Kimi Raikkonen has called on Ferrari to “tidy up” and produce a trouble-free race weekend at the United States Grand Prix, as he still holds faith in the team’s outright pace to challenge Mercedes.

Following Ferrari’s recent dip, the Japanese Grand Prix became a frustrating event for the Finn following a first-lap collision with Max Verstappen in which he picked up damage, eventually dropping him to fifth place at the chequered flag.

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With teammate Sebastian Vettel finishing behind him in sixth, after his own collision with Verstappen, Ferrari look on the brink of missing out on the F1 world titles once again to Mercedes after a difficult few rounds.

While on-track clashes triggered the Ferrari's problems at Suzuka, ongoing issues have surfaced at the team regarding strategy and procedural work leading to both Raikkonen and Vettel fenting frustrations over team radio.

Raikkonen, who turns 39 today, still holds faith in Ferrari’s outright performance with the SF71H and feels team strategy across an entire race weekend has started to let down the Italian squad.

“Obviously we need to go through things, it was a difficult weekend overall [in Japan],” Raikkonen said. “We got things improved during the weekend, it was getting better and better but if you look purely at the result it was far from what we wanted.

“That’s how it goes sometimes. At the next race hopefully we’ll put the things where we are happier with and we’ll be up there. We need to tidy up things and hopefully get a cleaner weekend next time around.”

During Ferrari’s wretched run of results over the past four races Raikkonen has slipped to fourth in the drivers’ standings behind Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, while Lewis Hamilton can secure the F1 drivers’ world title at the United States Grand Prix if he outscores Vettel by eight points.

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