Kimi Raikkonen believes he could have qualified on the second row of the grid for the German Grand Prix despite his best result of the season so far with fifth place.
Problems for Ferrari meant Sebastian Vettel didn’t set a time and Charles Leclerc was absent in Q3, opening up the potential for midfield teams to fight for the third row. Raikkonen secured best-of-the-rest status with fifth place but Pierre Gasly had his best lap deleted and ended up just 0.016s ahead of the Finn in fourth, a position Raikkonen says he could have achieved.
“We didn’t have any expectations, we just try to do our work and try to improve,” Raikkonen said. “As long as we do our best, whatever the result is, we have to be happy. But today was good — I think all day has been pretty good and for sure there was a little bit more lap time in the car, as I didn’t have the best of laps in the end. We were very close with the car ahead — there were a few places where I could have done better, but we’ll take.
“It’s still fifth place! I think we had the speed and it was very close with fourth place; we should have improved in a few places. Let’s see how the weather plays out tomorrow and what we can get.”
With a threat of rain throughout the weekend, there is the chance of mixed conditions on Sunday. Raikkonen acknowledges that could mix up the field even more but says there is no knowing how the car would react in the wet after Saturday remained dry throughout.
“We’ll try to figure it out the best we can tomorrow. It can be very difficult; yesterday it was not easy. When we have changing conditions that makes it very difficult. Sometimes it’s quite hard to find the way to go. Today we could do a few laps and then improve the car for qualifying. We had quite strong speed today so let’s see what happens tomorrow. We’re in a strong position anyway.
“I don’t know (if the podium is a possibility), we have to see how the conditions are tomorrow. In pure race pace it’s impossible to say where we are but it’s going to be very difficult to fight against the big teams. We’ll do our best and whatever we get, we get it.
“We’ve not done a single lap in the wet with this car so we’ll figure it out when it comes…”