GP Giappone, commenti post qualifiche–12/10/2013
P9 Grid Slot No Drama for Kimi Räikkönen in Japan
He may not have clinched the ideal grid slot for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix, but the Iceman is very happy with how his car is feeling. All bodes well for tomorrow’s race…
How was qualifying for you?
The car has felt much better here than it has in recent races; even if we don’t have a better position on the grid for tomorrow. A small mistake on my quick lap cost me a little bit of time and it’s very close here, so a small amount lost can mean quite a few positions dropped. We’ll have to see what happens in the race, but the car has certainly been more to my liking this weekend so the position on the grid is not a drama.
Where have you found improvements?
There’s not so much understeer. It’s not perfect and we could still make it better, but it’s feeling good and I can pretty much do what I want with the car.
What can be achieved from P9?
We’ll do the best that we can and see where we end up. Maybe it’s a little bit more tricky to overtake here than at some other places, but it’s a long race and if we have a good start we could have a strong result.
Japanese GP: Kimi Raikkonen plays down Grosjean qualifying deficit
Kimi Raikkonen insists he is happier at the Japanese Grand Prix than in recent races despite qualifying his Lotus down the field again.
Raikkonen has not qualified in the top six since the Hungarian GP in late July, and will start ninth at Suzuka.
His team-mate Romain Grosjean was fourth fastest in qualifying, but Raikkonen played down the single-lap disparity.
"There were a couple of small mistakes, and we lost a few places from that, but the car is pretty much normal," he said.
"I’m much happier than I was at the previous race even though the starting place is the same."
Despite his poor qualifying form, Raikkonen has charged through to the podium in the last two grands prix and is confident that will continue.
"We haven’t had very good qualifying lately, but we’ve still been up there in the races, so that’s what counts," he said.
"Obviously I would have like to qualify higher but last time it wasn’t a disaster."
Grosjean was thrilled to qualify as high as fourth, having suspected in practice that Lotus was off the pace.
"We worked hard last night trying to analyse what was right, what was wrong and what we could do to help that and the feeling was pretty clear," he said.
"The first lap this morning, the car felt very different and very competitive.
"I was very surprised on the hard [tyre] because yesterday we were something like two seconds off the pace and today we were one of the quickest."
Da SkyF1, FP3: