Following an excellent performance in China, Kimi Raikkonen sees no reason why Ferrari cannot win this season F1 world title race. The Finn states that the Italian outfit will start to ‘regularly beat’ closest challenger Mercedes.
A mistake at the Shanghai International Circuit resulted in Raikkonen starting sixth, and although he passed Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa on lap one, he could do no more.
His team-mate, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel made his third successive podium and to stay Lewis Hamilton’s closest rival in the title fight, 13 points behind the Briton.
After the Chinese GP Ferrari in second position in the Constructors’ championship, 40 points behind Mercedes and 31 points ahead of Mercedes powered Williams.
When media asked following the Chinese GP, Ferrari can catch Mercedes this season. Raikkonen replied: “Yes. I don’t see a reason why not.
‘We have made big gains and we will continue to make big gains during this year. Obviously everybody will improve, so it depends what the rest are doing, but we are definitely going the right way and doing the right things.
‘It is about being patient. We need time, we cannot make miracles overnight. Sebastian showed we can win (in Malaysia last month), but it depends as one circuit may be better for one team and the next could be a different story.
‘We just need to be up there when something happens to them, or the conditions change, but I really feel on speed we will get there to regularly beat them.’
Raikkonen was made a mistake in qualifying which saw him start behind both Williams cars. On the opening lap of the race he did a great job, overtook both Williams, but remaining the big part of the race, he can’t lift his progress. Even as he admits needs to improve his qualifying performances.
‘After my mistake fourth was more or less maximum,’ added Raikkonen.I probably could have tried (to pass Vettel) at least, but there was a safety car at the end. It is what it is.
‘After what happened on Saturday we at least gained some positions and we had a pretty good car. But we are not happy. We have to make Saturdays more correct as it gives you bigger chances and an easier life in the race.
‘It doesn’t help when you put yourself in a more difficult position for the race, especially one where it is never easy to overtake.’