Kimi Raikkonen says the reason he managed to secure third on the grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is because his car has been handling “pretty well” all weekend.
Raikkonen easily progressed through Q1 and Q2 – unlike Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel
, who went out in the first part after wrongly assuming he had done enough.
Raikkonen was then fourth quickest after the first runs in Q3, 0.073s off Sergio Perez in third, before beating the Force India man second time out, and finishing with a 1m 41.051s lap, which left him 0.133s up, but a massive 0.814s off pole man, Nico Rosberg.
Asked what the secret was to getting onto the front row, Raikkonen replied: “It's not really a secret, obviously the car has been handling pretty well all weekend, but the laps haven't been ideal many times.
“Even in the first run it was okay but nothing like I needed, so I knew that there was quite a lot to improve and I was just trying to make a bit of a better lap.
“Obviously it was still some way away from what the Mercedes can do, but I just tried to do my best.”
“I have had good speed but many times [this year] I've had mistakes here and there and obviously that makes qualifying more difficult and hurts your end result,” he continued.
“But this weekend everything is running smoothly and obviously it's a better starting position for tomorrow, but we still need to make a good race out of it.”
Meanwhile, Raikkonen added that he is pretty confident with both tyres going into the race, despite not being especially happy with the super-soft in practice.
“In qualifying the super-soft was looking good and yesterday and this morning it wasn't ideal and I couldn't get a lap together with those, but then qualifying in was fine again.
“The conditions changed from day time to evening but all tyres seem to be working pretty well for me and we will [now have to] see what we are going to do and which tyres we are going to run in the race,” concluded the F1 2007 World Champion.