Kimi Raikkonen reckons he was simply unlucky not to have made it across the line at the end of qualifying for a final lap when the track was at its best.
The Finn was pretty upbeat about the performance of his Lotus, but could manage no better than eighth after many of his rivals got a final lap in when conditions were drying up. Raikkonen dropped down to eighth at the end and he was in no doubt that his car could have done much better than that.
“Obviously we seem to have pretty good speed in the dry, and we are not too bad in the wet in Q1, but we were maybe unlucky with the timing,” said Raikkonen. “If we could have done one more lap we should have been a bit higher up.”
When asked how close it was to making it across the line, Raikkonen said: “Not far. When I came out of the last corner I saw the lights went red, so it was maybe five seconds, maximum.
“When it starts raining, you cannot plan those things. You either get it or not, and this time we didn’t. It was a shame as we had pretty good speed.”
Despite starting on the fourth row, Raikkonen thinks that Lotus can set its sights on a strong performance in the race, and he does not believe that Mercedes and Red Bull are out of reach.
“If we look purely in the dry, and even Q2, we were fastest in second qualifying, so we could be up there,” he said. “In the wet we were not as fast, but in the first qualifying when the timing was right it wasn’t too bad. We improved for today quite a bit the car, since yesterday.”
He added: “We have been in much worse starting positions and had good results, and here usually you are able to overtake if you have the speed. So everything is possible.”