28 September 2009
Raikkonen expects more struggles
While team boss Stefano Domenicali says that Ferrari will continue to fight hard to retain third in the F1 constructors' championship, Kimi Raikkonen had predicted that the Scuderia will again struggle when the field heads to Suzuka this weekend for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The end of development work on the F60, coupled with continued work from other teams, saw Ferrari struggle on the streets of Singapore, with Raikkonen unable to make it past Q2 and then only able to manage tenth in the race.
While the Finn admitted he couldn't have done more, he also accepted that the situation could be the same at Suzuka although he insisted he would continue to push as much as possible to take the team back into the points.
“I couldn't do any better,” he said. “The car was sliding everywhere and I had no grip. In the final part, with the softer tyres, the situation improved a bit, but by then it was too late. I closed up to Nakajima and, a few times, I tried to risk a passing move, but here it's really difficult to overtake unless the guy in front makes a mistake.
“I don't expect the situation to be much different next week in Suzuka: it is a very demanding track for the car, from an aerodynamic point of view and we are lacking in this area. Having said that, I will be trying my hardest.”
Team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella also struggled as he failed to make it out of Q1 and then trailed in 13th, with the Italian admitting it was tough to make predictions over how he will perform in Japan.
“The pace was not up to Ferrari's standard and we have to take that on board,” he said. “I was struggling to keep the car on track because of a lack of grip. At the end, on the softer tyre, the car's handling improved and I managed to do some good lap times.
“We brought my first pit stop forward to try and get me out of traffic, given that I was stuck behind Sutil, but then with the safety car the move didn't give the result we'd hoped for. Here, KERS was less of a factor than at Monza: at the start I managed to pass a car and then it was mainly useful to defend my position.
“Now we go to Suzuka, a real track: given how things have gone this year, with cars being strong in one race and weak the next, it's difficult to make any predictions.”
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