Raikkonen is class act - Allison
10:36am Wednesday 7th May 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Kimi Raikkonen has been hailed as a class act who will ultimately deliver strong results for Ferrari.
On his second coming at the Maranello marque, Raikkonen has struggled to make an impact and been left in the shade by team-mate Fernando Alonso.
The much-anticipated duel between the duo has so far been a one-sided affair as Alonso has out-qualified Raikkonen three to one and finished ahead of the Finn in all four races to date.
While neither driver has been comfortable with the team's car this season, it is Raikkonen who is coming off worse, with the 34-year-old 30 points adrift of Alonso and languishing in 12th place in the drivers' standings.
Technical director James Allison, however, has no doubt Raikkonen's talent will shine through and help the team push on.
Assessing both drivers to date, Allison said: "With Fernando we've seen an extraordinary level of performance, scavenging every possible point at every possible opportunity.
"Kimi is working extremely well with the team, collaborating with the engineers, helping us to drive this car forwards.
"He has class written all over him, and in a very short space of time I'm sure we will also see the results of that on the track."
Overall, though, it has been a miserable start to the new season for Ferrari, which resulted in Stefano Domenicali resigning after three races, notably after a horror showing in Bahrain.
There was at least a degree of improvement in the last race in China, with Alonso third to give the team their first podium of the season.
It has been exactly a year, however, since Ferrari's last victory, with Alonso taking the chequered flag on home soil in Spain.
As to where Ferrari genuinely stand going into Sunday's race at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona as Formula One returns from a mini-break, Allison added: "Where did we see the real performance level of the car? Bahrain or China?
"It's a mistake to think in those terms because it wasn't the same car at the two tracks.
"Between those two races we improved the car quite substantially, so not only did the track characteristics change, so did our car.
"We are learning how to get performance out of this new set of regulations and hopefully to make this car more competitive.
"The key to a successful season is to keep improving your car at every race.
"If we can do that, bringing a meaningful amount of performance to every one of those races, we will keep seeing steps forward, and that will define what is the true car, not just one single race."