Kimi Raikkonen was left feeling positive following the opening day of practice ahead of this Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

Raikkonen was right on the pace this afternoon in the second dry session and finished proceedings third overall on a 1 minute 47.285 seconds, less than a tenth off the McLaren-Mercedes Lewis Hamilton.

Indeed despite being forced to stop late on with a hydraulic failure, the Finn was still very upbeat about his chances for this twelfth round in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship.

"I am pleased with the work we have done today and the overall feeling is a positive one," said Raikkonen. "The car seems to be quick, even though we know it's only Friday and therefore we cannot be entirely sure where we are compared to the others.

"We had a few technical problems, although they didn't have a significant effect on the way we got through our planned programme for the day."

Ferrari team boss, Stefano Domenicali meanwhile has predicted that Raikkonen should be a real contender and challenging for a place on the podium.

"The results of free practice always have to be looked at with a pinch of salt, as we don't know what programmes the other teams are running," Domenicali continued.

"For our part though, we can be satisfied with the performance of the F60, which showed itself to be competitive both in the dry and in the wet. Kimi was very quick and I think that he can be a major player this weekend.

"Furthermore, we have seen how very, very close it is, with nineteen drivers all within just over one second of one another: clearly, all you need is to have around ten litres of fuel more or less on board to change the look of the time sheet," he summed-up.


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