Kimi Raikkonen insisted he wasn't surprised to not make it to the final stage of qualifying in Abu Dhabi after admitting that eleventh on the grid at Yas Marina was the best he could have hoped for.
Ferrari headed to the circuit insisting it remains in the fight for third with McLaren in the constructors' championship but playing down expectations due to the lack of development carried out on the F60 in recent months.
It therefore came as little surprise to see Raikkonen fall in the second stage of qualifying but the Finn – in his final race for the Scuderia
- said he felt the car should be stronger in the race and that eleventh wasn't the worst place for him to start.
“Today we got the most out of the car, but we did not have the necessary performance to make it into Q3,” he said. “Already yesterday, we realised that it would be tough, so this result is definitely not a surprise. Tomorrow, we will try to do our best, but it's certainly not going to be an easy race, even though we should definitely be more competitive in the race than in qualifying.
“What I can say is that eleventh place is better than tenth, given that I will start from the clean side of the track and can choose the ideal fuel load. It will be hard to get third in the Constructors', because the McLaren is very competitive. We will have to try and get some points and hope for a bit of luck.”
Team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella continued to struggle in the second car and will start from plum last on the grid after qualifying 20th and he again admitted to being frustrated with the way his switch from Force India has panned out.
“We knew it would be tough, but I don't think we could have expected much more,” he said. “In the first and second sectors I was reasonably competitive, but in the final one I had a lot of understeer. Tomorrow will be hard, but I know I can manage a strong pace: we will do our best to get a good result.
“I am disappointed not to have been able to do better in these races with Ferrari as it would be nice to reward the team that has had trust in me, by bringing them some points. It has not been easy adapting my driving style to a car that is particularly difficult to drive and at a time when, more and more, it felt the effects of the ending of its development programme.”