Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen heads into this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, the second race of the 2016 Formula One season having put his retirement from the Australian Grand Prix firmly behind him.

The Iceman has a fantastic record at the Sakhir circuit having been on the podium three times in the last four years and speaking ahead of Sunday’s race he said:

It’s difficult to predict how this weekend will be because the result depends on many factors. Last year it was not too bad, but this is a new race weekend, so we’ll do our best in the practice days and then try to maximize the result.

Raikkonen went on to say:

In Australia the start seemed to work pretty well for us, hopefully it’s always like that, but it’s not easy to make great starts and there are so many things that can affect it. The last race was pretty ok, but obviously we had an issue. We have to do better, fix the current problems and try to avoid having any other. Hopefully we can have a good weekend.

While the Iceman looks to keep his cool in the desert his Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel heads into this weekend’s race with a good record at the Sakhir circuit. The German took back to back victories here when he drove for Red Bull in 2012 and 2013.

Speaking ahead of the race, the four time world champion who finished the Australian Grand Prix on the podium commented by saying:

Here we will see the same Ferrari as we had in Melbourne, the same chassis. Last year we saw that Australia was not our strongest race. This year we are more competitive, we could say we are a bit closer, but then again we have different tyres, the weather is quite different, so it’s difficult to predict. We are working very hard.

Vettel spoke at length about the qualifying situation saying:

If you sell vanilla ice cream and everybody that comes to the shop asks for chocolate ice cream, the next day you open you are expected to sell chocolate ice cream, but instead you decide to sell vanilla ice cream again. So, I think that usually you do what your clients would like you to do, but you’re not really doing the job, I guess, if you do exactly the opposite. We, the drivers, didn’t give any proposal [about qualifying]. We just made it clear that something is not right and that something has to change. We are drivers and we are not here to make the rules but I think for some decisions it would be beneficial to listen more to the drivers and to the fans. You have to do what’s the best for sport at the end. We just have to find the best system.


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