Kimi Raikkonen says Mercedes' sizeable advantage over Ferrari ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix isn't necessarily a sign that the Italian team has slipped behind.

With Ferrari filling the second row behind Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, Raikkonen will start fourth having been demoted at the expense of the penalised Valtteri Bottas.

However, with the Finn more than a second adrift of the pole sitting Rosberg, much has been said about Ferrari's apparent struggle to stay on terms with the title-winning team at Interlagos this weekend.

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Despite this, Raikkonen plays down the margin and believes Ferrari is still well placed to challenge in the final two races.

"Every circuit is different, in some circuits the gap has been smaller, in others it's bigger," he said. "I don't know if they've done something, I haven't compared the data. It is what it is today and we'll try to fight as hard as we can in these last two races. Next year it's a different story."

Reflecting on why his lap times didn't improve through the sessions, Raikkonen is nonetheless pleased to be getting away from fourth.

"On my last lap I got sideways in Turn 11 and that cost me time. That also affected the last corner, but these things happen. We'll still start fourth so it doesn't change anything."