RESULTS: Japanese Grand Prix – Free practice results (2)
Kimi Raikkonen says he was continually battling to find acceptable balance with his Ferrari during Friday practice at Suzuka despite moving up to third fastest on the timesheet as the nearest challenger to the Mercedes pair.
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The Finn had complained of poor feeling and front-end feel in both practice sessions – claiming he 'felt there was no front wing' at one point – even though he set competitive lap times on his qualifying run.
After losing some time to Mercedes and Red Bull on longer runs on harder tyres Raikkonen is aiming to find solutions to the lack of balance in order to close the gap over a race distance but looks in good stead to challenge the Red Bulls in qualifying.
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Raikkonen will look to take advantage of Sebastian Vettel's enforced three-place grid penalty for his turn one clash at Sepang last weekend.
“I think the balance is not quite where I want it to be,” Raikkonen said. “It's pretty okay, but I suffered a lot in the first part of the circuit, so it just doesn't feel nice. It got better in the end, but it's still not where we want to be.
“It's just the balance. It's too much fighting with the car in the first part of the circuit and I was losing a lot of lap time in the first part of the circuit with understeer and not getting the power down that I want to.”
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