Kimi Raikkonen says it is pointless to look at the times from pre-season testing to try and figure out where things stand ahead of round one.
With regulations staying largely the same this year, the pecking order is not expected to be too different in 2021 than in 2020. However, pre-season testing in Bahrain did suggest some things have changed.
One of the teams that looked good over the three days was Alfa Romeo, but Raikkonen does not think the times set say anything about how good they will actually be.
“The first race of the season is always a special moment, mostly because I have missed the racing,” he said in the team’s preview for the season opener.
“It’s nice to be back in the car for testing, but what makes this sport fun is driving wheel to wheel and you only get that in races, so there is something to look forward to.
“I’m not looking at the times from the three days we spent here two weeks ago because there is no point trying to get any idea about what to expect. Soon enough, on Saturday, we will have an indication of where everyone is and what kind of battles we have this year.
“So far, we just have to focus on our work, on improving what we had in testing and on making the most of every opportunity.”
When your mate tells you it’s the weekend (and there are cars on track) pic.twitter.com/vN6zbZhsrU
— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) March 13, 2021
Raikkonen will be heading into the season with Antonio Giovinazzi as his team-mate for the third year in a row.
The Italian agrees with the Finn that little can be gained from making predictions, but has stressed it is crucial the team hit the ground running again.
“I feel ready, both in body and mind, and I can’t wait to experience the feeling of a race weekend again,” said Giovinazzi.
“I’m not making any predictions on where we will be against our rivals, but I am confident we can have a good season.
“There is a really good spirit within the team, people are feeling positive and we are all walking with our heads held high, so we are approaching the first race with the right mindset.
“We all know how crucial the start of the season is – last year, we were able to score points right at the first race and they proved very important for the rest of the campaign, so the aim is to again start on the right foot and boost the team ahead of this important year.”