Kimi Raikkonen feels Ferrari’s drop in performance competing against Mercedes in the Formula 1 world title race is down to small but key issues which can be corrected this weekend at the United States Grand Prix.

Following the Japanese Grand Prix when both he and teammate Sebastian Vettel missed the podium, Raikkonen called on Ferrari to ‘tidy up things’ with its race weekend programme to maximise its strategy after its qualifying tyre calls in Q3’s mixed conditions saw both drivers lose out.

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With intermittent rain hitting the pole position shootout, both Ferrari cars went out on intermediate rain tyres while the rest of the top ten opted for the bolder, and correct, call of slick tyres.

The Finnish driver feels these issues strategy are only minor but the results are magnified when battling for the F1 world titles against Mercedes.

“I think we’ve not done as good as we wanted. I don’t think there are massive differences but there are small differences that need to be correct for us to achieve good results. Let’s see how it is here and obviously the weather will play a big part so we’ll see how it turns out.

“I think obviously it has not been the most easy few races but I think we will see how it goes from here and try to keep the car in one piece. The speed should be there it is just about putting in the right place and qualifying well.

Raikkonen also expects to be told by Ferrari to help teammate Vettel in his charge against Lewis Hamilton in the F1 drivers’ championship ‘as normal’ before he’s allowed to fairly compete for wins.

Hamilton leads the F1 drivers’ standings by 67 points from Vettel with a maximum of 100 points left to score over the final four rounds.

“We always try our best but obviously most of the times we know we will be helping the other car which is not ideal,” he said. “But it is part of the game.

“I don’t know about the situation or what will happen in the last races but it is always more exciting to be able to do what you want.”

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