Kimi Raikkonen reckons his Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying would have been much more competitive had he not lost significant practice mileage to engine problems.
The Lotus driver sat out much of Friday morning with issues on his Renault engine, and then had the V8 fail at the start of final practice. He was able to fit a spare for the race without exceeding his allowance of eight engines for the season. The replacement engine is the one that he won in Abu Dhabi with.
But Raikkonen said that lack of mileage had a major impact on his setup for qualifying, where he took ninth place. Pastor Maldonado's penalty will elevate him one position.
"We didn't get a single lap this morning and yesterday we didn't really get anything done, so the car was pretty bad," Raikkonen replied when asked how the practice problems had affected his qualifying form. "We just had to change it a lot since yesterday and it was purely guessing for qualifying because we hadn't done many laps. In that way, it was fine, but with some running this morning we could have done some proper setup work."
Raikkonen said Lotus was not among the teams to gamble on a wet set-up for the race.
"No, we just did something that we hope works because we had no running," he said. "The car wasn't very good. At least we got something out of qualifying."