Kimi Raikkonen says he is confident he can fight his way back through the field during the Mexican Grand Prix despite technical issues hampering his mileage at the Mexican Grand Prix and necessitating a gearbox change.
The former champion's day began on the back foot when a fire in FP3 forced Ferrari to replace the damaged gearbox - thus earning him a five-place grid penalty - while he is also set to revert to his older-specification power unit for the race too.
With brake issues then arising in Q2 – causing him to spin – Raikkonen would end qualifying in 15th, which is set to become 18th when his, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button's penalties are taken into account.
Having never planned to get beyond Q2 anyway in order to give Ferrari more strategic options, Raikkonen is confident the Ferrari's pace will see him make progress through the order nonetheless.
“It was OK in first free practice, a bit more difficult in the second, but I think that, overall, we can see Seb did a good qualifying, so we should be more or less up there. Of course without having done any set-up work in the morning it doesn't help. Obviously it's not the ideal place to start but we'll do our best and I'm sure we can have a strong race.”
Saying the gearbox was replaced because it was damaged in an unrelated fire, Raikkonen admits reverting to the previous specification power unit is not ideal.
“There's always a small gain, even between a new and an old engine, but we'll see. We're at the back of the grid, so whatever we do it won't really change our starting position. We're free to do what we want, really.”