Don’t write McLaren off, says Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen has come to the defence of his former team McLaren after speculation about their technical difficulties reached fever pitch. The Ferrari driver told La Gazzetta della Sport that no-one should underestimate the British team, despite their frequent technical modifications and puzzling testing pace.

“I don’t know if they have problems or what they are doing. It is easier to wait two weeks [for Melbourne] to see exactly where people are,” said the 2007 world champion.

The Finn also counselled against making predictions about a team’s competitiveness at the first race from the evidence of pre-season testing.

”Certainly they [McLaren] have been less quick than in past winters but this does not mean they will not be quick at the first race.”

Current world champion Lewis Hamilton takes over testing responsibilities from team-mate Heikki Kovalainen today at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Englishman will be testing a revised aero arrangement on his McLaren MP4-24, as well as other new parts.