Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen would have no doubt preferred to be on the front row of the grid for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya, but he was realistic when describing fourth on the grid as they best that he could wring out of the car in qualifying.

"That was more or less all we could do today. I didn't make any mistakes on my fastest lap, so that was pretty much all there was to come from the car," said Raikkonen after the session ended. "I wouldn't say it was a perfect lap, but I don't think we would have been much higher up the order if it had been."

"We're pretty happy with today's performance," agreed Alan Permane, the team's trackside operations director. "P4 and P6 starting positions are pretty decent for us when you consider the race pace and tyre management we've been able to show so far this season. There's certainly the potential to have a very good race."

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Certainly Raikkonen was eyeing up the possibility of improving at least one position over the course of tomorrow's race.

"The Mercedes, as we've seen before, seems to be pretty fast in qualifying but hopefully in the race we can turn it around," he said, alluding to the problems that the Mercedes team have tended to have with tyre degradation on race day.

"Our race pace has been pretty good all year so let's try and get on the podium," Raikkonen added. "I'll have to make a good start, then let's see what happens."

Raikkonen's team mate Romain Grosjean was disappointed not to finish better than seventh place in qualifying, even though a blocking penalty for Felipe Massa handed the Frenchman an extra spot on the Barcelona starting grid and means he will start on the third row immediately behind Raikkonen.

"On my last lap I made a mistake into turn one, so I decided to back off and save the tyres," Grosjean explained. "Otherwise, I think we could have done a bit better and maybe sit one or two rows further towards the front.

"Unfortunately Romain had a lock-up on his last lap, otherwise he would have been right on Kimi's pace," agreed Permane. "But to have the slower of our two cars starting from P6 certainly isn't a cause for concern!"

"I was happy with the car and all the work we've done since Friday," Grosjean added, looking on the bright side. "For tomorrow, we will see what happens as the competition is very tight. As we have seen, conditions are variable this weekend and once more the tyres should be key."