Kimi Raikkonen isn't sure that today's F1 machinery is easier to drive than cars from over a decade ago as memories can be deceiving when looking at the past
The sport's senior member was asked to chime in on the recent debate sparked by Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean who contend that today's Grand Prix cars lack the physical challenge that defied drivers ten or fifteen years ago.
"Is it harder now or less hard? It’s impossible to say," the Finn told Motorsport.com.
"When you start thinking 10 years back the memory plays games and you can’t [remember properly].
“Maybe it’s not the same. If you asked me 10 years ago I’d say ‘it’s OK’ because it’s all about how you get used to it.
"When you come after the winter and you drive, you see whether it’s hard or not because your neck is basically done after 20 laps and it feels awful.
"But the second test, you have a little bit of pain here and there and then you get used to it. It’s like any sport you do, you get used to what you do and it doesn’t feel hard."
Raikkonen, who started his F1 career in 2001 with Sauber, believes the cars haven't changed much over the years in terms of the driving sensation, while the Finn contends that the physical challenge is perhaps a factor of the individual cars or tracks.
"I don’t think it felt any different in the earlier days," said the 39-year-old Alfa charger.
"Some races are harder than others. In those days we did a lot of testing and then you just get used to more.
"But if you are driving it’s always going to be hard to go fast and be on the limit.
"Sometimes it feels more easy. I remember sometimes when we had a very good car and everything is absolutely perfect, it feels like nothing.
"You drive easily and the laptime is great, everything is great, and it feels a bit too easy. But other times it’s a painful experience when you have to fight."