Kimi Raikkonen says he is yet to extract the full potential of his Ferrari Formula 1 car despite ending Friday practice quickest ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Finn, who will leave Ferrari at the end of the season to return to the Sauber squad that launched his F1 career back in 2001, was fourth-quickest in opening practice behind the Red Bull duo and teammate Sebastian Vettel, before improving to top the times in FP2.

Raikkonen turned in a 1m38.699s to pip Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time by just 0.011s in a closely-fought session, though he conceded he lost “quite a bit of time” on his quickest Hypersoft run due to running wide over the kerbs.

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“The first session we check how it is and make some changes and it seems to work pretty ok,” Raikkonen explained. “For sure in the second session I could have driven a bit better, I went on the kerbs on the fastest lap so we lost quite a bit of time but overall it was pretty easy going.”

Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes all looked evenly-matched over both qualifying simulations and long-run pace, and Raikkonen is predicting a tight battle come Sunday.

“I think it will be close,” he said. “We just need to get things in order and fix a few areas but I think the tyres worked as expected and they seemed to be OK so we will see. The Hypers won’t last as long as the other tyres but this is what we know.”

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