Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen will leave Ferrari at the end of the 2018 season. In this picture, Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari prepares to drive on the grid before the Formula One Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on Oct. 7, 2018, in Suzuka. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Kimi Raikkonen has called on Ferrari to deliver a trouble-free weekend at the United States Grand Prix starting Friday after numerous mistakes during the course of the season have seen their title chances extinguished with four races remaining in 2018.

The Italian team began the 2018 Formula 1 season with back-to-back race wins and seemed to be on course to challenge reigning champions Mercedes for the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles.

However, their challenge unravelled at the German Grand Prix when Vettel, who was leading the race and on course to take the championship lead from Lewis Hamilton, crashed out. They have never been able to recover with the Ferrari and the German driver guilty of silly mistakes that have cost them points.

Hamilton and Mercedes, meanwhile, have been unshakable, going on to win six of the last seven races and extending their lead in both the championships. The former leads Vettel by 67 points going into the final four races of the campaign.

Ferrari’s most recent errors came at the Japanese Grand Prix where they were expected to be Mercedes’ closest challengers. But their troubles started in qualifying when the team made a wrong call with the weather and sent their cars out on the intermediate tires rather than the supersofts like the other cars.

That saw Raikkonen line up in fourth, while Vettel started the race in ninth rather than the second row leaving him a number of places to make up during the race. That did not go well as first the Finn made contact with Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen and suffered damage that saw him limp home in fifth place.

Vettel, on the other hand, made a strong start and was up into fourth place before he too made contact with Verstappen while attempting a desperate move. That put him at the back of the field from where a sixth place finish was the best he could muster.

Raikkonen is confident Ferrari have the general pace to compete with the Mercedes cars, but has called on the team to clean up their act and deliver a trouble free weekend in Austin, Texas.

“Obviously we need to go through things, it was a difficult weekend overall [in Japan],” Raikkonen said, as quoted on “We got things improved during the weekend, it was getting better and better but if you look purely at the result it was far from what we wanted.”

“That’s how it goes sometimes. At the next race hopefully we’ll put the things where we are happier with and we’ll be up there. We need to tidy up things and hopefully get a cleaner weekend next time around,” the Finn added.

The first practice of the United States Grand Prix gets underway Friday with qualifying slated for Saturday and the race Sunday.