Raikkonen hopeful of qualifying gains

Autosport

Kimi Raikkonen is hopeful his Lotus team is now on the right path to get the most out of its car in qualifying.

The team has been among the strongest in terms of race pace, but lowly qualifying positions have meant its chances of fighting for an elusive victory have been compromised.

Raikkonen however feels Lotus has been making progress in recent races, and that front row positions have therefore been possible.

"I think we have had a chance in a few races but I haven't got the best out of it, and maybe I have made some mistakes," Raikkonen said when asked if it was possible to qualify on the front row.

"But in the last race we did pretty well as a team in qualifying and hopefully we felt a bit more comfortable to go in qualifying than ever before, especially at least me.

"Hopefully we have started to find the right direction to find those small details where we can be even more comfortable here and in the next few races."

Raikkonen reiterated his frustration at not having managed to win a race so far this year, but says he is not getting downbeat about it.

"We try and it is disappointing if you get second and you want to win, but it is not the end of life. We try again and we keep trying all the time. I don't get sad about it, but I am not happy because I would rather win than be second. But it is not going to destroy my life.

"I have done it before, so it is not something that I didn't achieve. We all want to win, and it will give us more points and make us better in the championships. It is not the happiest place to be second, but we still take it when it happens."

The Finn is sixth in the standings with 73 points, only 38 behind leader Fernando Alonso, but he says he is not thinking of the championship.

"I would rather treat it race by race and do as well as we can," he said. "There is still an awful long way to go and we see closer to the end of the season where we are. We are still not in the best possible position but we are not too bad.

"We just need to keep doing what we are doing, and try and avoid the bad races and hopefully we can keep ourselves there until the end of the season for it to be a possibility."

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