Formula One: Resurgent Ferrari fighting for wins now - Raikkonen

Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen said that he's happy with the progress made in the resurgent Ferrari and that the team is currently fighting for wins.
Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen said that he's happy with the progress made in the resurgent Ferrari and that the team is currently fighting for wins.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - A year ago, Kimi Raikkonen endured his worst season ever in Formula One when he finished 12th in the drivers' championship but all those woes are since forgotten as the Finn and his team Ferrari re-establish themselves as a force on the grid this year.

Currently fifth in the drivers' standings with 92 points, Raikkonen was relaxed and cheerful as he spoke about the Scuderia's revival, which saw them finish 2014 with 216 points to its current second place with 270 points already in the bag.

"It's everything," he told The Straits Times during a visit to Shell's track lab inside the Ferrari garage at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

"There has been lots of changes... the team, the car, the engine. But they are good changes. There is still some way to go but compared to where we were last year, it is a big step."

At the end of the 2014 season, changes swept through the Ferrari team, with Sergio Marchionne replacing chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who stepped down after 23 years at the helm. Maurizio Arrivabene also arrived as the new team principal in place of Marco Mattiaci.

With the ship steadied, Ferrari bounced back on the circuit and although the team is too far behind leaders Mercedes now, who are a massive 181 points ahead in the team standings, Raikkonen believes the Prancing Horse will give the Silver Arrows a real run for their money.

He said: "Some races had been close. Now, our aim is to be fighting for wins. I am very happy with how much progress we had made.

"We will see over the weekend (how Ferrari does in the Singapore Grand Prix). Singapore is a difficult but exciting race. Although the safety car comes out every year, it can sometimes benefit you. A lot of things can happen here."

meng@sph.com.sg