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F1 Brazilian GP: ‘Pretty average lap’ sees Raikkonen to third

Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari is still struggling for grip during the tight and twisty middle sector at Interlagos despite taking third on the grid.
Results: Brazilian GP - Qualifying

Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari is still struggling for grip during the tight and twisty middle sector at Interlagos which gave him an underwhelming qualifying lap despite taking third on the grid.

The Finnish driver had been unable to match Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel and both Red Bull drivers during the first two phases of qualifying plus the first flying laps in Q3 but pulled out significant gains on his last lap to jump up to third behind the Mercedes pair.

Despite this significant step-up, Raikkonen was unmoved by the gains by calling his lap 'pretty average' as he was consistently hampered by downforce and grip problems in the tight middle sector.

“I struggled in a few corners in the middle sector throughout qualifying. To be honest, my last lap was pretty average in my view, but it was enough to be in third place,” Raikkonen said. “Mercedes seems to be a bit too far but I struggled a bit with the tyres in the first two corners and then struggle a bit in the middle sector, I was not very happy but in the end it was okay.

“I think we're lacking a bit of downforce for the middle sector, compared to the guys in front of us. The car has been handling pretty good today, but I've been struggling with front lock in the tight corners, to try and get the car to turn, so it has been a bit of guessing if it turns or not.

"It was not ideal, it was quick enough for third place but even with a perfect lap we wouldn't be fast enough to beat the Mercedes anyway.”

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Raikkonen, who ended qualifying over half a second off of the Mercedes pair on the front row, will be targeting Ferrari's first rostrum result since the Italian Grand Prix and his own first top three since Austria in June.

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by Haydn Cobb



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