Raikkonen happy with fourth in light of Mercedes’ pace

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Kimi Raikkonen was satisfied with fourth place in today’s Chinese Grand Prix, believing that following home the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in first and second place was the best that Ferrari could manage this weekend.

Raikkonen started the race in sixth, but made a good start to pass both of the Williams drivers on the first lap and rise up into fourth place.

The Finn could not catch Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel in third place, as his late charge was ended by a safety car period with three laps remaining in the race. However, Raikkonen was still pleased with the result.

“Considering that my position on the starting grid today was not ideal, fourth place is a good result,” Raikkonen said. “The car was quite good today; the first set of tires was a bit tricky, but I think it was the same for everybody, and then the next two sets were okay.

“Towards the end of the race I was catching up, I knew I had the speed and I thought I still had good tires. I could still have had a chance to try and fight for podium but the safety car came in and we know we cannot change that.”

Raikkonen called on Ferrari to continue its development of the SF15-T car and try to cut the gap to Mercedes at the front, and believes that it is simply a matter of time before he is back fighting at the very front of the field.

“Today we got close to the podium,” Raikkonen said. “From the next race on we have to have a better weekend, doing everything right in qualifying, and we’ll do our best.

“As a team we scored the maximum today. We know we are behind Mercedes, but we have to be happy with the result.

“From tomorrow on we have to make another step to be able to challenge them every weekend; we’ll keep working hard as we have done since last year. We trust the way the team is working: now we have to be patient.”