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.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”