Kimi Raikkonen said he was having some strange problems shifting both up and down through the gears during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.

While team-mate Fernando Alonso was able to qualify in fifth place behind the two Mercedes and Red Bull cars, Raikkonen failed to make it in to Q3 as he missed out on a place in the top ten by just 0.013s. Having also suffered a lack of running on Friday, Raikkonen said it has been a bad weekend so far and needs to get to the bottom of his gearbox problems.

"It's been a pretty painful couple of days," Raikkonen said. "This morning felt a bit better but it didn't turn out to be a very good day, but that's how it goes. Not really many issues, just some gearbox issues - well not issue but it was just upsetting things. It felt OK at some points but then I just lot quite a bit of time in the last sector on my last lap.

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"We had some more things going with downshifting upsetting the car and also the upshifting, so we have to see more closely what it is. We had some issues with it yesterday so it's obviously not the ideal day. I hoped for much better but that's how it goes.

"It's been a difficult start of the year but I'm sure we are going to get where we want to be. We had some good things happening in the last race weekend but it's just started badly. Hopefully we can turn it around for tomorrow and be a bit better."

However, asked by Crash.net if this year had been worse than expected when he returned to Ferrari, Raikkonen said he was unfazed by the tough start.

"No, I have had difficult years with other teams and with Ferrari. I think 2009 was even worse so it's not ideal but there's only one way that we can go and I'm sure that we can make things better, make me happier and get better results as a team."