Kimi Raikkonen insists that being beaten to row two of the British Grand Prix grid is not a sign that Ferrari is slipping back through the F1 pecking order.

The Scuderia arrived at Silverstone hoping to at least be close to Mercedes, even if it could not beat the 2015 pacesetters, but instead found itself also being beaten back by Williams, which qualified both of its cars in the British GP top four for the first time since 2002.

Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa annexed third with his final run and fourth-placed Valtteri Bottas - tipped as a potential Raikkonen replacement should Ferrari decide to dispense with the veteran Finn over the winter - was also comfortably ahead of the Prancing Horses, but Raikkonen, who ended the session ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the first time without the German suffering problems, insisted that there was no reason to panic.

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"Obviously, we expected to be behind the Mercedes but, today, we ended up behind the Williams with a small difference between us and them," he acknowledged, "I don't see it as sliding back, but we maybe didn't get exactly what we wanted today. This kind of layout and in windy conditions, we know that it's not very good for us, but it's not like a disaster, it's just that we are not happy to be fifth and sixth. There is no point to start talking about sliding back - I'm sure we are improving, but maybe the times didn't show today.

"I think it's down to the conditions, circuit layout and which tyres are at which race. There wasn't the second difference in the last race, so you see how quickly things change. It wasn't an ideal day for us, but I don't expect this to be suddenly the true story. It's one of the places where we seem to have a bit of struggle [and] we are not being worried about this going on all year."

Raikkonen admitted that it had not been the smoothest of qualifying sessions, and reckoned he could have got more out of the afternoon, despite coming close to falling out in Q2 when his first flying lap was erased for exceeding track limits at Copse.

"I think we could have done it better in the way we ran the whole thing, but the main thing is that we went through in Q2 after we got a bit close," he said, insisting that he hadn't actually gained anything from the indiscretion, "It's been quite tricky to get the laps together and I think it's the windy conditions that seems to affect us quite a lot. One lap is fine and the next lap is a bit different, so it's hard to get it right.

"On the last two new tyres in Q3, if I could have managed to put the sectors together, we probably could have been third or something, but we did our best. Obviously it's a bit disappointing to be where we are, in fifth, and it doesn't make me any more happy [to be ahead of Vettel] when we are fifth and sixth. I don't care if he is in front of me when we are in this position. It makes a difference when we are going for P1 and P2, but it doesn't make me happy to be in front of him when we are in the position we are in. Maybe other people look differently, but for me it is just a number."