Kimi Raikkonen satisfied with P4 in qualifying

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Kimi Raikkonen is satisfied to have finished 4th in today’s qualifying session for the German Grand Prix, believing that Lotus have improved greatly since the last race at Silverstone where he could only finish P8. However, he does believe that 3rd place was there for the taking had he not been held up.

“I think we had a chance to be 3rd place but I had some traffic on the outlap on new tires and couldn’t really get the fronts working as we wanted,” Raikkonen said after qualifying. “We lost probably three-tenths to our fastest in the first sector.”

Raikkonen was pleased that the team has made a step forward, although he is not convinced that the gap to Red Bull and Mercedes has been cut.

“I think it’s much better than it’s been lately. Better than before, than the last couple of races but it’s not just so easy that now we should be more close to them than before because we are more further up. There’s every chance that something goes wrong, but it’s not too bad.”

The Finnish driver also confirmed that he did not run with Lotus’ new passive DRS device which was trialled at Silverstone.

“No. It’s not that kind of circuit that it’s really useful.”

Raikkonen has never won a grand prix at the Nurburgring despite twice qualifying on pole, although he was leading on the final lap in 2005 before a tire failure.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”