McLaren-Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen has promised there is more to come tomorrow, after he posted the fifth fastest time today in the first qualifying session at Suzuka.

Raikkonen, who stands only a slim chance this weekend of taking the drivers' title - he will need to win, while Michael Schumacher will have to finish outside the points - put in a solid lap, only one tenth of his rival in the #1 Ferrari, and three tenths off the provisional pole.

"My lap today was OK, but there is still room for improvement especially in the first sector where I lost about four tenths of a second compared to the best sector time," said Kimi. "The gap to the competition is less than it normally is in Friday qualifying, so we should be in reasonable shape for tomorrow and Sunday.

"I'm pleased with how the car feels especially in the second and third sectors, and I like the new chicane. At the end of the day we are here to do our best and that is what we will continue to do."

David Coulthard meanwhile was fractionally quicker in the second MP4-17D, the Scot setting the fourth best time, on a 1 minute 30.482 seconds.

"I'm reasonably happy with that lap and believe there is still more to come as the car is performing well," noted DC, "I was a bit cautious going into the hairpin and slowed the car too much, but what you lose on entry you sometimes gain on traction. The track layout means that it's important to get the right flow and a small mistake can upset your rhythm quite easily, but everything went well today.

"The chicane is very difficult as you need to find the line and ride the kerbs, so I think the drivers who took part in this morning's free practice had an advantage. I look forward to tomorrow's second qualifying and Sunday's race."

Team boss, Ron Dennis summed up: "A good solid day's work by both drivers and the team as a whole. As always we are more focused on tomorrow's qualifying and the race than the somewhat less important task of qualifying today.

"Hopefully the weather will remain stable for the balance of the weekend."

 

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