Kimi Raikkonen took encouragement from Ferrari’s pace in qualifying despite being out-qualified by both Mercedes drivers and his team mate.
Raikkonen, who will start fourth on the grid, admitted he was disappointed with a “messy” Q3 after he “didn’t get any decent laps together” but believes the team are in good shape.
“I mean obviously we need to put the lap together but apart from that we have a very good package for sure,” he said. “We have work to be done but that’s the same for everybody.”
His team mate Sebastian Vettel qualified on the front row, 0.268 seconds off pole sitter Lewis Hamilton.
He pointed out the Albert Park circuit is not typical of many other venues on the F1 calendar and it’s too soon to make a call on how they will perform at other tracks.
“It’s a very special place here so let’s wait and see when we get to the normal circuits,” he said. “I think so far it’s OK. Obviously not an ideal day from my side but we go from here.”
A stoppage during the final practice session hampered Raikkonen’s qualifying preparation. “It was basically just a flat tyre,” he explained. “There was a cut I guess from debris or something.”
“I ran a little bit too wide on a kerb so I don’t know was it from that but then obviously I slowed down and the car stopped and took a while to start going.”
2017 F1 season
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year
- “Grand Prix Driver” takes you inside McLaren’s nightmare final year with Honda
- Undisputed champion: 10 titles name Hamilton top driver of 2017