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F1 Japanese GP: Upbeat Raikkonen impressed with Ferrari upturn

Kimi Raikkonen is left 'positively surprised' as Ferrari demonstrates an upturn in form that takes the Finn to third on the grid in Suzuka
RESULTS: Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying results

Kimi Raikkonen says he is 'positively surprised' to see Ferrari taking the fight to Mercedes in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix as he consolidated his free practice form to qualify third.

A strong day for Ferrari as both Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel got the better of both Red Bulls in qualifying for only the fourth time this season (prior to Vettel's penalty), the Finn was just three tenths shy of the top spot come the end of Q3.

Coming on a weekend that has seen Ferrari demonstrate an upturn in form around the challenging Suzuka circuit, Raikkonen admits he didn't expect the end result.

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“It's pretty much the same car we raced a week ago and I don't think many people had a lot of difference, but I was very positively surprised with how the car's been behaving and how quick it's been. Obviously it's been a bit tricky to get the right balance, but it's been pretty good. So far so good, obviously third is not exactly what we're looking for but I think we're very close and it was not too bad.”

With such a lap behind him, Raikkonen says that while he was happy with how the car was behaving he was left wanting more.

“You always feel you can get it perfect and go faster but it is not often you can say it is perfect. It has been pretty OK the last few races. We suffered a bit of understeer here and we are trying to get rid of it because it hurts a lot in the first sector like here with the fast corners.”

“In qualifying [we were] just too slow and missing out a little bit in the first sector but we got there in the end and ended up faster. So it's the very small details that have to come together and we more or less put them all together and it was quite good.”

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