Kimi Raikkonen: Ferrari must 'clean things up' to beat Mercedes

Kimi Raikkonen believes the Ferrari Formula 1 team will only beat Mercedes when it can "clean things up"

Kimi Raikkonen: Ferrari must 'clean things up' to beat Mercedes

Though Mercedes has regularly insisted Ferrari is now its equal, all three grands prix of 2016 so far have been won by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.

Ferrari has had a single driver on the podium each time, but has been hampered by poor reliability and incidents such as the collision involving Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat at the start of the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend.

"Not having clean races isn't the way to beat them [Mercedes]," said Raikkonen.

"The main idea is to improve the car and the whole package.

"We have to clean things up as that won't help in the championship.

"It's not ideal for us - it is for him [Rosberg] and he deserves it.

"We just have to do a better job."

Rosberg has now stretched his championship lead to 36 points over Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton with Daniel Ricciardo a further three adrift.

Vettel is fourth overall, 42 points behind Rosberg, with Raikkonen another five points back in fifth.

Raikkonen is refusing to get downbeat and remains confident Ferrari can get its act together.

"It's only three races of the season, a lot can happen," he said.

"We just have to make the best points we can and not have any issues in the races and put ourselves in front of him.

"Speed-wise we are not too bad, we are not 100 per cent happy but we were close to him.

"At least in China we seemed to be close.

"I'm sure we can have very strong races this year and win races and fight with them [Mercedes]."

LEADING CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Nico Rosberg 75
2 Lewis Hamilton 39
3 Daniel Ricciardo 36
4 Sebastian Vettel 33
5 Kimi Raikkonen 28
6 Felipe Massa 22

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