Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari needs to stop squandering opportunities because of mistakes or poor reliability if it wants to challenge Mercedes and championship leader Nico Rosberg.
After errors in his final qualifying run denied him a chance of pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix, the Finn was a collateral damage in a turn one incident that involved Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat.
Prior to the Shanghai weekend, Raikkonen had to retire due to a broken turbo in Australia, while his German team-mate was sidelined on the formation lap in Bahrain with a mechanical issue.
“We just have to start making the most points that we can and not having issues in any race, to try and put ourselves in front of [Rosberg],” the 2007 world champion said.
“I think speed wise we were not too bad, even if I’m not 100 per cent happy. In qualifying there was the speed to be at least very close to him, without the mistakes, so I think at least here we seemed to be closer.
“But when you don’t have clean races and he’s getting them it’s difficult to beat [Mercedes].
“[Nico]’s won three races, it’s not ideal – ideal for him but not for the others – but he deserves it. We just have to do a better job now.”
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Despite these setbacks, Raikkonen remains confident about Ferrari’s race-winning potential and title prospects should the Scuderia manage to iron out the early kinks.
“The season is only three races old, so a lot of things can happen.
“There will be circuits where we’ll be stronger than here and some where they probably be stronger against us.
“The main idea is to improve the car, the whole package and I’m sure we can have very strong races this year and win races. We have to clean things up and if you keep having issues you don’t have much hope in the championship.”
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