Kimi Raikkonen will start the Chinese Grand Prix from fourth place on the grid on Sunday, but felt that was the best he could have hoped for as he struggled for grip in the opening sequence of corners that left him with too much work to do in the remainder of the lap to catch up with those ahead of him.
The Scuderia Ferrari ended up only 0.462 seconds down on the polesitting time of Lewis Hamilton, but he also ended up behind both team-mate Sebastian Vettel and fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas.
Despite qualifying in the same position as he did in the season opener in Australia, Raikkonen feels happier with the set-up of his SF70H this weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit, and will be looking to take his first podium finish of the season on Sunday.
“I’m not that surprised from the result after strong performance in Q2, because in the end I was struggling a bit with the front end, especially in the first corners; in Turn 3 there was not much we could gain,” said Raikkonen.
“It has been tricky to get everything right, with the limited running we had yesterday, and we’re still not 100 per cent where we want to be, up there in front. There are some details in the set-up that need to be improved, and as you push more they become more apparent, but it’s already better than in Melbourne.
“Handling-wise the car wasn’t bad, even though I had experienced understeer in the beginning and then, for whatever reason, it changed to oversteer. In Q2 I made two runs, because we had tyres available so why not go out and see what the other cars were doing?
“Conditions will be different for tomorrow and there will be a bit of guessing for everyone if it rains, so we’ll see.”