Kimi Raikkonen wants Ferrari’s final result to reflect its true pace starting with next weekend’s United States Grand Prix.
Ferrari showed strong performance throughout the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, with Raikkonen securing third on the grid despite not being completely happy with his car’s handling. However, the Finn was forced to start from eighth place as a result of a gearbox penalty and only recovered to fifth behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
With Vettel claiming Ferrari was the second-fastest car at Suzuka – and Red Bull admitting it was surprised by Ferrari’s strategy – Raikkonen is wary such a performance may be tough to repeat but wants the team to maximise its potential.
“Obviously if you only take [the Japan] weekend, I think we had the speed, but the end result didn’t show that, the true pace that we had,” Raikkonen said. “We’ve seen things can change a lot, from race to race, between the teams, so where we’re going to be in the next races, I don’t know.
“[At Suzuka] everything worked well in the car and hopefully it’s the same case in the next race. But it’s a different circuit, we’ll have different conditions, so we have to wait and see. The aim is to be up there again and hopefully we’ll be able to do that.”
And Raikkonen played down the impact of Ferrari upgrades introduced in Malaysia and Japan, saying a combination of factors will have led to its strong pace.
“Obviously we used them, like we did in the last race, but we cannot really compare it with the previous parts. We would never put any parts in the car if we didn’t think they were better than the old ones, but it’s not a night and day difference. It’s a small difference but any gain is always welcome.
“We try to gain as much as we can, but I wouldn’t say it was because of the upgrades that we were more competitive [at Suzuka]. I don’t know the reason we were more competitive but, like I said, all these things helped.”
TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: Suzuka
Scene at the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix
Japanese Grand Prix – Quotes of the week
DRIVER RATINGS: Japanese Grand Prix
Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter