Raikkonen confident he had pace to beat Hamilton

Raikkonen confident he had pace to beat Hamilton

Formula 1

Raikkonen confident he had pace to beat Hamilton

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Kimi Raikkonen is confident he could have beaten Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix, but teammate Sebastian Vettel is not yet happy with his Ferrari.

The Scuderia was a match for Mercedes during the low fuel runs during FP2 at the Shanghai International Circuit, with Raikkonen just 0.007s off Hamilton’s pace-setting time. After a competitive start to the season it was Raikkonen who again led the way on single-lap pace for Ferrari, and the Finn believes there is more to come from the car in its current state.

“I got some traffic and for sure can have gone faster on the one-lap run; but in the long run we never got a good idea of where we are because of the wet conditions,” Raikkonen said. “We have to see what happens tomorrow and Sunday.

“I think we have a pretty good baseline to start from and it goes pretty well. Then it’s much easier to look for what you want in terms of setup if the car is pretty straightforward, straight away. Then it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.”

Raikkonen added he is comfortable with this year’s Ferrari but has been left frustrated by the lack of results he has scored so far.

“I’m really quite happy with the feeling of the car but if the race results would have been better then I would be happier. It doesn’t matter who’s fault it was, if you don’t get points, you don’t get points, and the only reason we’re here is to get points. Being quick in practice is nice but we want to finish the races in the positions we think we deserve.”

Despite Raikkonen’s optimism, Vettel – who was 0.108s away from the fastest time in fourth place – struggled when carrying out a long run on the ultrasoft tire, and when asked if he was happy with where his car is, the championship leader replied: “Not yet.

“It’s true that in Australia I struggled and in Bahrain I was a lot happier. Here it is not yet where I want it to be but we are still looking.

“If anybody has any clever suggestions they are welcome and, as I say, it’s difficult to find the sweet spot – but if you do then you can unleash the pace. I think the car has the pace but we need to make sure we get it to work. I think today was mixed but the afternoon was a bit better and I was a bit happier. Hopefully tomorrow I’m very happy.”

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