Kimi Raikkonen concedes Ferrari has "quite a bit of work to do on the reliability front", but is convinced the speed is there to challenge Mercedes.
The Scuderia has had a mixed start to the new season and while both Raikkonen and team-mate, Sebastian Vettel have claimed a podium, both have also suffered a DNF, with the latter having that mechanical issue on the formation lap in Bahrain, while the former had that fiery exit in Australia.
“Obviously it hasn't been ideal the first two races for us as a team, we had two podiums but two no scores, not finished and that is not what we want,” Raikkonen confirmed prior to this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. “Obviously there is quite a bit of work to be done on that side, but the speed is there - not exactly in qualifying, if you take the last qualifying in the last race, but until that it was pretty okay. I think we have a good package. We just have to improve it and make it even better.”
“The car is improving in all the areas - it is not just one thing that has improved over the winter, it is a brand new car again, the engine has improved and the car itself, it is team work that has brought us a better package,” he continued.
“Still not as good as we want to be, not the best that we want it to be, but it is definitely a good car and we go from there. We would prefer we have a better car, a faster car, and there were some things we were not happy with last year and we try to improve it. But there are always things to improve and do better.”
Meanwhile, focusing specifically on Shanghai, Raikkonen said he is not concerned about the prospect of rain on Saturday.
“I think we have had quite often here some rain, so it is not something new. We had it in Australia [too]. Obviously if it rains in qualifying and practice it changes the game a little bit, but I don't think the end result will be affected an awful lot.
“In one way it will be more exciting, more difficult [if it rains] but we will see how it pans out. If it rains hopefully it rains the proper way and not in the middle because then you will not see a lot of cars running.”