After five years in a McLaren cockpit, Kimi Raikkonen says he can already sense a “friendlier” atmosphere at his new team.
The Finn will test Ferrari’s 2007 car for the first time at Fiorano later this month, but he has already visited the Italian team’s Maranello factory and attended a day of winter testing in Spain.
With his McLaren contract finally expiring last Sunday, he told the major Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat: “I am feeling really good inside this team, even if I am yet to even sit in my car.
“What I have noticed is that the atmosphere here is friendlier than at McLaren. They also do not appear to be too interested in what the newspapers write about me,” Raikkonen said.
The 27-year-old’s relationship with Ron Dennis is believed to have neared breaking point last year when the McLaren chief warned Raikkonen to stop attracting the attention of tabloid editors.
In a round of rare criticism for the laid-back race driver, Kimi described Briton Dennis as a “control-freak”.
In contrast, he said Ferrari boss Jean Todt is a “completely normal guy”.
Also referring to Todt, Raikkonen added: “He comes from the rally scene and he has quite a lot of experience with Finnish drivers, so I cannot imagine him getting too excited about trivial matters.”