Kimi Raikkonen believes that his Ferrari team can once again prove a threat to Mercedes domination at Shanghai, following on from the Scuderia’s first win in almost two years at Sepang.
In the wake of his teammate Sebastian Vettel's unexpected Malaysian victory, Raikkonen offered an optimistic assessment of the team's chances of a similarly strong showing this weekend, arguing that the Ferrari SF15-T has "worked well every place we've been so far."
"Obviously we have to put together a clean weekend with no issues, but if that happens I'm sure we can be pretty competitive," said Raikkonen, who finished fourth behind both Mercedes drivers at Sepang after being knocked out in Q2 during a rain-affected qualifying session.
"China is a different place, but the car has been working well every place we've been so far, so I don't see why it should work well here.
"The track is similar to [pre-season test venue] Barcelona, and conditions are pretty similar.
"I don't expect any surprises – Mercedes will be very fast in qualifying, and then on race pace we will be closer."
"Still a lot of work to do"
The 2007 World Champion however added that Ferrari still has much to do in order to match Mercedes' level of performance, despite the progress made since the team's troubled 2014 campaign.
"We are not where we want to be exactly right now, but if you compare us to where we were last year, we can be more than happy with where we are for now," said Raikkonen.
"There's still a lot of work to do be completely happy, but that's why we're here. As long as keep working as we have done so far, we'll get there."