Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen admits he failed to get the most out of a "messy" Q3 as he qualified fourth for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen could only manage a time good enough for the second row of the grid, while Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel split the Mercedes duo by qualifying second, a further 0.6s up the road from the Finn. Raikkonen was left frustrated that he was unable to put a competitive lap together.
"All of my laps were not very good," he said. "I just didn't put any decent laps together, it was a bit messy after the first run. It wasn't exactly how we should have done it from my side and we're also catching up a bit and never really got it together. It's a bit disappointing but we're still fourth, so it's the first qualifying done and we go from there."
The 2007 world champion, who won the grand prix in Melbourne during his title-winning campaign and again in 2013, says he takes encouragement from Vettel's laptime and hopes Ferrari is finally able to mount a serious title challenge against Mercedes, having been unable to do so since the V6 hybrid era began in 2014.
When asked if he thinks Ferrari can take the fight to Mercedes, Raikkonen replied: "Yes, if you put the lap together, but apart from that we have, for sure, a pretty good package, we have work to be done but that's the same for everybody. This is a very special place, here, so let's wait and see when we get to the normal circuits. So far it's OK, obviously it was not an ideal day from my side, but we got from here.
"Hopefully this year we can bring the results," he added. "We've been working very well -- I said that many times last year but when you don't have the results that you want then people are questioning a lot of things. I trust what we've done and how we go about things and pushing forward. I'm sure we're doing things right, so it's just a matter of time before we get the results."