Mistake costs Räikkönen grid places
12 October 2013 – Kimi Räikkönen was left to ponder what might have been after making a mistake during the final phase of qualifying for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
The Lotus driver overstepped the mark on his sole attempt in the shootout segment, leaving him ninth on the grid. And, with Fernando Alonso and Nico Hülkenberg just hundredths ahead of him, he reckons a stronger starting position was achievable.
"The car has felt much better here than it has in recent races; even if we don't have a better position on the grid for tomorrow," Räikkönen told the gathered media in the Suzuka paddock. "A small mistake on my quick lap cost me a little bit of time and it's very close here, so a small amount lost can mean quite a few positions dropped."
The former World Champion added, however, that he has reason to feel optimistic ahead of the race: "We'll have to see what happens, but the car has certainly been more to my liking this weekend so the position on the grid is not a drama."
Team-mate Romain Grosjean enjoyed a smoother session, guiding his car to fourth on the grid, alongside Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and directly behind the Red Bulls.
"The Red Bulls have looked very strong and we knew it would be tight with Lewis for P3, so I think we did a good job to take P4," explained Grosjean. "The car feels much better than it did yesterday. We've shown great progress through the weekend once again. It'll be interesting to see what we can do in the race. I'm feeling pretty good."