Kimi Raikkonen had an encouraging Friday in Suzuka – despite ending Free Practice Two beached in a gravel trap after a high-speed spin at the Dunlop Curve.
Raikkonen, who crashed on Friday in Korea, had already set the time that secured him fourth place in the session, some 0.350s off pacesetter Sebastian Vettel.
“It’s been better, or more my liking here, at least today, than it’s been the last few races,” he said. “Especially in one lap, so that’s a good thing. Obviously, tomorrow is a new day and it might be a completely different story. But not too bad.”
“The harder tires seem to be quite tricky anyhow, and it didn’t feel so nice, but the lap time wasn’t so bad on the first lap. I think we’ll be OK.”
Regarding his off, he said: “I just spun, it happens sometimes. Obviously, it was quite windy today, so it didn’t help. It’s been a bit tricky the whole day. I just pushed a bit too much and spun. There’s no damage or anything, so we just didn’t do as many laps as we wanted, so it’s not a big deal. We didn’t do the long runs, but I don’t think it’s going to change a lot.
“Usually we like to get the car as good as we can anyhow for overall one lap, and when we get there, we run it like it is for the race, anyhow. I think if we get the car running well tomorrow, we should be OK.”
Asked by SPEED Blog if he felt he had a good package for the race, he said: “We’ll see on Sunday. I’ve no real interest in starting to guess what will happen. We’ll have to try to do the best that we can and see where we end up.
“It’s a tricky circuit, and if the car’s not right, plus the overtaking, for sure, is more tricky here than some other places, it depends a lot on the weather and wind and all kinds of things.”