Suzuka form suggests strong Ferrari – Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen expects Ferrari to be strong for the rest of the season based on its form at Suzuka, but is wary it hasn’t always maximised its potential.

Although not fully happy with his car during qualifying, Raikkonen secured third on the grid in Japan before a gearbox penalty ahead of the race saw him start from eighth place. Impressive race pace showed Ferrari was competitive in all aspects at Suzuka and Raikkonen says it should mean a strong showing in Austin too.

“It’s hard to say because every circuit is slightly different,” Raikkonen said when asked if Suzuka’s performance was track specific. “Suzuka is a very challenging circuit for cars and it’s one of the hardest to go fast. So if you purely take that you would expect to be strong  everywhere.

“Obviously that’s not been the case but we’ve been working every day on all the things, and it paid off a bit in the last race even if the end result wasn’t really highlighting the speed we had. We expect it to be the same here but who knows.

“Hopefully we are up there again fighting, it’s more fun for all of us and we want to achieve a good result every time. We will get a better idea tomorrow. We will give our best.”

And Raikkonen says maximising the results – regardless of the level of competitiveness – is one of the key areas Ferrari wants to improve.

“For us, we’ve had some issues and some things that have cost us the real result, but that’s how it is always in F1. Sometimes I make mistakes, sometimes something else happens. Last time we had an unfortunate issue with the gearbox and we had to make a choice to change it or have a chance to fail in the race.

“You try to balance everything out and unfortunately when we have had the issues it has struck us at a pretty bad time. One of the areas where we have to improve and fix those, we’ve done a big job on those from the beginning but it’s never ending that we have to make things stronger and better.

“It doesn’t help when you take a penalty, whatever the reason, we all take the hit. It’s far from ideal but we have to live with it and improve things.”

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