Japanese GP: Kimi Raikkonen targets gaining points on Alonso
|By Jonathan Noble||Saturday, October 6th 2012, 15:30 GMT|
Kimi Raikkonen believes that Lotus can set its sights on moving forward in the Japanese Grand Prix after a spin in qualifying left him seventh on the grid.
The Finn bounced back from a troubled time in practice to challenge for a slot on the front two rows - but it all went wrong on his final run when he spun at Spoon Curve.
However, Raikkonen says the pace of the car should be good in the race – which is why he thinks he has a chance of edging forward and, more importantly, finishing ahead of championship leader Fernando Alonso.
"It was a shame that we couldn't finish where we should have been, but it was my mistake," he said. "That is the only positive coming out of qualifying! Hopefully tomorrow we can have a good race and go from there.
"I don't know what we can achieve – we have to see.
"But we should have the speed at least: and better speed than we had in qualifying so that hopefully will improve our race chances as well."
Raikkonen is upbeat that he and Lotus can limit the damage caused by title rival Red Bull's blistering pace in qualifying – before a big update in Korea produces a step forward for his team.
"We could have been up near Red Bull," he explained. "The Red Bulls were much faster than the others, but right now we try to gain points on Alonso and hopefully then in the next race we can get the maximum out of whatever package we have.
"We had some issues all weekend, so it wasn't easy, but we had good speed in qualifying and that put us fourth fastest. Unfortunately I spun off.
"But looking at how difficult it has been with all the problems, it has been okay. I would rather it be like this than be slow and eighth – so we had the speed at least."