Raikkonen: 'The auto felt good' after successful Alfa Romeo shakedown

Kimi Raikkonen puts first miles on new Alfa Romeo Formula 1 car

Raikkonen does not feel too old for F1

Kimi Raikkonen had the privilege of driving the vehicle for the first time at the Ferrari-owned Fiorano test track in Italy as part of a shakedown session.

Alfa Romeo caused a stir when they revealed a one-off "love" livery for the shakedown on Valentine's Day, with 2007 F1 world champion Raikkonen completing 33 laps, that was within the 100km restriction enforced when completing a filming day.

The livery is similar to the colour scheme used by Sauber past year, when it was already running with Alfa as its title sponsor.

Alfa Romeo are due to officially unveil their challenger for the new season on the morning of the first winter test that starts on Monday at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Raikkonen will kick off testing for Alfa Romeo at Barcelona on Monday, before his team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi gets his first taste of the auto on Tuesday.

The Hinwil-based team was rejuvenated by fresh investment, a recruitment drive, and the aforementioned link with Alfa Romeo, having emerged from years of on- and off-track troubles.

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"He [Leclerc] knows the team, because he's been with Ferrari for quite a few years now, so it's not like he is going in a new place", explained Raikkonen.

"We had a good session on track", said Raikkonen.

Raikkonen will be partnered at the team by Ferrari-linked Antonio Giovinazzi, who participated in test and practice outings through 2017 (for Haas) and 2018. "The vehicle felt good and I was able to get a first impression of the auto we will be running this season".

Simone Resta, Alfa Romeo technical director, added: "After a long winter we are happy to be on track with our new vehicle for the first time".

"The focus of our work today was on aerodynamic, set-up and cooling checks".

The livery features patterns of hearts and shamrocks interlinked, with the latter a traditional symbol used by Alfa Romeo on all their sports cars as a symbol of good luck. "The next two weeks which we will spend in Barcelona will be busy and will concentrate on proving the car's reliability and performance".

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