Kimi Raikkonen missed out on pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix by the narrowest of margins, but the Scuderia Ferrari driver believes he has a good chance of taking his first victory of the season on Sunday.
Just 0.045 seconds separated the Finn from poleman Lewis Hamilton during Saturday’s qualifying session, but he will start on the front row, and he feels the SF70H will be a good car to have in race conditions, which makes him confident that he can beat the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer.
Raikkonen has not won a race since he returned to the Maranello-based team in 2014, and he will be looking to take as many points of championship leader Hamilton as possible to aid his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
“Our car has been handling well all weekend,” said Raikkonen. “Today in qualifying we got close, but we would have needed a fractionally faster lap time.
“I think that the car had it, but you can always lose a little bit here and there. It’s disappointing not to be first, but tomorrow is going to be a long race for both cars and tyres. I have the feeling that we have a good car and a very good chance for the race.
“If it’s going to be dry we are probably more confident, but our car has been good in both conditions and with all fuel loads.”
Raikkonen feels that his team-mate Vettel, starting from the back of the grid following an engine issue during qualifying, will have the car to charge through the pack, and expects the German to recover into the points.
“What happened to Seb is disappointing, very unfortunate for him and for the team,” said Raikkonen. “The guys did an excellent job to change all the parts getting the car back in one piece and ready to go, but then unfortunately he had to stop.
“Tomorrow is another day, he will have good speed and I’m sure that he can recover well.”