The Finn was third and fourth fastest respectively across both Friday sessions, but he asked his team to check his SF16-H during FP2 after reporting over the radio that “something is not correct”.
Raikkonen eventually managed to finish within 0.3s of his team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the afternoon, something he was not expecting in the light of his struggles.
“It was quite a messy day from our side,” the 2007 world champion said. “We did not have a very smooth running and the feeling was not very good all day so I’m surprised the lap times is not too bad compared to how the feeling is.
“I’m sure we’re going to improve for Saturday but it was far from an ideal day.”
Raikkonen has also downplayed talks of Ferrari holding a slight advantage under high temperatures, after Vettel tasted victory at Sepang in scorching conditions last year.
“Honestly, I don’t know if that’s still going to make a big difference,” the 36-year-old added. “It’s better for us if it is a bit hot but I don’t see it as changing the whole picture.”