Kimi Raikkonen believes he can still deliver a Japanese Grand Prix result that will keep him in the championship hunt, despite a difficult opening day of practice.
The Lotus driver was unable to get confident enough with the team’s double-DRS, which has been ditched for this weekend, in first practice before losing time with a KERS failure in the afternoon.
Despite the setbacks, Raikkonen thinks that Lotus is in better shape than it has been in recent races, which gives him confidence he can close down championship leader Fernando Alonso.
“Hopefully we can score more points than Fernando,” said Raikkonen. “Even if we lose a place to Lewis [Hamilton] right now, it makes no difference.
“We just have to try and gain on the front and hopefully at the next race we will get more new parts and it should make a bigger difference. We should be okay.”
Although disappointed with the problems on Friday, Raikkonen said he was still looking on the bright side about the potential for the weekend.
“For sure it doesn’t help, so we have lost a lot of track time and it is not the easiest place to get the car right,” he explained.
“But if something is positive it happened today and not tomorrow morning. I think we ran closer to the front than we were at the last few races, so hopefully that is a good sign we can be a bit better.”
He added: “The car doesn’t feel too bad. We have to fix certain things, but it is not like there is something that is a complete disaster.”