• Korean Grand Prix - Qualifying

Qualifying struggles related to Pirelli changes - Raikkonen

ESPN Staff
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Kimi Raikkonen: "We've got to find a way to get it back where we want to be" © Sutton Images
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Kimi Raikkonen believes his lack of qualifying pace at recent races is related to the change in tyre constructions midway through the year.

After a scrappy middle and final sector in qualifying for this weekend's Korean Grand Prix, Raikkonen will line up 10th on the grid. Asked whether it was a missed opportunity, Raikkonen said he had been struggling to get the front end of his car working over a single lap since Pirelli changed the tyre construction at the Hungarian Grand Prix for safety reasons.

"Since we changed the tyres it's been more like it was last year and for me it was definitely better qualifying with the other tyres and a bit more sharp in the front end," he said. "We've got to find a way to get it back where we want to be because it's hit us quite hard in qualifying lately. But I'm pretty sure we can find something and it usually turns out to be more normal in race conditions."

But Raikkonen, whose Q2 time was 0.7s faster than his Q3 time on Saturday, admitted his lacklustre performance in Korea was down to mistakes he made on his hot lap.

"I made some mistakes, and with the lap I had already done we ended up P10," he said. "Yesterday it was okay. Over one lap it's been a bit difficult with the front end - I haven't had enough front end. We might know the reason why that happened, but yesterday it was more how I like it. But it's been difficult over one lap to get it how I want it when I push hard."

On the plus side, Raikkonen is confident he will be able to overtake in Korea on Sunday.

"For sure it should be much easier than many other places. Yesterday I was able to overtake, which is a good thing, but obviously it depends on different times in the race and where we are with the tyres. It should be okay."