Raikkonen aims to solve qualifying issues

Kimi Raikkonen insists he must raise his game in qualifying if he is to have a realistic chance of winning the title this year

Raikkonen aims to solve qualifying issues

The world champion has not been on the top step of the podium in the last seven races and struggled to match the pace of Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa in Germany and Hungary.

Raikkonen started both races from sixth position.

And the Finn is aware that is it vital that he improve his qualifying form as soon as possible.

"I don't want to deny that the last races didn't go as I wanted," Raikkonen said. "Every time something strange happened and we didn't manage to find the best possible set up for the car. We tried to find a good compromise, but it didn't help. We've got to solve that problem now for the upcoming race at Valencia.

"The qualifying was the decisive moment also at Budapest, in a negative way. In my second try in Q3 I couldn't keep the car on the track: that was my fault.

"You can't pretend to win the title if you're always starting from the sixth position. You can even drive one second faster per lap than the one ahead of you, but if you start from behind you can't use the pace you've got.

"At the Hungaroring I was stuck behind Alonso, who had a really good car for the last sector, which was maybe the only point I could have tried to overtake. Again I had confirmed that it's impossible to overtake at Budapest.

Despite his disappointing weekend in Hungary, Raikkonen admitted he was happy to have reduced the gap to McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in the standings.

"The situation in the championship is not too bad: obviously one can always improve and this is exactly what we want to do," said Raikkonen.

"The Hungarian weekend was quite disappointing for me: the only positive thing is the result. Whenever you're able to narrow the gap to the leader it's very important. I gained more points than any other of my direct competitors, which is pretty positive as well before this short break."

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