Kimi Raikkonen says he is hopes Ferrari will be fighting at the front this weekend in Malaysia, but admits it is hard to predict.
Raikkonen had a strong race in Singapore two weeks ago and was battling with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton for the final podium place, before a strategic error by the Scuderia dropped him to fourth.
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Quizzed on if he expects to be a contender again this weekend in Sepang, the Finn replied: “It's very hard to say. The tyres, the surface are new, but does it change something? It's hard to know. We will find out over the weekend.
“We've seen so many different races this year, some with the teams so close to each other, others with a different order or one team way in front, so things do change a lot. There's really no point in trying to guess where we are.
“We do our program tomorrow, we get some ideas, we see how the conditions are and go from there. Hopefully we're up there, at the front, fighting at the front. I don't have any idea where we're going to be but it's been a bit better lately, so hopefully that will be the case here too.”
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Pressed on what result will make him happy this Sunday, he added: “Obviously we want to win but if that's possible I have no idea. Hopefully [as I said] we can be up there and give ourselves a good chance to fight at the front. [But] what the end result will be it's hard to say but hopefully we'll find out we're in a strong position.
“We had some races where we were surprised how close we were to the leaders and if we can be up there, at least mixing it up, it would be good. If we can be stronger that's fine, we'll take it but it's very hard to predict.
“If you take just pure speed in recent races, we've been a little bit behind but in race conditions we're usually a bit stronger. If we can do a weekend with a little bit stronger form and no mistakes, I think we can be up there. Then we'll see what the end result will be. We can just do our best.”
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Meanwhile, Raikkonen played down the strategic gaff that cost him third last time out in the 'Lion City'.
“We all do our best and unfortunately sometimes I make mistakes, sometimes it happens on the team side. We've always said we work as a team and whatever the issues are, we have to learn from them and try to avoid them in them future. It's as painful for me as it's painful for them, whatever happens,” he noted.
“Would I have stayed ahead of Lewis without the stop? Afterwards it's always easy to say it, but I guess if we would have stayed out they would have caught us before the end of the race. If they would have passed us, that's a different mater but if they did, then it wouldn't change the final result. But it's impossible to say, because so many things could have changed.
“We were obviously not planning to fall behind them and we could have done things better in many areas but that's part of learning. It's not ideal but sometimes it goes like that.”
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