Kimi Raikkonen was forced to settle for third place on the grid for the Brazilian Grand Prix, and felt getting the best out of Qualifying was all down to switching the tyres on at the right time.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver ended 0.216 seconds behind Valtteri Bottas at the end of the Qualifying session at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, but struggled with his tyres, particularly when traffic interfered with the warm-up lap, and he admitted there was more time to be found in the car.
“The feeling with the car was good most of the time,” said Raikkonen, “but somehow the laps were always a bit tricky, with everybody trying to get their free space.
“When the tyres switched on well, then everything was easier, but with the traffic in the out-lap it was not always the case. Some sets were feeling better than others purely because of having a bit better out-lap.
“It was a bit hard to trust them and not get a front lock-up at the first corner. Overall the car itself was nice to drive when the tyres worked, so it’s a bit of a shame.”
Despite missing out on the front row, Raikkonen felt it was a good team effort to take second and third on the grid, and he hopes to make progress on Sunday to secure a third consecutive podium finish and perhaps his first win since the Australian Grand Prix of 2013 whilst racing for the Lotus F1 Team.
“It was not the most straightforward qualifying but in the end it was a decent result,” said Raikkonen. “I think we did a solid job today, we can consider it a good team result.
“For sure there was more to get, but the race is tomorrow and it’s going to be long. For the start we’ll try our best, the first corner is quite tight, so we’ll try to make a good start and see what we can get”.