Raikkonen: Race pace showed Ferrari's real potential

Kimi Raikkonen believes Ferrari's strong pace in the Australian Grand Prix race was a truer reflection of his team's potential than what happened in qualifying.

Ferrari bounced back from a disappointing Saturday – where Sebastian Vettel ended up 0.8 seconds off pole position – to get both its cars to the front of the field after the first corner.

And although a red flag and subsequent tyre strategies meant Mercedes recovered to take a 1-2 finish, Raikkonen is convinced that the threat shown by Ferrari in the race is real.

"I think it is more or less what we expected, but [on Saturday] people got all crazy because the qualifying lap time difference was quite big," he said.

"But it was odd circumstances and conditions. It [what Ferrari showed in the race] is more or less what we expected."

Final lap

Mercedes' advantage in qualifying was certainly helped by the fact the team elected to do a second run later in the session – when track conditions had improved.

Raikkonen said that also Ferrari's form on Saturday had not been helped by the cooler track conditions, which meant it was harder for his team to get heat in to its tyres.

"I don't think the time difference that you saw at the end of qualifying was true, and they did an extra run compared to us," said the Finn, who retired with a power unit problem. "And the conditions were pretty cold, so we struggled a bit with the warm-up.

"It was okay after testing, but Sunday seemed to be more normal with hotter conditions. Cars were running well, and okay, there was an issue that is not very good, but that is how it goes."

Bahrain potential

F1 heads to Bahrain next, where Raikkonen came close to winning last year.

When asked if he could do better this time around, he said: "I don't know. We go to another race, and obviously we have to work on certain things and improve and make sure we don't have issues.

"Speed wise it is a completely different circuit to here, with different conditions, but I don't see why suddenly it should change an awful lot. So let's wait and see what we should do."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Australian GP
Track Albert Park Circuit
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news