quickly.
One party of concern is his countryman and fellow World Champion, Mika Häkkinen, who was a guiding influence for Räikkönen when he made his debut with Sauber in 2001.
“Kimi has problems and they need to be solved,” Häkkinen wrote in his post-race column for Hermes.
“Alonso is simply dominating Kimi. It’s not a small difference. After four races Kimi needs to do better. The car can’t be so bad that it is impossible to compete with Alonso. Kimi has to improve, and he has to do it quickly.”