Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth in Japan, with the Scuderia Ferrari driver feeling it was the best result he could have hoped for on a circuit difficult to overtake from the position he started from.
The Finn was running fifth in the early stages, but managed to leapfrog Valtteri Bottas during the pit stop cycle into fourth, a position he was able to maintain until the chequered flag fell.
“Today we did the maximum we could and, considering where we had started the race from, fourth position is the best we could get,” said Raikkonen.
“The car was OK and we had the right speed, but on a circuit like this, when you are stuck behind other cars, it’s always hard to overtake. We did a good job at the pit stop, managed to jump Bottas on the way out, and chose the right tires at the right time.
“I don’t think we could have done much more. This kind of track is not the best for us right now, but it seems things have worked well today.”
Raikkonen feels Ferrari are heading in the right direction with its development programme, and is looking to build on the progress next time out at the Russian Grand Prix in two weeks time.
“There’s still work to be done, but we are doing the right things and going in the right direction,” revealed Raikkonen.
“Obviously, we always want to be at the top, but I think we have done an amazing job all year long and since last year. Now we keep doing the same progresses and try to improve.
“We take what we have got today and go to the next race trying to do the maximum.”