Kimi Raikkonen says he hopes Ferrari will be able to “bug” the Red Bulls in Sunday's United States Grand Prix.
Raikkonen qualified fifth for the 18th round in the 2016 F1 World Championship, one spot in front of team-mate, Sebastian Vettel, and behind the Mercedes' and Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.
Raikkonen's best lap in Q3 was a 1m 36.131s, which left him 0.384secs off Verstappen and a place on the second row.
UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX – Qualifying results
Asked if Ferrari can challenge Red Bull in the race, he replied: “I hope we can bug them, but I don't know. It depends a lot on who's running soft tyres, one of them starts on a different tyre from us. How it will pan out, if we have the speed, normally we're a bit better in the race than in qualifying. Will that happen tomorrow? I hope so and [then] we can be up there fighting with them. We'll see that tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Raikkonen denied he had said he expected to be as competitive at the COTA as he had been at Suzuka.
“I never said I expected to be as quick as in Suzuka. Hoping is a different thing, but this is where we are. Unfortunately we are not like in Suzuka, but we've seen that before, it changes from circuit to circuit, but the car is behaving pretty OK,” he explained.
“There were no big issues but we just need more downforce, more power to go faster around the lap. It's not a particular thing, it's many things, but the balance of the car was OK, we weren't just fast around the lap.”
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Pressed on if it was to do with the tyres and an issue with the supersofts, he added: “No, the tyres have been working pretty OK today and, like I said, the car has been behaving well today. We're losing here and there, but it's just normal things. Like I said we just have to go faster around the lap, the tyres are behaving as we were expecting, the conditions are what they are, windy in a few places, but overall today it's been good, compared to yesterday, it's just the end result is not very good, not what we wanted, but it's the reality today. We try to work and do our best tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow it's a new day, hopefully in the race we will be fighting.”
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