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Kimi Raikkonen sure Lotus learned tyre lessons from Chinese Grand Prix slump

Kimi Raikkonen says Lotus is ready to apply the valuable lessons it learned at the Chinese Grand Prix - where he tumbled down the order in the closing stages because of tyre degradation

The Finn had been running in second place towards the end phase of the Shanghai race, but his two-stop strategy backfired when he could not hold off the cars behind him. He eventually finished 14th.

But ahead of the Bahrain race, where he starts 11th after electing not to use up a set of fresh tyres to get him through to Q3, Raikkonen says he is optimistic Lotus will get things right this time out.

"We understand a little bit more," he said about tyre strategy. "We did a small mistake to stop too early, but it is not like we didn't know the risk - because we did.

"Maybe I could have gone a bit longer on the second set, but I didn't have a very good understanding of when the tyre was going to drop off a lot. Looking at the others some of them ran very long on the last set and that was interesting, so we took the chance and it happened."

Raikkonen remains open-minded about whether or not the Lotus tyre strategy will pay off, as a number of other teams also elected to keep fresh rubber rather than go all out for better grid positions.

"You want to be higher up, but sometimes you have to take the chance," he explained. "We didn't go through but we start 11th with a new set of tyres, so looking at Romain [Grosjean] in seventh there is not much difference with the new tyres. We will see after the race if it works out or not."

Raikkonen was unsure, however, about what was possible for him in the race - judging by his position on the grid and the performance of Lotus over the weekend.

"It is difficult to say from yesterday but we didn't destroy the tyres and really in the last race it is not that our car is worse than others, it is just that we ran too long with the tyres," he said.

"I will see how it works out but for sure this race is harder on tyres than any other race. I don't know, we will try and do the best that we can do.

"We don't know what happened to the others and how fast they are in the race, so you cannot just say that you are probably going to finish at this distance.

"In the past you knew what was going to happen in the normal race conditions, but now it is different so hopefully we will be okay."

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