Kimi Raikkonen says he heads in to the Japanese Grand Prix in confident mood after finding a way of getting his Ferrari to his liking in qualifying trim.

The 2007 world champion's second spell at Ferrari has been a tough one, with team-mate Fernando Alonso comprehensively outperforming him so far as Raikkonen struggles with the handing of the F14 T. However, having been in contention for pole position during qualifying in Singapore, Raikkonen says the progress has been a long time in coming.

"In Singapore, we finally had the speed to put together a quick single flying lap in qualifying, as the car behaved the way I'd been hoping for," Raikkonen said. "It was just a shame we could not maximise the performance of the car because of a minor issue before the last flying lap.

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"It meant we could not do much in the race, as I was stuck in traffic and couldn't exploit my pace. But for me, the positive thing that weekend was I finally had a good feeling from the car, something I had been waiting for a long time this year."

And Raikkonen says Suzuka is one of his favourite circuits, referencing his win on the last lap from 17th on the grid in 2005 as one of his greatest.

"It's a high power circuit, but also technically very challenging. So we are looking forward to see how our car goes there compared to the front running teams. I like Suzuka a lot. It's an old-school type of racing circuit, the sort that always gives me the best feeling. I'd have to say my favourite is Spa-Francorchamps, but Suzuka comes very near in my ranking.

"Apart from my first ever time in Japan and Suzuka, when I was driving for Sauber and had to retire after crashing with [Jean] Alesi, I have finished every single race in Japan and I have got some really good results, as well. Winning the 2005 race was one of my best ever drives."