Kimi Raikkonen reckons he would have qualified on the second row in India but for set-up mistake

Finn says he's surprised to be seventh on the grid after suffering a loss of grip

By Mike Wise in New Delhi.   Last Updated: 27/10/12 5:57pm

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Kimi Raikkonen could only blame himself for a qualifying performance the Lotus driver believed could have been significantly better.

Raikkonen lines up seventh on the grid for the race but was left to lament a set-up change he had made ahead of Saturday's session that caused his car to lose grip.

"I think that we probably should have been third or fourth after this morning and yesterday. But I made a decision to change the car a bit and it was completely the wrong decision," the Finn said.

"It took all the grip away from the car. I'm surprised that we finished seventh."

Having had a solid debut at the Buddh International Circuit on Friday, Raikkonen claimed he had Lotus's E20 car at the limit of its potential.

However, the 2007 World Champion, who currently lies third in this year's standings, admitted he then made a change too far after the morning's final practice session.

"There's certain things that we try to improve but it's made a massive difference. It took the grip out and it was a big struggle," he said.

"I don't think it's going to be the same as it was this morning tomorrow, but we try. That's why I'm very disappointed that I made the decision, because we had a very good car this morning.

"We were more or less where the car's potential was. You're always looking, because you want to get that little bit faster and then sometimes you push a bit over the limit and then you just start going backwards.

"We try to be smart and improve certain areas but then you realise it probably wasn't a very good idea. It's always easier to say afterwards.

"I really think that we should have been on the second row."

Raikkonen said that making headway in Sunday's race could prove difficult given that only very limited changes can be made to the car now it is in parc ferme.

Furthermore, he admitted that overtaking will likely prove difficult given his car's lack of straightline speed.

Raikkonen was slowest through the speedtrap and although the Red Bulls of polesitter Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were only slightly faster, they clearly had more to offer elsewhere on the track.

"I don't think it's going to go back because we cannot touch the car. Maybe the high fuel will help, or maybe the weather will change and so the circuit will change," Raikkonen added.

"We don't have the straightline speed, so we'll just try to do the best we can.

"It's a normal thing for us. It's not like it's just here; it's usually been the same thing. We're not the only ones: the Red Bulls are the same but they are first and second.

"It's not going to help us overtake but that's what it is and we'll try to get the best out of it. We'll see what happens."

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