Kimi Raikkonen has said he won’t form an opinion on the weekend until his tyres hit the tarmac at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit this Friday.
Like every other contender this weekend, he goes into the second last battle of the season relatively blind to the difficulties that may arise at the new circuit – and would have only been through simulations laps of the track.
Speaking ahead of the weekend, the 42-year-old said: “We are heading to another new track and, like last time out in Doha, preparing for the race in the most effective way will be crucial.
“The track looks fast and, as a street circuit, it’s a place where you need to be focused all the time: I am curious to drive it and won’t form an opinion about it until then.
“It’s going to be interesting and I don’t see any reason, if we do our job properly, why we wouldn’t be as competitive as we have been in the last few months.
“For sure, part of what will make or break a good result will be our readiness to make the most of the circumstances, but that’s not different from every other weekend.”
Meanwhile, his teammate, Antonio Giovinazzi, says there is a big question mark over this weekend for everyone involved but that he looks at it as an “opportunity” for the team to collect some points.
“Two more races until the end of the season means two chances to have a good result to finish off the year with a smile.”
“The last few weeks have been quite busy for me, but I find this keeps me focused and fired up for this weekend of racing.
“The track in Jeddah is a big question mark for everyone, nobody has raced on it so, in a sense, we are all starting from scratch here.
“It can be an opportunity for us and we’ll need to do our homework to make sure we give ourselves the best chance.
“It’s early to say if this layout will work well for us or not, but I want to think we can give a good account of ourselves.”
Free Practice in Saudi Arabia kicks off on Friday at 13:30 Irish time.