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Kimi Raikkonen has echoed Sebastian Vettel's view that Mercedes' rapid qualifying pace for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix compared with Ferrari is not a true indicator of performance ahead of the race.

Having been closely matched with Ferrari in free practice, Mercedes stepped up its performance when it mattered in qualifying with Lewis Hamilton more than a second quicker than Kimi Raikkonen in third place, while championship leader Sebastian Vettel had to make do with fourth.

Despite this, both drivers are unconvinced by the alarming margin to the front, with Raikkonen saying trouble getting the tyres up to temperature on the one single lap available to them following a late flag speaks greater volume than like-for-like pace.

"I think the biggest issue is the tyres. You cannot really switch them off enough and if you get them working well it can make a massive lap time difference and you can actually push. And now you are on a bit of an edge if it works or not but that's the most difficult. The car is behaving well once we get the tyres working but it was not easy.

"I think today has been a bit trickier than yesterday and the last lap was better. If we could make the tyres work on one lap it could be a lot better but I think we got the maximum out of it with all the things. Tomorrow is another day, it's going to be a long race so who knows."

"I think the car feels good and in the race with more laps it's easier to make the tyres work and it should be OK."


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