Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen finished third in the French Grand Prix. In this picture, third place finisher Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari celebrates on the podium during the Formula One Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France, June 24, 2018. Charles Coates/Getty Images

Kimi Raikkonen is at a loss to explain why he has been struggling during the qualifying sessions in recent races after making a strong start to the season.

The Ferrari driver began the season with three front row starts — he qualified in second place in Australia, Bahrain and China — but has since struggled and finished outside the top three in the next five races.

Sebastian Vettel in the other Ferrari, on the other hand, is top of the charts when it comes to qualifying thus far this campaign. The German has taken pole position in four of the eight races thus far and his worst qualifying has been third place in Australia and Spain.

The Finn has out-qualified his teammate on just one occasion this season and the difference in pace between the two cars has been quite staggering. In Canada, recently, Vettel qualified in pole position, while Raikkonen struggled to fifth place and it got worse in the race as he finished sixth while his teammate cruised to the finish line in first place.

The 2007 F1 world champion’s poor qualifying is costing him in races and he is currently at a loss to explain the sudden drop in form. Raikkonen revealed his team are working hard to get to the bottom of the problem, and was clear it can’t be about him suddenly becoming bad at qualifying after a few sessions.

He did finish on the podium at the recently concluded French Grand Prix after starting sixth, but that was mainly due to Vettel and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas colliding and dropping down the order on the opening lap.

“I don't know why it's been more difficult in the last qualifying sessions compared to the first ones, but we are working to improve the situation," Raikkonen said recently during the French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard, as quoted on "You do not get worse in just a few sessions."

Raikkonen’s dip in form has coincided with Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc excelling in his debut season with Alfa Romeo Sauber Team. The young Monegasque driver has scored points in four of the eight races in an underperforming car and has been tipped to replace the Finn at Ferrari next season.

Vettel’s teammate is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and is yet to be offered a new deal. Raikkonen has failed to win a single race since rejoining Ferrari in 2014, but admitted his driving style or his approach will not change even if he wins a race this season.

"It does not affect the way I drive," the 2007 world champion said. "I've already won in the past and I don't see why I can't win again. Ok I haven't won for a while, but when you win, you're not a different driver."

Raikkonen is currently fifth in the Drivers’ championship standings and is currently in a battle with Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen for third place with Vettel and championship leader Lewis Hamilton building a small gap to rest of the title contenders.