Kimi Räikkönen: “The gap to our rivals is probably bigger than we wanted”


Kimi Raikkonen will start on the front row in Australia
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Kimi Räikkönen admitted the gap to Lewis Hamilton during Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix was far bigger than what he was hoping for, with 0.664 seconds separating the Finn from the reigning World Champion.

The 1:21.828s lap of Räikkönen was still good enough for the Scuderia Ferrari racer to join Hamilton on the front row of the grid, with the Finn edging out team-mate Sebastian Vettel by just 0.010 seconds on Saturday afternoon at Albert Park.

“Today we did not really know what to expect from this first qualifying, it was a bit of an unknown,” admitted Räikkönen. “But then I was pretty happy with the car, the feeling was ok.

“The gap to our rivals is probably bigger than we wanted, but it was not a very straightforward day either.”

Räikkönen knows Albert Park is rather unique compared to many of the other circuits, and he says it is too early to gauge just where Ferrari truly are compared to their rivals, but he does acknowledge they do need find some extra speed.

“This is a very special circuit in many ways, if compared to “normal” tracks, and these are the early stages of the season,” said Räikkönen.

“I think we have to wait for the next few races to have a clear picture and understand where the teams are exactly. For sure there are things to improve to go faster; I know there are areas where I could improve on my lap times.

“This is what we have got today, a decent result in quite tricky conditions. Tomorrow we’ll put our maximum effort into the race.”