• Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying

Car was quick enough for fourth - Raikkonen

ESPN Staff
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Kimi Raikkonen: "I think we were fourth fastest but unfortunately I spun off" © Sutton Images
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Kimi Raikkonen believes he could have qualified fourth had he not spun off during Q3 at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Raikkonen was eighth fastest but will start from seventh on the grid once Jenson Button's grid penalty is taken into account. The Lotus driver was struggling for pace during practice, but said the car was much quicker by the time he reached the final stage of qualifying.

"We had some issues the whole weekend so it wasn't easy, but we had the speed in qualifying and I think we were fourth fastest but unfortunately I spun off," he said. "Looking at how difficult it has been with all the problems, it's been okay. I would rather it was like this than I'd been eighth because I was slow. So we had the speed at least.

"I was on a time that would have been a 1:31.5, which would have been enough for fourth place. Third would have been more difficult. It makes no difference now but at least we had the speed with all the problems."

He is hoping that one-lap pace transfers into race pace on Sunday.

"It's a bit of a shame we couldn't finish [qualifying] where we should, but it's my f*** up," he added. "Hopefully tomorrow we can have a good race and we'll see from there. We should have better speed than from where we qualified so hopefully that helps our race."

And Raikkonen confirmed he will not start the race on the set of tyres that he spun on after damaging them in the incident.

"We would have started the race with those but now we are starting the race with the others. Not a major issue."

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