Kimi Raikkonen says that Ferrari has surprised itself with its strong form over recent races.
Although it was unable to beat Mercedes at the Japanese Grand Prix, the way the Italian team has kept up the pressure on Mercedes on tracks that were not ideal has lifted its spirits.
Raikkonen, who finished fourth in Japan, is well aware that more progress is needed on tracks where Pirelli brings the hardest tyre compounds, but thinks that performing so well at venues that are not ideal for it is encouraging.
“Obviously the tyres are the same for everybody, and we have to make that work for us,” explained the Finn.
“Obviously certain circuits are more tricky depending on the layout for our car right now and how it fits us, and we know when it is going to be a bit more tricky.
“But we have surprised ourselves. We expected Monza to be a bit more difficult for us and we were quite good there. Suzuka wasn't too bad, even if it is shouldn't be right now our favourite place.
“But it shows that we are doing the right things and improving things. We keep working on those things and we know where the weaknesses are, but there are limited things we can do at this time of the year.
“I am sure we keep improving little by little, and by next year we will be in better shape again.”
That Ferrari was able to beat Williams at a track that would have exposed its weaknesses earlier this year is viewed by Raikkonen as a massive boost to the team.
“Obviously it is not ideal to finish third and fourth, but we knew that this was not going to be the strongest place here,” he said.
“And looking at that point onwards, I think we must be happy. We were the second best team and we keep doing the progress and going in the right direction and doing the right things.”
He added: “There is still work to be done, but we are doing the right things, and going in the right direction. So little by little we keep progressing.
“I am sure some circuits will be a bit more difficult, and some a bit better, but it is part of trying to improve in all areas.”