Raikkonen did not expect P3 after ‘difficult day’

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Kimi Raikkonen admits he was “surprised” to qualify third for the Singapore Grand Prix, after the Ferrari driver suffered a “difficult” Saturday at Marina Bay Circuit.

The Finn posted the second fastest time in FP3, albeit nearly half a second adrift of Sebastian Vettel, and saw the gap to his team-mate increase to almost eight tenths in the late evening.

“Obviously this is quite a good result for the team today,” said Raikkonen.

“I was not really happy since this morning for different reasons. We had some difficulties so I'm a bit surprised to be in this position after how the car felt today.”

“For whatever reason it’s been a difficult day, just lacking in grip and struggling a bit on braking and turn-in, so not in an ideal position but in the end the result is OK for how difficult it’s been today.

“Now, we have to try to do a good job tomorrow and hopefully get the two cars on the podium.”

This is Raikkonen’s second consecutive top-three appearance in qualifying after the 35-year-old lined up P2 on the grid at Monza. The 2007 world champion had a dreadful getaway two weeks ago, dropping down to last by the time he reached the first corner.

Asked whether he felt any extra pressure ahead of Sunday’s start, the unflappable Raikkonen replied: “If it makes a difference we don’t know. There is no pressure from what happened. It doesn’t change for tomorrow.”

Prior to the Singapore event, the 35-year-old had already told reporters that he did not feel any need to alter his start procedure after his Italian Grand Prix misfortune.

AS IT HAPPENED: Singapore Grand Prix qualifying

Click here for some of the most memorable crashes at Singapore

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