"We had no idea how it was going to go today", he said.
Hamilton and his mechanics opted to strip the auto of the updates for Saturday and it did the trick. "I think we have a very good race vehicle, so we'll see".
"You want every little millisecond you can get but there wasn't really enough time so we ended up staying with it and also it was kind of a risk, changing the auto again for qualifying and maybe getting something wrong and so we just. that was really why we ended up staying with it".
Still, retired champion Nico Rosberg finished third past year after dropping to the back of the field with a spin on the opening lap and Vettel is optimistic he can minimise the damage.
Speaking to the press ahead of what is scheduled to be the last Grand Prix to take place in Malaysia, with the circuit not being contracted for the 2018 season or beyond, Raikkonen said: "To be honest I don't know if we're gonna miss it".
The 37-year-old Raikkonen is fifth in the 2017 drivers' standings with 138 points, while Vettel is in the second spot with 235 points, 28 behind leader Hamilton. "Tomorrow is a long race and it will be tough for tires". "It's more hard to be consistent and, in the very worst cases, you can develop cramps or even problems with your vision".
Sebastian Vettel will not be adopting a more conservative approach to race starts despite the dramatic Singapore Grand Prix clash which shifted the championship momentum towards title rival Lewis Hamilton.
Raikkonen was a first-bend casualty in the Singapore carnage along with Max Verstappen. "It's a shame that we couldn't get out".
In April it was announced that after 19 years, the 2017 Malaysia Grand Prix would be the last.
"I think Lewis is a massive step closer to that fourth title that he wants", Baldwin told CNN. Obviously it's never good to be behind, I'd like to be in front but we're not, so I'm not thinking about that. "You always look for more, you always want to improve and just a bit more would have been enough". We try to do our best.
The Red Bull cars of both Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, fastest in P1, appeared far more comfortable in the rainy conditions of the morning with the pair falling almost a second adrift in the afternoon.
The Dutchman, who turned 20 on Saturday, will be joined on the second row by teammate Daniel Ricciardo who was fourth fastest, just 0.054 seconds slower.