Kimi Raikkonen admits that he still does not know how his Chinese Grand Prix
will play out, despite putting the #7 Lotus on the front row.
The Finn opted to use the soft Pirelli tyre to set his time, and will have to start the 56-lap race on the same set of rubber, having revealed earlier in the weekend that the car felt happier in that set-up. However, with degradation unusually high on the option tyre, Lotus is likely to spend more time running the medium 'prime' tyre, and Raikkonen concedes that he remains unsure of how the car will react.
“I don't know really - we only used the soft once in qualifying and the car wasn't the same this morning as it is now, so it's a bit of a question mark,” he confirmed, “We have to play around a bit with the car. I think it went pretty okay yesterday, so we should be okay [in the race]. I don't know if it's good enough to fight for a win but at least we put ourselves in a pretty okay position.”
Having won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix
by making fewer stops than his rivals – and also completing the Malaysian race in similar fashion – Raikkonen knows that the Lotus is kind on its tyres, and insisted that the team would not have done anything rash in qualifying.
“Obviously, we believe that our choice is the best, that's why we do it,” he stressed, “If we would have thought that starting with primes and qualifying with the primes would have been the better choice, we probably would have done it.
“For sure, we had some issues with the front tyres yesterday, but that should be pretty easy to change. Every day seems to be a bit different, so I don't know if it's going to be okay or not. Usually, we've been pretty okay, apart from the last race, when we had some issues. Hopefully, it turns out to be good tomorrow, but I think it will be very close and whoever gets things exactly right might make enough of a difference to win.”