The first race of the season at Melbourne has always been a favorite with drivers, especially when, as has been the case so far, the sun has been on parade at the Albert Park circuit. Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, are looking forward to the weekend, and their SF71 cars will hit the track tomorrow for P1 practice at 12:00 local time.
“I’m excited to kick off the season, get into the car and race”, says Seb. “We have every reason to be confident as our car is great, we have a great team and we came here well prepared, even if, ideally, you would want to be able to test more during the winter – and there are many things to come. Of course, around this point you don’t know what the others have done so far. Australia has treated us well generally: we won here last year, nearly won the year before and got on the podium in 2015. The key to the championship will be to have a strong car at the beginning and at the end of the season and to try and be competitive at all races. Now obviously, the best satisfaction is to win with Ferrari, the greatest team with the greatest history in the paddock. To win with Ferrari, beating the best, is my target”.
Kimi’s thoughts echo those of his team-mate: “We are pretty happy with how winter testing went; we have clearly done our homework, even if obviously there are always things that you can improve. Our aim is always the same, to win races. We’ll try our best and hopefully we’ll achieve that. Overtaking is quite difficult at this track, but the DRS zones are different this year and hopefully it will help. This year’s cars are fitted with the Halo system: I don’t think that it makes any difference when driving as you get used to it very quickly. From this weekend and in the next few races we’ll start to understand where we are. We need to build up a solid weekend, score good points and then go from there. It’s going to be a long season and we need to be up there all the time to be able to challenge for the championships”.