Kimi Raikkonen: “Hopefully we’ll have a strong race”

Kimi Raikkonen bemoaned the compromised running ahead of qualifying at the Sochi Autodrom after finding it tricky to get the temperature into the tyres as he could only qualify fifth on the grid.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver felt that when the tyres were running at their optimum temperature the car felt good beneath him, but rued a mistake on his final quick lap that left him unable to improve his lap time late in the session.

“So far, it has been a compromise weekend because of the weather and many other things that happened,” said Raikkonen. “Qualifying today was not the easiest one, it was a bit tricky to get temperature in the tires as we wanted in just one lap, because of the cold conditions.

“When the tires were working, though, the handling of the car was pretty good. In the last run in Q3 there was no time to do more than one lap, the start of the lap was ok but then I went wide and lost significant time.”

Raikkonen admits the race on Sunday will be a bit of a journey into the unknown following the disruptions to all three practice sessions that has seen many drivers run a limited programme, with only the final practice being run in fully-dry conditions before being curtailed by Carlos Sainz Jr’s crash.

“Tomorrow in the race it will be a bit unknown for everybody: obviously, we don’t have enough data from the long runs, so it’s hard to know what is going to happen, but I think we should be ok,” added Raikkonen.

“I’m sure that when the tires work exactly as we want, the lap times will be a lot different We’ll try to make a good start then hopefully we’ll have a strong race and will be able to take the fight.”