Kimi Raikkonen thinks his limited FP3 running affected his performance in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, with the Finn setting the fifth fastest time nearly three tenths behind Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
The 2007 world champion only completed 12 laps this morning after a water leak materialised on his SF15-T in the third free practice session.
Having already lost valuable track time in FP2 due to a bizarre front wing incident, Raikkonen reckons the latest issue further troubled his preparations and allowed Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo to split the two Ferraris.
“It’s not ideal today, because we missed the morning soft tyre run with the issue,” said the 35-year-old. “I didn’t really know how grip was.
“It was a bit of an unknown for qualifying, but we keep improving. It still wasn’t ideal in the end, but it wasn’t too bad. Obviously you always want to be higher up.
“There were a few issues here and there with small things and obviously it cost a bit of time.”
Despite this minor setback, Raikkonen echoes Vettel’s sentiment about Ferrari having the potential to remain Mercedes’ closest rivals this weekend.
“We are third and fifth, but it sounds like you think it’s a disaster. We will try to do our best. Obviously Mercedes will be strong, but we will try to be second best after that if we cannot challenge them.
“It will be a long race and we have to see how it pans out, but we will keep pushing and see where we are.
“At least we are not on the inside [dirty line] and hopefully we will make a good start and take it from there in the race.”
A seven-time podium finisher at Budapest. Raikkonen’s sole Hungarian Grand Prix win came 10 years ago when the Finn was still driving for McLaren-Mercedes.