Kimi Raikkonen was disappointed following qualifying for the F1 2012 Chinese Grand Prix today, even though he set the fifth fastest time.
Raikkonen, who will actually start from the second row of the grid in fourth, benefiting from the gearbox penalty that has been handed to Lewis Hamilton, felt the speed of his Lotus E20 just wasn't 'where it should have been' and he finished Q3 over eight tenths off pole position.
The Finn also revealed that the updates the team have brought to Shanghai haven't work as they had hoped and as a result the squad has reverted 'almost entirely' to the Malaysia car specification.
“The grid position is okay but when you look at the times, I'm disappointed with the pace of the car today,” Raikkonen confirmed. “We've gained a position after Lewis's penalty but the speed wasn't where it should have been, especially when you look at the pole time.
“We've tried some updates this weekend, but they haven't worked as we wanted so we've gone back to how the car was before. We go into the race less confident in the car than in the last two races, but knowing that we start from a higher position on the grid. Let's see what we can do tomorrow, we'll try to do the best we can and hopefully we can be higher up than we are on the grid, and that means a podium.”
Team-mate Romain Grosjean meanwhile also made it through to the shootout, however, he did not set a time, as unlike the other nine runners in Q3, he didn't have a new set of soft tyres left. He will start in P10.
“I have mixed feelings after today's session. After struggling a bit yesterday it's great to have both cars in Q3, but unfortunately after a terrible first run in Q2 we were forced to use up all our new sets of soft tyres before the final session. This meant there was no point trying to set a competitive time in the pole position shoot out which is a real shame, as our pace in Q2 was good,” Grosjean commented.
“I feel much more comfortable with the car and I think that shows in the lap times today. The team did a great job to turn things around and get us back towards the top where we should be. I still have some fine tuning to do but 56 laps in tomorrow's race will certainly help that!”