Raikkonen expects Ferrari to struggle in Japan

Kimi Raikkonen reckons that Ferrari will continue to struggle next weekend in Suzuka, after a disappointing day for the Scuderia around the streets of Singapore.

The Finn could only manage tenth position in the race and later complained of a lack of grip.

Raikkonen’s team-mate, Giancarlo Fisichella was also plagued by tyre-grip issues and could manage thirteenth.

Kimi Raikkonen (10th): “I couldn t do any better. The car was sliding everywhere and I had no grip. In the final part, with the softer tyres, the situation improved a bit, but by then it was too late. I closed up to Nakajima and, a few times, I tried to risk a passing move, but here it s really difficult to overtake unless the guy in front makes a mistake. I don t expect the situation to be much different next week in Suzuka: it is a very demanding track for the car, from an aerodynamic point of view and we are lacking in this area. Having said that, I will be trying my hardest.”

Giancarlo Fisichella (13th): “It was a very tough race, both physically and mentally. The pace was not up to Ferrari s standard and we have to take that on board. I was struggling to keep the car on track because of a lack of grip. At the end, on the softer tyre, the car s handling improved and I managed to do some good lap times. We brought my first pit stop forward to try and get me out of traffic, given that I was stuck behind Sutil, but then with the safety car the move didn t give the result we d hoped for. Here, KERS was less of a factor than at Monza: at the start I managed to pass a car and then it was mainly useful to defend my position. Now we go to Suzuka, a real track: given how things have gone this year, with cars being strong in one race and weak the next, it s difficult to make any predictions.”

Stefano Domenicali: “Honestly, I don t think we could have done much better. When you start this far back on a track like this, it s difficult to climb up the order. Kimi and Giancarlo did their best, trying to exploit what their cars had to offer. We have to accept the fact that many other teams have made yet another step forward in terms of performance, which makes our technical situation even more difficult, given that development on the F60 stopped a while ago now. When we took that decision, we knew we would pay for it more and more as the end of the season approached, but let s be clear on one thing, we are not giving up: there are still three races to go and we will tackle them with maximum effort because we want to do all we can to finish third in the Constructors classification. In a strange season like this one, anything can happen. Again today, for example, we saw teams that used to be a long way back, now at the front end, while others did the opposite.”

Chris Dyer: “It was a very difficult race, for both Kimi and Giancarlo. Contrary to what has happened in recent races, we were unable to make the most of the start, which has been one of our strong points this year. We were already a long way back on the grid and so our situation was immediately more complicated, especially as overtaking is virtually impossible here. Today, several cars failed to finish, or were struggling with brake problems, but we were not able to exploit that to make it at least into the points. As for the tyre performance, the softer compound, in the final part of the race proved to be better than expected in terms of consistency, but it was not clear enough to decide to use it as from the second stint, which was the longest one. It s easy to say things after the event, but I do really think we made the right choice.”