Kimi Raikkonen says while he feels he could have done better in qualifying for the European Grand Prix, he is happy to take fifth after his struggles in practice.
Raikkonen was a lowly 13th in FP2 on Friday, and while he was P10 in final practice, he said the changes made on Saturday have left him pretty happy with his Ferrari, and in the end his top time in the top-ten shootout was only three tenths off Daniel Ricciardo and team-mate, Sebastian Vettel, who posted an identical 1m 43.966s lap, the former bagging third for Red Bull as he set it first. All gain a place, however, as Sergio Perez in second will serve a five-place drop for a gearbox change as a consequence of his shunt in FP3.
“I'm sure it could have been better but, after yesterday and this morning, if you said that we would get fifth place on the grid - fourth after Perez's penalty - we would have been OK with it,” Raikkonen remarked. “The things we managed to do with the set-up of the car were quite nice, but obviously what happened during qualifying made me have one used set at the start of Q3, the one from this morning when we had an issue, and then the new set for the end went away because of the red flag [when Lewis Hamilton crashed].
“So, with a lot of people trying to get a last lap after the red flag was over, there was traffic and my tyres were used, anyway. I'm sure it could have been better but this is how it ended.
“After a pretty tricky weekend, you take it, but for sure there was more to come. This is what it is and at least for tomorrow the car should be a bit better too.”
Asked if he will now be in for a bit of a defensive race, with Perez starting behind in P7 and Hamilton in P10, Raikkonen added he hopes that won't be the case.
“Lewis obviously has been fast all weekend, Perez was fast but had some issues, but I think our car should be pretty OK, so I don't think we will need to defend a lot, we will try to go forward,” he continued.
“How it's going to pan out? Who knows, but we expect to have a lot of things happening in the race. It's easy to run long, but you'll get lots of yellow flags, lots of Safety Cars or red flags, who knows? In many ways it will be a long and tricky race for a lot of people, so we need to make the right choices when they'll come and see what happens.”