Kimi Raikkonen says he is impressed with the way Ferrari has maintained its forward momentum during the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship season, saying its performance at the Italian Grand Prix was better than he had expected.

Though the Finn endured a frustrating race day in Monza when he stalled from his first front row start since the 2013 Chinese Grand Prix before recovering to fifth, he was surprised to see himself and Sebastian Vettel within range of Mercedes at such a demanding circuit.

Indeed, 2007 champion Raikkonen is pleased to see Ferrari continuing to chip away at development on the car, saying it has been heading in the right direction all year with beneficial 'small steps'.

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"It's small steps and it's small steps in the right direction and obviously we would never use those things if we wouldn't think it would help us. I mean it's not a big, big, step but it's going the right way and definitely at this kind of circuit where it is mostly about speed and power, it seems to help us.

"It's disappointing in the end what happened in the race but I think overall we had pretty good speed all weekend. We have to be in a way, happy with what we have done because we were expecting it to be a bit more difficult, before we came here.

"We've been doing the right things all year, going and pushing the car in the right direction and improving things. It's another step towards that."