Raikkonen satisfied with new Alfa Romeo despite late red flag

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Kimi Raikkonen gave the new Alfa Romeo a thumbs up after his first day of testing on Thursday.

A late run on the C5 Pirelli tyres, the softest in the range, saw the Finn top the timesheet with a 1m17.091s, albeit still a tenth shy on Lewis Hamilton's best time from Wednesday.

In the final 15 minutes, however, Raikkonen would cause the first red flag on pre-season, with speculation Alfa had run out of fuel during a long run, but Kimi wasn't worried.

“For my first testing day, it was an OK one,” he said. “The important thing is that everything seems to be working well, with no major issues.

“The immediate feeling is pretty positive, but it’s still early days.

“There is still a long way to go but I think we made a step forward compared to last year: who knows where this is going to take us, but so far so good.”

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The late lap to take P1 was somewhat out of the blue after Alfa had spent most of the first two days towards the bottom of the leaderboard and sporting director Beat Zehnder also played down the sudden jump.

“Today was another valuable day testing the C39,” he said, “a day in which we were able to cover good mileage without any issues.

“People may look at the times, but these are of little value right now: the main thing to focus on is the data we are collecting and listening to the drivers’ first reactions.

“Having two days of uninterrupted running, minus a red flag at the end of today, is where we want to be right now, but it’s still just the beginning of a very busy process of learning about the new car.”