Kimi Raikkonen is adamant his Ferrari team has managed to close the gap on his rivals following the introduction of a major update for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Maranello-based squad has scored just three points in the first four races of the year and is pinning hopes of the big improvement on the significant upgrades the team is running this weekend.
"We have definitely made a step forward in performance terms on the car: you can feel a greater level of aerodynamic downforce and that's what we needed," said Raikkonen after Friday practice, in which the Finn posted the 10th-fastest time. "Sure, it's Friday and it's always difficult to draw conclusions, but the feeling is that we have closed the gap to the top cars.
"Here, just as at the last race, the harder tire is a bit difficult, while on the softer one, we're reasonably good. Tomorrow morning, we'll work on qualifying, given that today we concentrated on race preparation. All in all, I am happy with how things went today."
Teammate Felipe Massa wound up 15th quickest, the Brazilian also happy with the progress made by his team. Massa, however, said it was too early to tell how close to the top Ferrari will be.
"We have done a good job over the past weeks and the car has improved, but of course, the others haven't been standing around with their hands in their pockets," he said. "As from tomorrow, we will see if we have managed to move up the order, because today's classification is difficult to interpret and I reckon it doesn't represent the true pecking order.
"We worked towards Sunday's race. On my final run I had traffic and that cost me a bit of time, but what matters is the performance tomorrow. I will do my best to get through to the final part of qualifying and then aim for a good grid position."