Kimi Raikkonen says there is a chance Mercedes' superiority over a single lap won't necessarily mean it dominates the Russian Grand Prix following a weekend of disruptions that have created an unpredictable outlook.

The Finn starts fifth just behind his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with both complaining at being unable to get the best from the Pirelli tyres during the qualifying session.

Despite this, Raikkonen is more positive about the car's set-up for race conditions and is hopeful Ferrari will prove a better match for Mercedes over a longer distance as a result.

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"The biggest [issue] was it was hard to get the tyres working. I'm sure when the tyres work exactly as we want, then the lap times are a lot different. It's not always easy to make it work, especially with the limited running, there is not much knowledge to know what to do.

"Obviously in the race, it's much easier because we do many laps, it's a different story. But for one lap, if you get the tyres working, you can make a big difference in the lap time. It was not ideal but it was not too bad.

"I don't know [if we can challenge Mercedes]. On one lap they are fast but in the race it might be different. We can only do our best and hopefully be up there fighting. It's a little bit unknown for everybody, so we'll try to do the right things and see where we end up."