Kimi Raikkonen concedes he could have pushed harder when it mattered in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, even if he was content to end up on the second row of the grid for the first time in almost two years.

With qualifying identified as an area of improvement following mistakes in Australia, Malaysia and China, though Raikkonen couldn't join Sebastian Vettel in getting amongst the Mercedes in Bahrain, fourth place remains his best Saturday result since the 2013 German Grand Prix when he drove for Lotus.

Indeed, having had the measure of Vettel for much of the weekend, Raikkonen admits he underestimated the amount of grip available on the soft tyres when it mattered.

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"There was more grip than I expected," he said. "Afterwards it is easy to say I could have pushed a bit harder in certain places but I'm not sure. The car was OK and the lap wasn't too bad. I maybe ran a bit wide in one corner but wouldn't have cost a lot of lap time. I think I could have pushed more in certain places."

Looking ahead to the race and the prediction that Ferrari could prove a match for Mercedes over longer runs, Raikkonen was not giving too much away from his perspective.

"We will find out tomorrow," he said. ?It depends a lot on what happens in the first laps, but at least we are a bit further up, so hopefully we can make a good start and go from there."